City, Sydney even in thrilling match
Melbourne City and Sydney FC have played out a thrilling, see-sawing 2-2 draw on Saturday night, in front of over 10,000 fans at AAMI Park.
A double to Sydney’s Milos Ninkovic was canceled out by goals to City defender Aaron Hughes and in-form striker Bruno Fornaroli.
City came into the match looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar last week. This week, Aaron Mooy, Ivan Franjic and Erik Paartalu were all shock exclusions from the squad, with young Ali Eyigun brought into the squad for his starting debut.
For Sydney, Graham Arnold was without Alex Brosque due to an injury he picked up in the 4-1 win over the Mariners last weekend. Young striker George Blackwood started up-front in his stead.
The game was one of the more exciting all season, with both sides playing attractive, attacking football – much to the delight of the large crowd in attendance.
Aaron Hughes opened the scoring 8 minutes from half time, heading home a corner with a clever flick-on that snuck in inside the back post.
After the break, it took just 8 minutes for Sydney to be back on level terms. Milos Ninkovic back-heeled the ball past Thomas Sorensen after some great lead-up work by Blackwood and Filip Holosko.
On the hour mark, City would re-take the lead. A fast break down the right wing allowed Harry Novillo to deliver an inch-perfect cross to Bruno Fornaroli, with the Golden Boot leader making no mistake as he placed a bullet header into the corner of the net.
City, however, couldn’t maintain their lead. In the 78th minute, Ninkovic added a second goal. A deep cross from the left wing was headed back into the danger area by Holosko, with Ninkovic on the spot to head the ball up and over Sorensen to make it 2-2.
Chances were abundant during the final 10 minutes, but neither side was able to break the deadlock.
Shane Smeltz had the best chance to win it late for Sydney, but somehow his effort from point-blank range couldn’t find the back of the net, much to the relief of the City defence.
|Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes|
|3||Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)|
|2||Harry Novillo (Melbourne City)|
|1||Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City)|
This report is condensed due to the server issues Ultimate A-League experienced on Saturday night. We apologise for the inconvenience.