Sunday 25 February 2018 / 04:39 AM


Sydney FC all but wrapped up top spot on the table with a win over Melbourne, while the rest of the top six continued to jostle for space in Round 22 of the A-League. Here’s our take on the action.

Sydney one step closer to premiership trophy

Sydney FC are on the verge of securing top spot as the end of the season nears, thanks to a 1-0 win over nearest rivals Melbourne Victory. After a tight first half, played out on a soaking Allianz Stadium, Brazilian forward Bobo struck the killer blow for FC on 50 minutes with a half volley inside the six-yard box. Victory had their chances as well, with All Whites whizz Marco Rojas causing chaos for defenders with his energetic drives towards goal and constant movement off the ball, but the visitors couldn’t find the back of the net. The win puts Sydney 11 points clear with only 15 available from the remaining games this season.

Phoenix blow lead twice to draw

Despite enjoying a 2-0 and then 3-1 lead in their match against the Perth Glory, the Phoenix collapsed to a 3-3 tie which leaves them two points adrift of sixth place. Strikes from Gui Finkler and Roy Krishna inside the first half hour had Wellington in control, but Andy Keogh’s goal on 34 minutes gave Perth some reason to believe. After Kosta Barbarouses scored to open to the second half the Nix were up 3-1, but were dominated from that point on as Perth bossed possession and clawed back via goals to Adam Taggart and Diego Castro

Stalemate enough to keep Wanderers sixth

Western Sydney and Adelaide are the A-League’s two worst attacking teams in terms of goals scored, so it was little surprise to see their clash at Spotless Stadium end in a 0-0 draw. Wanderers created plenty of chances but couldn’t capitalise, with United keeper Daniel Margush being called upon to produce a number of quality saves to keep his side in the match. Lachlan Scott had a great scoring opportunity in the first half for Western Sydney, while Terry Antonis struck the woodwork with a stoppage-time free kick. It was a brutal encounter through most of the 90 minutes, with eight yellow cards shown by referee Kris Griffiths-Jones, five of which came in the final 20 minutes.

Drama surrounds City win

A Bruno Fornaroli double lifted Melbourne City to a 3-2 win over 10-man Central Coast on Sunday, in a result which keeps City third on the A-League ladder. The match was headlined by goals and controversy, with City racing out to a commanding 2-0 lead after just 16 minutes, thanks to a Fornaroli free-kick and an own goal from Mariners captain Nick Montgomery. But goals either side of the half-time break from Fabio Ferreira – and another own goal, this time from Melbourne’s Ruon Tongyik – saw Central Coast draw even. But the joy was short lived, with Mariners keeper Paul Izzo giving away a penalty and being sent from the field for a rugby-style tackle on Fornaroli, with the Uruguayan then converting from the spot to win the match.

Roar comeback downs Jets

Newcastle couldn’t have hoped for a better start on Sunday, going up 1-0 after just 10 minutes, but ultimately fumbled away an opportunity to inch closer to the top six in losing 3-1 to the Brisbane Roar. After Andrew Nabbout converted from the penalty spot for the initial lead, the Jets’ day soured in spectacular fashion when captain Jason Hoffman was marched from the field on the half hour mark following consecutive yellow cards. Newcastle put on a brave front for the next 30 minutes, before Brisbane hit the lead thanks to a pair of goals from Jamie Maclaren in the 62nd and 74th minutes. Nineteen-year-old substitute Nicholas D’Agostino had only been on the field for one minute when he capped off the result with a 90th-minute strike, which doubled as his first A-League goal. The win sees Brisbane fourth on the ladder, one point ahead of the chasing Perth Glory.

[YouTube – A-League TV]

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