Sydney rises up in clash with the Phoenix

Sydney FC has taken top spot on the Hyundai A-League table after a spirited 2-0 victory over the Wellington Phoenix at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday evening.

Sydney FC has taken top spot on the Hyundai A-League table after a spirited 2-0 victory over the Wellington Phoenix at the Sydney Football Stadium on Sunday evening.

First half substitute Brendan Gan headed the Sky Blues- opening goal in the 77th minute before marquee player John Aloisi added the second nine minutes from time to seal Sydney-s third win of the season.

“I appreciated all the players- passion and activity,” said Sydney coach Vitezlav Lavicka after the match. “I have to say it was a similar game against Adelaide (United).”

“We are happy, but I have to repeat, round-4 is gone – nothing more, nothing less.”

It didn-t take long for the Sky Blues to click into gear after the opening whistle with Sung-Hwan Byun finding space on the left flank. Five minutes in – his pin point cross found an open Mark Bridge inside the 18 yard box but his header was well covered by Wellington keeper, Reece Crowther.

Debutant Crowther sent heart palpitations throughout the Phoenix camp four minutes later when his punt up-field was charged down by Bridge and the deflected ball almost opened the scoring for Sydney.

In a half dominated by the hosts, Kofi Danning was able to find space once again inside the Phoenix box in the 35th minute – his header coming perilously close to the Phoenix goal after another dangerous contribution from Byun.

The best chance of the first period fell to Gan – who came on for Terry McFlynn in the 32nd minute – and forced an instinctive save from Crowther with a well placed header shortly after entering the fray.

The second half saw a much more open approach by both teams, as end to end action kept the fans on the edge of their seats. Wellington carved its best chance of the game in the 52nd minute when Michael Ferrante saw his shot from distance parried by Sydney custodian, Clint Bolton.

As Sydney continued to press forward Alex Brosque was brought down on the edge of the box in the 56th minute and the resulting Karol Kisel free kick was centimetres away from giving him his first goal for the club and the home side a well-earned advantage.

Gan was starting to stamp his mark on the game, creating space and firing a shot across the face on the hour mark that just missed at the far post.

Wellington was providing good value also, and livewire Leo Bertos went on a great solo run in the 71st minute. His attempted finish was weak, however and went straight to the waiting gloves of Bolton.

Six mintues later Sydney had the lead when Gan found space and got on the end of a beautiful out-swinging Kisel corner -the young midfielder timing his run perfectly and powering his header past Crowther to put the hosts in front.

“We practiced that (corners) at training. I should have put the first two away but the third is all that counts,” Gan said of the goal. “The game goes for 90 minutes so we-re all going to go for that whole 90 minutes and it paid off in the end.”

A swift counter attack late in the game saw the Sky Blues surge forward in numbers. Brosque took the space on the left flank and produced a tantalising cross which was finished unerringly by Aloisi to confirm the win and the three points for Sydney FC.

The victory sees Sydney hold the outright lead in the Hyundai A-League for the first time since Round-12 in Season One of the Hyundai A-League. Next up for Vitezslav Lavicka-s undefeated men is a top-of-the-table clash with second-placed Gold Coast United at Skilled Park (Gold Coast) next Saturday night.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 2 (Gan 77-, Aloisi 81-)
Wellington Phoenix 0

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 9. John ALOISI (c) (17. Matthew JURMAN 87-), 11. Kofi DANNING (10. Steve CORICA 60-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (7. BRENDAN GAN 32-), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes Not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: nil.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Brendan GAN 77-, John ALOISI 81-.

Wellington Phoenix: 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 2. Emmanuel MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jonathan McKAIN, 5. Diego Walsh (17. Vince LIA 41-), 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (13. Troy HEARFIELD 75;), 10. Michael FERRANTE (11. Daniel CORTES 79-), 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c).

Substitutes Not Used: 30. Jonathan GOULD (gk).

Yellow Cards: Paul IFILL 21-
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: nil.

Referee: Stebre Delovski .
Crowd: 11,718 at the Sydney Football Stadium.