Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

A glimmer of hope for Sydney
By Stephen Webb

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 16
5pm, Sunday 13 January, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 2
(Brett Emerton 85’, Rhyan Grant 93')
Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Richard Garcia 24')

(Photo by Stephen Webb for BOTN)

Sydney FC scored two goals in the last ten minutes — Rhyan Grant’s winner coming in stoppage time — to lift the Sky Blues off the bottom of the table and provide a glimmer of hope for a run at the finals.

Heart looked comfortable for most the match — Sydney were a shambles — but dropped deeper defending their lead as the game wore on and Sydney, revitalised after a second half substitution, gained momentum and the Melbourne side didn’t know what had hit them.

Sydney started with two good runs toward the Heart goal but the first shot came from the visitors: Nicholas Kalmar curling a shot from the left toward the far post but soft enough for Vedran Janjetovic to dive and collect. Well held, nevertheless, considering the wet conditions.

Ali Abbas headed off down the middle toward the Heart penalty area but stumbled and fouled in his struggle to regain possession.

Players were using the wet surface to aid their sliding tackles.

Fred shot to the left of goal after Peter Triantis fouled him and referee Peter O’Leary allowed play to go on.

Simon Colosimo made two good defensive headers, Brett Emerton, Alessandro Del Piero and Trent McClenahan worked some good triangles down the right but their opponents Kalmar and Aziz Behich made fools of the Sydney defence down Heart’s left and into Sydney’s penalty area.

Yairo Yau wasted a good build up by Jason Culina and Del Piero and some guys behind me said it was a good thing the A-League didn’t have relegation.

Kalmar got a return from a free kick to Fred and crossed from the left to the far post where Richard Garcia rose over Grant and headed in a goal for Heart. A very neat goal.

Del Piero tapped a ball through for Emerton who poked the ball into the legs of some Heart defenders. Soon Emerton was crossing high and wide. While coach Frank Farina chewed gloomily under his umbrella.

Del Piero flicked the ball up and on for Yau, as though Yau had Del Piero’s skills to deal with it.

Del Piero delivered a good ball to the feet of Yau on the edge of the Heart box but Yau tensed and couldn’t release his shot until he was shut down.

Garcia fired a shot high. It was worth a try given how often Sydney were turning over possession.

Culina blasted a shot into Simon Colosimo. Patrick Gerhardt and Matt Thompson squeezed down Del Piero as he turned to goal in the Heart penalty area.

A Heart player slipped and put the ball over the sideline. “It’s a bottom of the table clash, isn’t it?”

Emerton, Del Piero and McClenahan were all free, wide open, on Sydney’s right flank but there was no switch from the left.

Sydney had two on one against Kalmar but still couldn’t beat him.

Del Piero had been talking to the bench, seemingly complaining about Yau; but it turned out he wanted more support up front, since Abbas was (unhappily) withdrawn to bring on Blake Powell.

Culina dropped into the holding position and Triantis went left.

Grant went for a long run with the ball and delivered to Powell, who won a corner that was kept out by numbers of Heart bodies at the near post.

A Del Piero free kick was headed into goal by an offside Sebastian Ryall.

Del Piero on the left returned the ball to Triantis who attempted a difficult curl over the top right corner of goal.

Yao on the right crossed to Triantis who relayed to Del Piero, who turned and shot — it seemed a certain goal but was deflected for a corner.

Fred blasted high after a Heart free kick for Grant hugging Garcia.

In the 57th minute Garcia was allowed to run and play a one-two with Matt Thompson. He shot low and Janjetovic saved, falling to his right.

Triantis, who had played so well in his two previous appearances, had been having a dog. He was replaced by former skipper Terry McFlynn. The game changed. Initially McFlynn took the left midfield spot but soon switched with Culina.

Del Piero couldn’t beat Walker as he entered the top left corner of the Heart penalty area. But a through ball from McFlynn found Yau, whose shot was deflected for a corner.

In the 70th minute Yau beat Gerhardt and Walker on the Heart goal line before crossing to Emerton who missed a gift.

McClenahan headed down to Andrew Redmayne on a Fabio cross from the left.

Sydney still were playing like they hardly ever trained together but they could smell blood. Heart were on the back foot.

McFlynn put a beautiful ball over to the right of the Heart box for Emerton unmarked. Emerton had to beat three players plus Redmayne at his near post — but he equalised for Sydney!

Grant headed wide. There were four minutes of time added on. Sydney kept piling on the pressure.

A McFlynn cross was nodded out to Del Piero on the left of the Heart penalty area. Del Piero’s low chip zeroed in on Grant’s head. There was little for Grant to do but score. Miraculously, amazingly, Sydney were in front.

Jonathan Germano took Heart’s first and final corner. Corner cleared. Sydney had won.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 16
5pm, Sunday 13 January, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 2
(Brett Emerton 85’, Rhyan Grant 93')
Melbourne Heart FC 1
(Richard Garcia 24')

    Crowd: 13,125


    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall 3. Fabio (28. Aaron Calver +77’), 6. Jason Culina, 7. Brett Emerton, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 18. Trent McClenahan, 21. Yairo Yau, 22. Alia Abbas (12. Blake Powell +39’), 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis (15. Terry McFlynn +59’)

    Substitutes not used: 33. Matthew Nash (rgk)

    Coach: Frand Farina

    Yellow Cards: Peter Triantis 47, Rhyan Grant 54'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Heart FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Fred (27. Stefan Mauk +72’), 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matt Thompson, 10. Josip Tadic (9. Dylan Macallister +77’), 11. Richard Garcia, 13. Jonathan Germano, 16. Aziz Behich, 22. Nicholas Kalmar (17. Jason Hoffman +77’), 25. Jeremy Walker.

    Substitutes not used: 1. Clint Bolton (rgk)

    Coach: John Aloisi

    Yellow Cards: Patrick Gerhardt 65, Andrew Redmayne 68, Aziz Behich 88'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter O’Leary 6/10
    Assistant Referees: Scott Edeling, Owen Goldrick; Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths Jones

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Richard Garcia (Melbourne Heart)
    2. Jason Culina (Sydney FC)
    1. Simon Colosimo (Melbourne Heart)

    Pitch rating: 6/10

    Game rating: 5/10

    Match report, photos and ratings: Stephen Webb

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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