Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Cellar-Dwellers Sydney Stun Wellington in Capital
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 10
4:30pm, Sunday 9 December, 2012
at Westpac Stadium Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Jeremy Brockie 91')

lost to
Sydney FC 2
(Sebastian Ryall 45, Rhyan Grant 70')

Bottom-placed Sydney FC scored a rare win for a visiting team at Westpac Stadium on 9 December, downing Wellington Phoenix 2-1 to catch up to their nearest rivals in the Hyundai A-League.

The home team spurned the chance to climb into the top four, something which would have been assured by victory in this encounter. But their performance was anything but worthy of three points - Sydney, under new coach Frank Farina, were easily the better and hungrier side, and Wellington only got as close as they did after the late dismissal of captain Terry McFlynn for his second bookable offence.

The visitors could have been in front inside the opening minute. Yairo Yau led the charge down the left before feeding overlapping fullback Fabio Alves, whose near post cross saw Blake Powell only thwarted by Andrew Durante’s splendidly timed block.

Yau should have hit the target himself sixteen minutes later, ghosting in on the far post to meet a Powell free-kick on the volley. But from six yards out, he sent the ball ballooning beyond the target - Wellington ‘keeper Mark Paston should have been forced into a save at the very least.

Instead, he sent the resulting goal-kick downfield, where Paul Ifill flicked it on to Jeremy Brockie, who invited Vince Lia to take the ball on in his stride and unleash a stinging twenty-five yarder which forced the game’s first save from Sydney custodian Vedran Janjetovic.

In a game punctuated by fouls and graced by few clear-cut goalscoring opportunities, Wellington went close to breaking the deadlock on the half-hour with one of the most enterprising moves of the contest.

Tony Lochhead played the ball forward to Stein Huysegems, who held up play before laying the ball off to Alex Smith. He slipped the ball through for Ifill, who was powering forward down the left, from where he unleashed a first-time cross on the run beyond the far post, where Brockie was arriving on cue. His well-struck volley rippled the side-netting.

Sydney’s response saw them take the lead on the stroke of half-time. Jason Culina - back in the game after a decidedly lengthy absence - evaded a couple of challenges on the right en route to the by-line, from where he pinged a cross into the goalmouth.

Arriving late on the scene was Sebastian Ryall, but as far as this cross was concerned, he couldn’t have timed his appearance better - a bullet header from eight yards duly thundered past Paston, the ‘keeper rendered helpless as the defender began celebrating a rare goal.

The home team sought a swift response after the break, but could only muster one noteworthy effort, five minutes into the half. Huysegems, Lia and the overlapping Lochhead combined on half-way for the last-mentioned to angle a ball in towards Ifill. Janjetovic read the situation well, however, and saved at the striker’s feet.

Twenty minutes from time, Sydney all but sealed victory with a well-taken second goal. McFlynn’s slide-rule pass split the defence and sent Rhyan Grant careering through the inside-left channel with just Paston to beat, a task the midfielder accomplished with aplomb courtesy a stylish finish into the far corner of the net - 2-0.

Much to the chagrin of the 7,375 fans present - excluding the enthusiastic but small band of Sydney fans who made the trip east to savour the rare occasion of a decent day weather-wise in Wellington - there appeared no way back for the home team, but they were handed a lifeline five minutes from time when McFlynn was sent off for blocking a shot with his hand.

It was his second bookable offence, and while the infringement occurred just inside the penalty area, referee Kris Griffiths-Jones deemed it should be punished by a free-kick on the edge of the box, which Brockie slammed straight into the gloves of Janjetovic.

Seconds later, another Wellington free-kick from just outside the box saw Brockie chance his arm again, this time firing the set-piece inches past the diving figure of Janjetovic and the far post as well.

It was backs to the wall time for Sydney now, particularly after Adam Griffiths brought down Manny Muscat in the area in stoppage time. Brockie rammed home the penalty, and what seemed an unlikely outcome twenty minutes earlier suddenly became a distinct possibility.

Yau attempted to quell such prospects straight from the kick-off, his dazzling solo run seeing him slalom through a raft of Wellington challenges before he let fly from just inside the penalty area.

Paston tipped his shot to safety, and sparked a counter-attack which culminated in Lochhead picking out Brockie with a cross. Wellington’s leading marksman’s header looked destined to find the net, until the flailing fingertips of Janjetovic, diving to his left at full stretch, just managed to tip the ball to safety, a splendid denial which was enough to earn Sydney all three points by virtue of their 2-1 win.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 10
4:30pm, Sunday 9 December, 2012
at Westpac Stadium Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Jeremy Brockie 91')

lost to
Sydney FC 2
(Sebastian Ryall 45, Rhyan Grant 70')

    Crowd: 7,375


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Mark PASTON (gk), 7. Leo BERTOS, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Alex SMITH (16. Louis FENTON ‘54), 17. Vince LIA, 8. Paul IFILL (9. Benjamin TOTORI ‘71), 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS (12. Tyler BOYD ‘54), 11. Jeremy BROCKIE

    Substitutes not used: 30. Griffin McMASTER

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Jeremy Brockie 9, Leo Bertos 74'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. FABIO, 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 6. Jason CULINA (9. Paul REID ‘61), 8. Adam GRIFFITHS, 12. Blake POWELL (24. Hagi GLIGOR ‘89), 15. Terry McFLYNN (c), 21. Yairo YAU, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT (14. Mitch MALLIA ‘78)

    Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI

    Coach: Frank Farina

    Yellow Cards: Terry McFlynn 13, 85, Blake Powell 37, Ali Abbas 77, Adam Griffiths 91.'
    Red Cards:Terry McFlynn 85'

    Referee: Kris Griffiths Jones 6/10
    Assistant Referees: tba, tba; Fourth official: tba

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Yairo Yau (SFC)
    2. Blake Powell (SFC)
    1. Jeremy Brockie (WP)

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 4/10

    Match report and ratings: By Jeremy Ruane

No photos this time

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here are as attributed.

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