Sydney FC all but secure Premiership in passionate Big Blue

Sydney FC have put one hand on the Premier’s Plate with a narrow, but convincing 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory that sees them move 11 points clear atop the A-League ladder with just five games to play.

Despite the awful conditions both teams put on an entertaining display in front of a passionate 13,310 crowd who braved the wet, but it was the Sky Blues who emerged victors in the 36th Big Blue thanks to Bobo’s 50th minute strike.

Controversy was never going to be far away in the clash, with the first glimpse coming after just nine minutes. Michael Zullo’s pull-back on Marco Rojas on the edge of the box earned the left back a yellow, but the Victory players believed it should have been more given Zullo was the last defender. Unfortunately for the visitors James Troisi blasted the resulting freekick well over the bar.

And it was Melbourne who had another excellent chance to pull ahead when Jai Ingham found himself alone in the box after 19 minutes. However, Ingham’s low shot proved too close to Danny Vukovic who pulled off an excellent save.

Sydney responded well though, dominating the second period of the half and creating a handful of opportunities of their own – Bobo and Alex Brosque both missing good chances for the hosts on the half hour.

Brosque found himself in a great position once again before the break after being fed through by Milos Ninkovic, but Lawrence Thomas was up to the task managing to get a glove to Brosque’s stinging shot.

The Sky Blues opened the second half with a bang, taking a 1-0 lead after 50 minutes with a superb team goal. Josh Brillante started the move with a defense-splitting through ball to Brosque, who then spread the ball out wide for Holosko whose pinpoint cross was finished by Bobo.

As the hosts continued to dominate proceedings Melbourne nearly found an equaliser against the run of play after 57 minutes. Few punters would have bet on an unmarked Besart Berisha missing from point blank range, but that’s exactly what the striker did as he fired his effort over.

Sydney looked a team full of confidence, and none more so than the red hot Ninkovic who nearly pulled off one of the goals of the season only for his long range volley to narrowly miss creeping under the crossbar.

The Sky Blues were relentless going forward, bombarding the Victory who had no answer to the league leaders attack. Brosque and substitute David Carney should both have wrapped it up for Sydney late on, but the Sky Blues held on for the 1-0 win and an almost certain Premiership.

Sydney FC 1 (Bobo 50’)
Melbourne Victory 0

Stadium: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 13,310

Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams

Sydney FC: 4. WILKINSON Alex, 5. BUIJS Jordy, 6. BRILLANTE Joshua, 7. ZULLO Michael, 9. BOBO (18. SIMON Matt 83’), 10. NINKOVIC Milos (17. CARNEY David 89’), 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 14. BROSQUE Alex (C), 20. VUKOVIC Danny (GK), 21. HOLOSKO Filip (11. IBINI Bernie 71’), 23. GRANT Rhyan
Substitutes: 1. REDMAYNE Andrew (GK), 8. DIMITRIJEVIC Milos

Melbourne Victory: 2. GERIA Jason, 4. ANSELL Nicholas, 5. GEORGIEVSKI Daniel (13. BOZANIC Oliver 76’), 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 7. ROJAS Marco 8. BERISHA Besart, 10. TROISI James, 17. DONACHIE James, 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK) 21. VALERI Carl (C), 23. INGHAM Jai (14. BEN KHALFALLAH Fahid 63’)
Substitutes: 11. AUSTIN Mitchell, 16. MAHAZI Rashid, 40. ACTON Acton (GK)

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