Sydney FC clinch clean sweep over Victory with eighth straight Big Blue
Sydney FC have withdrawn another three points from the bank of Melbourne Victory, completing a clean sweep over their oldest rivals without conceding a goal in a Big Blue this season and extending their winning streak over Victory to eight games.
The latest, a 2-0 win on Wednesday night, was among the most routine of those. It had an air of inevitability from the opening minutes when Brazilian striker Bobo tapped in the opener and had the all-too familiar sting for the visitors when their former fan favourite, Kosta Barbarouses, rubbed salt in the wounds of his old club by sealing the win late.
Bobo gets the congratulations after his tap-in put Sydney in front. Credit:Getty
The Sky Blues didn’t even need to play their full-strength side. Milos Ninkovic and Ryan McGowan were left out of the starting side ahead of Sunday’s derby against Western Sydney, while Adam Le Fondre, Bobo and Luke Brattan were given early marks.
Sydney coach Steve Corica could hardly be criticised for doing so. It had been 844 days since he had so much as surrendered a point to Victory, and the form guide suggested little was to change at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Ten minutes into the match, it became clear it wasn’t. Le Fondre’s powerful header from a corner could only be palmed away by Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton and only so far the feet of Bobo. A metre out from the line, the Brazilian scored one of the easiest goals of his career.
The combination of Bobo and Le Fondre continued to threaten, with the Englishman coming close to providing his new striker partner with another. After the half-hour mark, Le Fondre found Bobo with a delicate cross into the box but the Brazilian’s volley from close range was fired over the bar.
There was no halt to Sydney’s onslaught after the break but their rusty finishing continued to undermine their quest for a second. Barbarouses was played through on goal shortly after the restart but a slight delay to his finish gave just enough time for a defender to deflect his shot wide of the target.
It wasn’t until the 66th minute that Victory tested Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, who reacted well to palm a long-range strike from Jake Brimmer away for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, Victory came agonisingly close to drawing level. A goal-mouth scramble was nearly turned in, only for Redmayne to make a desperate clearance off his own line.
That moment was a brief interruption to the run sheet of the night. Sydney looked the more likely to score and perhaps should have through substitute Patrick Wood.
The youngster made light work of Victory’s defence with a solo run but fired straight into Acton to keep the visitors in the contest.
However, they were soon put out of their misery. Against his former club, Barbarouses sealed Sydney’s win with a cool finish in the 83rd minute, pouncing on a clever ball from substitute Ninkovic to strike a powerful finish and clinch the 2-0 win.
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