Sydney snaps Melbourne hoodoo

For the first time this season Sydney FC has the outright lead in the race for the Hyundai A-League championship after scoring an historic win over Melbourne at the Telstra Dome.

For the first time this season Sydney FC has the outright lead in the race for the Hyundai A-League championship after scoring an historic win over Melbourne at the Telstra Dome.

Sydney had never beaten the Victory on their home turf before tonight-s game, but John Kosmina-s young lineup defied the odds, scoring a goal in each half to take full points for just the 2nd time in 11 meetings between the teams.

“I think it sends a message to the other sides in the A-League,” said Kosmina after the 2-0 win. “We haven-t had much success down here in the past but we showed a lot of resolve, a lot of ticker and it was great to get the 3 points.

The Sky Blues started strongly against their Southern rivals, with Adam Casey and Brendon Santalab terrorising Melbourne down the flanks of the field.

In the 14th minute Steve Corica came close to opening the scoring with his shot inside 18 drawing a sharp save from Victory gloveman Michael Theoklitis, and 5 minutes later the stand-in skipper was heavily involved again, helping create a good chance for Santalab which earned FC a corner.

With Shannon Cole on the bench, Mitchell Prentice lined up the set piece and the visitors were soon celebrating a one nil lead, with Mark Bridge burying an opportunity on the near post following a neat flick-on from debutant, Beau Busch.

Going a goal down seemed to spark the hosts into action and for the next 20 minutes Sydney was forced to defend against wave upon wave of Victory raids.

Melbourne attacker, Danny Allsopp had a great chance to equalise in the 40th minute but his effort to get in behind the Sydney defence was neutralised by a perfectly positioned Ivan Necevski.

FC almost added to its advantage in the shadows of half time when Bridge was the beneficiary of a blocked Santalab blast, but the Olyroo striker couldn-t get any real power behind his follow-up effort and the scoreline remained unchanged at the break.

Sydney was dealt a blow immediately after the restart with Santalab falling heavily in a challenge and forced from the field with a dislocated shoulder, despite an attempt to play through the pain.

On the hour mark Melbourne had a gold plated opportunity to draw level, but FC fullbacks, Mitchell Prentice and Beau Busch came to the rescue with a crucial challenge that denied Allsopp a seemingly certain goal well inside the Sky Blue-s box.

Three minutes later the true value of that effort was apparent when Bobby Petta found space to attack down the left.

The substitute midfielder unselfishly passed inside to John Aloisi who, under pressure from Theoklitis, fired home his first goal in a Sydney shirt in front of the Sky Blues- travelling fans.

“I-m very happy to score one finally and it was great to get it tonight,” said Sydney-s marquee man after the full time whistle. “Everyone knows this is the big one, probably the biggest game in the A-League. We-ve been chasing Melbourne all year and finally we-re up there, hopefully we can stay there now.

Full of confidence following the 2-0 victory, Sydney FC will return to the Sydney Football Stadium next Saturday for another Hyundai A-League blockbuster against fierce rivals, the Central Coast Mariners.

Match Detail

Sydney FC 2 (Mark Bridge 20′, John Aloisi 62′)
Melbourne Victory 0

Melbourne Victory: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Michael THWAITE (7.Matthew KEMP 67-), 8.Grant BREBNER, 9.Danny ALLSOPP, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ (18. Leigh BROXHAM 77-), 19.Evan BERGER, 17.Jose Luis LOPEZ (22. Nick WARD 65-).

Substitute not used: 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk).

Yellow Cards: Muscat 21′.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: nil.

Sydney FC: 5. Mitchell PRENTICE , 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 11. Brendan SANTALAB (28. Bobby PETTA 51-), 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 18. Adam CASEY (23. John ALOISI 55-), 19. Mark BRIDGE (12. Shannon COLE 85-), 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 29. Beau BUSCH, 31. Antony GOLEC.

Substitute not used: 30. John FILAN (gk).

Yellow Cards: nil.
Red Cards: nil.
Goals: Bridge 20′, Aloisi 62′.

Referee: Ben Williams.
Crowd: 31,564.