Sydney FC have secured second spot on the ladder after a hard fought win against Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sydney FC widen the gap between second and third to four points after defeating their Big Blue counterparts 2-1 on Saturday night.

The Sky Blues started the game with visible energy in their front third, putting pressure on Melbourne’s defence. Within the first three minutes of the match the Sydney had fired in two crosses, and a powerful strike from Adam Le Fondre had only been denied by the crossbar.

Only moments after Le Fondre’s efforts, Brandon O’Neill scored a screamer from 25 yards out, putting Sydney FC up 1-0 early in the match. But unfortunately for the home side, Melbourne Victory quickly leveled the scoring against the run of play. Keisuke Honda slipped a ball between the lines to Kosta Barbarouses in traditional Melbourne Victory style, and Barbarouses didn’t fail to hit the back of the net.

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After a hectic start to the match, the remainder of the first half was an arm wrestle between the two sides. With fairly equal possession and chances, the squads went into the change rooms at 1-1.

The second half continued at a slow pace. Despite a tight battle between the sides, the game seemed to lack the fiery challenges and desperate tackles commonly seen between these rival teams.

Chances for Terry Antonis and Ola Toivonen for Melbourne Victory were equalled with attacking opportunities to O’Neill, Le Fondre and Anthony Caceres for the Sky Blues. Despite their chances, both teams found it difficult to retain possession and the slow tempo continued for the majority of the half.

Milos Ninkovic was the hero for the Sky Blues, scoring from a deflection in the bottom corner in added time, gifting his side the all important 3 points.

Round 25 will be a battle for Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory as both sides attempt to claim three points heading into the finals series. Sydney FC face their cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers whilst Melbourne Victory take on bottom of the table Central Coast Mariners.

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Sydney FC 2 (Brandon O’Neill 6’, Milos Ninkovic 90+3′)

Melbourne Victory 1 (Kosta Barbarouses 16’)

 

Stadium: Sydney Cricket Ground

 

Referee: Alex King

Assistant referee: David Walsh and Andrej Giev

Fourth official: Kurt Ams

 

Sydney FC: Andrew Redmayne (GK), Aaron Calver, Alexander Wilkinson, Joshua Brillante, Michael Zullo, Adam Le Fondre, Milos Ninkovic, Brandon O’Neill, Alex Brosque, Anthony Caceres, Rhyan Grant, Reza Ghoochannejhad (65′), Siem de Jong (65′), Paulo Retre (90+4′)

Unused subs: Daniel De Silva, Aleksander Cisak (GK)

 

Melbourne Victory: Matthew Acton (GK), Keisuke Honda, Georg Niedermeier, Liegh Broxham, Terry Antonis, Kosta Barbarouses, James Troisi, Ola Toivonen, Thomas Deng, James Donachie, Carl Valeri, Elvis Kamsoba (78′), Corey Brown (88′),  Joshua Hope (90′)

Unused subs: Anthony Lesiotis, Matthew Sutton (GK)

 

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.