A brave, ten-man Sydney FC has run out 2-1 winners over second placed Melbourne City, extending their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder to nine points, in front of a massive crowd of over 17,000 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Sydney FC 2 (Le Fondre 29’, Barbarouses 84’) def. Melbourne City 1 (Metcalfe 22’).
A brave, ten-man Sydney FC has run out 2-1 winners over second placed Melbourne City, extending their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder to nine points.
Moments That Mattered:
- Barbarouses Chance – 20’ – A cheeky back heel from the Kiwi almost sneaks in at the near post but bounces inches wide.
- Metcalfe Goal – 22’ – Metcalfe leaps the highest off Noone’s cross to head it into the bottom corner.
- Grant Red Card – 25’ – VAR intervenes with Grant’s challenge to upgrade his caution to a red card.
- Le Fondre Goal – 29’ – Le Fondre rifles the ball home on the turn following a scramble in the box to equalise for the Sky Blues.
- Le Fondre Penalty Saved – 45’ – The Englishman is denied his second of the night after Glover saves his spot kick.
- Redmayne Save – 52’ – Redmayne gets low quickly to deny Noone’s driven shot destined for the back post.
- Maclaren Chance – 58’ – A scissor-kick from Maclaren flies just beyond the far post.
- Barbarouses Goal – 84’ – The Kiwi snatches it at the death with a stunning solo goal to place it into the far bottom corner.
Sydney FC started the stronger of the two sides but were hit with two big blows in a matter of minutes when Metcalfe opened the scoring and Grant received his marching orders for a challenge on Atkinson.
The Sky Blues wouldn’t be down for long, as Le Fondre bagged his twelfth of the campaign with a tidy finish on the turn.
The Englishman then saw his spot-kick saved by Glover after Ninkovic was brought down in the box by Delbridge.
Ten-man Sydney FC then showed a courageous defensive display in the second 45 minutes, holding out a rampant City side for the rest of the game.
They were rewarded for their efforts as Barbarouses grabbed the winner with a stunning curled effort to help Sydney FC extend their lead at the top.
What They Said: Steve Corica: “I’m very happy of course. Extremely proud of the boys and the performance they put on.
“Our fitness was fantastic, full credit to our medical staff and strength and conditioning staff. I think we looked fresh still towards the end.
“We treated it like any other game. Of course it’s the second team and we wanted to move further forward. Especially going down to 10 men it showed great character from the boys to dig in and do what they did out there.
“There’s a long way to go and we just need to make sure we take one game at a time and beat the opponent that we’re playing against. We treat them all the same, whether they’re second or eleventh.
[On O’Neill and Zullo’s eventual return to the squad] “It’s very positive for us. Even with those two out, Retre has been wonderful in midfield and too King’s doing really well at left back. It’s business as normal for the players that come in – they know their roles, they come in and they do a good job.”
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN (17. Anthony CACERES 45’), 6. Ryan MCGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE (2. Patrick FLOTTMANN 88’), 10. Milos NINKOVIC (21. Harry VAN DER SAAG 78’), 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 16. Joel KING, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN.
Subs Not Used: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR, 18. Luke IVANOVIC, 25. Ryan TEAGUE.
Yellow Cards: None.
Red Cards: Rhyan Grant 26’.
Melbourne City FC: 1. Thomas GLOVER, 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Harrison DELBRIDGE, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Rostyn Griffiths, 8. Marcelo CABRERA (19. Lachlan WALES 82’), 9. Jamie MACLAREN, 11. Craig NOONE (21. Ramy NAJJARINE 70’), 13. Nathaniel ATKINSON, 22. Curtis GOOD, 34. Connor METCALFE (Adrian LUNA 56’).
Subs Not Used: 23. Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 10. Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 19. Lachlan WALES, 40. Richard WINDBICHLER.
Yellow Cards: Rostyn Griffiths 19’, Nathaniel ATKINSON 76’, Adrian LUNA 81’.
Red Cards: None.
Ground: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium:
Referee: Kurt Ams