Sydney FC did not let the top of the league get away from them as they kept on working and found another win at AAMI Park on Saturday night. The 2-1 win over Melbourne City, compounds the struggles for Melbourne City who had high hopes for this season but have failed to really challenge.
It was a fairly even start to the match, with neither side asserting themselves early but soon enough Sydney FC would get on top and ten minutes in they had the opener. It came after some good work from Bernie Ibini who made a run down the right and crossed in to Marc Janko, pushing Andrew Redmayne to come out but miss the ball, allowing Janko an easy finish.
Ibini and Janko were looking active in the early stages as Sydney were determined to keep on going. Sydney were looking strong on defense but couldn’t create clear chances, a big part of what was stopping Sydney FC was the physical play of Melbourne City keeping Sydney from scoring and ramping up the physicality.
Sydney were completely tearing Melbourne City apart but they just could not break through as City stood firm to keep out the Sydney attacks. At the death of the first half Melbourne City really started to take charge but they could not put away their chances as Sydney held on to their half-time lead.
At the break Melbourne City took off Liam Miller to bring in Jacob Melling and that substitution seemed to allow Melbourne City to control proceedings in the second half. City really were having plenty of the ball but they weren’t really creating, something both sides were guilty of as the match faded in the second half.
With eight minutes to play the match opened up more and that allowed Sydney FC to seal all three points. A horrible mistake from Rob Weilaert allowed Janko to run on to his bad switch attempt, allowing him to run clean in on Redmayne and finish up a simple effort for the goal and the win.
But with three minutes to play Melbourne City made sure stoppage time was at least something for Sydney FC to be nervous about as Damien Duff’s cross found Erik Paartalu who headed it home. That tension was further increased in the 89th minute when Milos Dimitrijevic was shown a silly red card as he wasted time, earning his second yellow.
Despite the advantage there was so little time left that Melbourne City just could not capitalize, for all their efforts, which saw the match end 2-1 to Sydney. The win allows Sydney to keep the pressure on Perth at the top of the table as they sit on 15 points while Melbourne City cling to sixth.