Sydney FC downed Melbourne Victory 2-1 in a cagey match on a Etihad Stadium pitch that looked worse for wear after a hectic Big Bash cricket schedule.

Despite both sides finding it hard to gain any meaningful control of the ball it was the Victory that fired themselves into the lead over the league leaders just past 18 minutes.

Fahid Ben Khalfallah found himself some space down the left flank and after taking Aaron Calver to the cleaners, fired a ball into Marco Rojas who in turn set up the inform James Troisi.

The Asian Cup winner placed his right footed shot around former Victory keeper Danny Vukovic to put the home side up 1-0.

The Victory could’ve doubled there lead within 10 minutes through an audacious attempt from their Kiwi maestro Rojas.

Rojas volleyed the ball from more than 25 yards out in an attempt that resembled Peter Crouch’s goal of the season winning strike against Manchester City a few seasons ago.

Yet unlike Crouch’s effort Vukovic was able to claim.

Sydney were able to work their way back though and seven minutes from half time a Filip Holosko effort saw them back on level terms.

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Milos Ninkovic whipped a cross into the the box where Holosko was able to nod past the helpless Lawrence Thomas.

Graham Arnold would’ve been the happier of the two managers going into halftime, eager to keep Sydney’s unbeaten streak intact.

But it was the Victory with the better of the chances when the two teams emerged from the break.

Ben Khalfallah’s 57th minute effort hit the cross bar and Besart Berisha should’ve had a go himself instead of laying the ball off.

Graham Arnold then brought on Bernie Ibini-Isei who, within four minutes of coming on, put the visitors ahead.

The Sydney number 11 brushed past both Leigh Broxham and Alan Baro with ease and simply put the ball beyond Thomas.

With Victory now pushing for an equaliser Sydney went on the counter. Ibini and Alex Brosque were almost in on goal when James Donachie recklessly came flying in.

Referee Jarred Gillett had no hesitation and sent Donachie for an early shower in the 71st minute.

A late headed chance to Marco Rojas almost gave the Victory a point for their efforts but Sydney, to the disdain of the 30,262 in attendance, were able to hang on and maintain their unbeaten run.

Melbourne Victory 1 (18′ Troisi)
Sydney FC 2 (38′ Holosko, 65′ Ibini-Isei)

Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referees: David Walsh, Ashley Beecham
Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

Etihad Stadium
Attendance: 30,262

Melbourne Victory: 

20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 2. GERIA Jason (88′), 15. BARO Alan, 17. DONACHIE James, 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 13 BOZANIC Oliver (74′), 21. VALERI Carl (C), 10. TROISI James, 14. BEN KHALFALLH Fahid (66′), 7 ROJAS Marco, 8. BERISHA Besart.

Substitutes: 5. GEORGIEVKSI Daniel (74′), 16. MAHAZI Rashid (88′), 19. HOWARD George, 23 INGHAM Jai (66′), 40. ACTON Matthew (GK).

Sydney FC:

20. VUKOVIC (GK), 12. CALVER Aaron (84′), 5. BUIJS Jordy, 4. WILKINSON Alexander, 7. ZULLO Michael, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua, 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 21. HOLOSKO Filip (61′), 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 14. BROSQUE Alex (C), 9. BOBô (79′)

Substitues: 1. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK), 8. DIMITRIJEVIC Milos (84′), 11. IBINI-ISEI Bernie (61′), 17. CARNEY David, 18. SIMON Matthew (79′)

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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