It was a thrilling finish in a high scoring match at Alianz Stadium on Sunday as Sydney FC managed to hold on for a 5-4 victory. Brisbane Roar fought back scoring three goals in the final 11 minutes but Sydney FC’s response in the 86th minute proved enough for them to hold on.
The match got off to a thrilling start with the score being opened in just the third minute with Brisbane Roar getting the opener. But it was not without his controversy as Jean Carlos Solorzano sent in a through ball, which found Henrique who buried it, but he seemed to have been in an offside position when the ball was released.
Despite their disappointment at having gone down in controversial circumstances Sydney FC exploded and they hit the equalizer in just the sixth minute. Sydney FC sent a long ball down which was played back by Marc Janko and found Matt Jurman who was able to hit an impressive strike up in to the top right corner.
Brisbane Roar were fluid as they were all over the match, as they looked to get their lead back but they just could not do it. In the 23rd minute Brisbane had a great chance as James Brown was able to beat Bernie Ibini and crossed the ball in, beating Vedran Janjetovic and found Solorzano who could only scoop it over the bar.
Sydney FC were mostly working on the counter but after the half hour Sydney FC started to wrestle back control of the match. Janko nearly had yet another goal as he had a chance in the 34th minute when he timed his run through and looked to shoot but Jamie Young just managed the save.
But three minutes later the chance did come as Ibini sent in a ball for Alex Brosque as he was tripped by Adam Sarota. That saw Kris Griffiths-Jones point to the spot, but replays showed Brosque may have tripped himself, which allowed Janko to step up and bury the penalty, making it seven goals in seven matches, equaling an Australian record.
The controversial first half came to an end with Sydney 2-1 up but Sydney were not done and they came out from the break determined. Just five minutes in Ibini was able to send a ball in for Jurman but his effort was sent over the bar.
That mattered little as Sydney FC were able to score again just two minutes after that missed opportunity and again Ibini was a big part. Ibini’s run allowed him to find Chris Naumoff who sent it in low to Janko, who sealed his brace with a simple, unmarked finish.
Brisbane Roar had a penalty shout in the 69th minute after a phenomenal run from Brandon Borrello saw him get through one-on-one with the keeper. He looked to round Janjetovic and went down after clearing the keeper but the referee was unmoved.
Just five minutes later Brisbane were left incensed as another controversial penalty was awarded to Sydney. Janko went down with seemingly minimal contact but the penalty was called and Janko stepped up to wrap up his hat trick.
Despite Sydney now leading 4-1 the match was not done as Brisbane pushed to get back in to the match and in the 79th minute they had it. Nikola Petkovic barged in to the back of James Donachie which allowed Andrija Kaluderovic to step up to the spot and bury the penalty.
That seemed to spur Brisbane Roar on as they went for the match and in the 83rd minute they cut the gap to just one goal. Borrello made another great run and was able to square the ball for a wide open Steven Lustica who buried it down low, getting Brisbane right back in to the match.
Just three minutes later Sydney FC scored again, which seemed to take the match away from Brisbane Roar. Terry Antonis ran in and sent Brosque free to simply pass the ball in to the back of the net, making it 5-3 with four minutes to play.
But the drama was not over and with two minutes to play Brisbane Roar scored another goal. Again Borrello made a great run, but this time his ball was poor, but somehow found Dimitri Petratos who made it four for Brisbane.
Brisbane could not find the fifth, despite their dramatic comeback, with Sydney continuing their trend of just scoring more than their opposition, despite their defense conceding plenty yet again. Sydney will not mind conceding four after scoring five and move to unseat Perth in second place.