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City stand tall to secure narrow win

Melbourne City has consolidated its place in the top six with a hard fought 1-0 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney went into the match on the back of a four game winning streak, thanks largely to in-form striker Mark Janko, who last week set an A-League record of scoring in seven consecutive games.

Melbourne City, meanwhile, put four past the Newcastle Jets last week in a confidence-boosting win to put them back in the hunt for a top six finish.

The away team started without three of its most important players, with Harry Novillo missing through illness, while Josh Kennedy and David Williams were both missing with slight niggles.

Ten minutes into the match, Mark Janko almost gave Sydney the lead after finding space in the area, but his shot smacked into the upright.

After the first five minutes, which belonged to City, Sydeny took control of the middle stages of the half playing some good passes and working into some good positions.

However, the only other real chance of the half came in injury time with Robi Koren hitting the crossbar after forcing a fingertip save from Janjetovic.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Fri Mar 20, 2015, 7:40 PMStadium Allianz StadiumAttendance 11,638Referee Chris Beath

Sydney

Yellow Card82′ M.Janko

Melb. City

Yellow Card29′ P.RetreYellow Card35′ K.JaliensYellow Card60′ J.ClisbyGoal81′ J.BrownYellow Card87′ T.Velaphi

Besides Janko and Koren’s shots, the first half lacked any real excitement with chances coming few and far between for either side.

Three minutes into the second half, Dugandzic had a great chance to put Melbourne ahead, but his shot sailed well over the cross bar. Germano beat his man and set up Dugandzic in the middle of the box for one of the best passages of play of the match.

City started the second stanza on the front foot, attacking from the outset, but Sydney managed to weather the brief storm before creating a few chances of their own.

Bernie Ibini had a brilliant chance for the Sky Blues, but his shot also cannoned into the woodwork. The Socceroo beat Jaliens for pace and latched onto a long-range pass before his shot was saved by Velaphi and then ricocheted out off the post.

For all Ibini’s stunning pace and skill, he failed to see the completely free Mark Janko who was screaming for the ball in the box, in what would have resulted in a certain goal had he sent the ball Janko’s way.

As the match progressed, it become an open affair with both sides moving forward well, however neither side was able to complete the final, polished ball into the box.

Fifteen minutes from time, substitute Shane Smeltz was handed a great chance by way of a superb cross from Dimitrijevic, but he too failed to score — his shot going just wide of the goal.

With just ten minutes to go, Melbourne City finally broke the deadlock through James Brown. Mooy’s through ball set up Brown after a brilliant run through the middle of the park to find himself one-on-one with the keeper. Brown then danced his way around the advancing Janjetovic before finishing into the open net.

Massimo Murdocca almost doubled the lead just a minute from time with a long range effort that took a deflection before going just wide of the upright.

City, though, managed to hold on after four minutes of injury time to record a hugely important win, while Sydney FC will be ruing a disappointing performance that resulted in their first loss in ten matches.

 

Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Patrick Kisnorbo (Melbourne City)
2 Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City)
1 Bernie Ibini (Sydney FC)
Youth Bernie Ibini (Sydney FC)

About the author

avatarBen is a Journalism graduate, a Melbourne Victory fan and contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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Comments

  • britesparke

    Melbourne City demonstrated that with good defence (Kisnorbo) and attacking midfield options (Mooy) they can be a match for anyone. Their only problem is inconsistency and themselves.Sydney FC’s unbeaten run has ended through good teamwork and patience, It is surprising to me that Melbourne City are not higher up on the ladder.