Sydney v Victory

A-League report by Chris Dunkerley
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory extended their table lead with a battling come from behind win at Sydney Football Stadium, a brace from Archie Thompson securing the win.

Sydney went into this game without a marquee player and with key man David Carney still a long way from returning to the park. Melbourne were close to full strength. Both teams were smarting after losing last week. After a pretty tough encounter in Melbourne that Sydney limped away from without anything to show, this was touted as a chance for the big cities to square up again. It didn't dissapoint.

Sydney started strongly with a 3rd minute attack that showed their intent. It was not surprising then when in the 9th minute Steve Corica, playing some of the best football since he returned to Australia. An early release from Bolton to Fyfe was pushed through to Corica, who weaved through the Melbourne defence and surrounded by 5 white shirts he slotted it inside the right post. 1-0

A futher chance 4 minutes later when Theoklitos didn't hold a Sydney corner but it cleared the attackers.

Adrian Caceres got behind the home defence in the 33rd minute, whipping in a cross than just evaded Daniel Allsopp, sliding into the goal after the ball has passed.

Sydney looked well in control going into the break but Melbourne out with renewed vigour. Sydney came out without Mark Milligan (hamstring) as well as Corica who had succumbed to a similar injury just befor half-time.

It wasn't long before Melbourne struck back in the 50th minute when a through ball from Caceres found Fred on the left of the goal and turned it inside to Thompson who steered it past Clint Bolton, who claimed he was impeded by Allsopp.

Sydney had their chances, perhaps the best when Fyfe grazed the crossbar with a curling shot from range in the 59th minute.

At the other end Mark Rudan cleared danger when Allsopp received a through ball from Roddy Vargas and slipped it inside to the lerking Thompson. Rudan was alert to the danger and cleared.

The balance had swung Victory's way however and in the 73rd minute when Caceres sailed a long cross from the left to Thompson rising at the far post, and his header gave Botlon in the Sydney goal no chance.

Sydney could not bridge the gap as the rain came teaeming down, and the southern team kept their lead and surged again at the head of the Hyundai A-League table.