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Sydney sink Wellington in slippery conditions

SYDvWELControversy abounded in Sydney’s ultimately emphatic 4-1 win over Wellington Phoenix, on a drenched Allianz Stadium pitch. 10,148 Sky Blues’ fans braved the weather to see their team take one step closer to securing a finals spot this season.

A win going into the final fixture was crucial for Sydney as they looked to separate themselves from rivals Newcastle Jets, who were also fighting for a top six spot.

As well as needing maximum points from their last two games, Wellington’s slim finals hopes were reliant on other results following last week’s 1-0 loss to Adelaide United but they were also playing for pride, looking to avoid bottom place after Perth’s 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners saw them jump from 10th to 8th.

Despite a pitch inspection to determine the state of the waterlogged pitch, kick-off still went ahead at the scheduled 5pm time.

The diabolical conditions saved Sydney from embarrassment early on. A low cross was initially palmed away by Vedran Janjetovic but only got as far as Stein Huysegems before a desperate lunging tackle from Sasa Ognenovski rebounded goal-wards past the Sydney goalkeeper, before being stopped in its tracks by the mud just in front of Janjetovic’s goal-line.

It was another moment of controversy that saw Sydney open the scoring through an Alessandro Del Piero penalty. Minimal contact from Jeremy Brockie on Del Piero saw him go to ground and a penalty was awarded, despite contact also appearing to be outside the box. Brockie was booked for the challenge, and the Italian slotted the ball low and left from the penalty spot.

Match Details Full match details »

Wellington

Yellow Card32′ J.BrockieYellow Card36′ B.SigmundPenalty56′ C.Hernandez (Pen)
Yellow Card74′ M.Boxall

Players from both sides were fired up as minutes after the goal, a scuffle broke at the other end of the pitch when a Wellington player appeared to be dragged down in the box and Janjetovic jumped on the ball to save a goalmouth scramble. Tempers flared as the sets of players confronted each other resulting in bookings to Matt Jurman, Vedran Janjetovic and Ben Sigmund.

There was no question about Del Piero’s second goal, after a world class free-kick was the result of a heavy challenge from Ben Sigmund on the stroke of half-time. The free-kick curled over the wall and into the top corner from the edge of the area to mark an eventful opening 45 minutes.

The game picked up where it left off in the second half, as Wellington had a chance to get back into the game after Brockie was brought down in the box ten minutes into the second half. Hernandez converted from the spot narrowing the margin to 2-1.

Sydney regained their lead in a matter of seconds as a well worked play from the kick-off was finished off after a one-two pass between Seb Ryall and Del Piero saw the defender finish off the move in style.

Sydney weren’t done yet, however, as a tremendous strike from Ali Abbas on the edge of the box rocketed into the top corner to put the hosts up 4-1 after 61 minutes. Abbas picked up the loose ball after a corner was cleared to the back of the area before a sensational goal put the result well beyond doubt.

About the author

avatarBorn and raised in Melbourne, Bill is a student journalist at Monash University and life-time fan of the round ball game.

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