Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 8

Sydney edged back into top 6
By Stephen Webb

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 20
5:00pm, Sunday 10 February, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 2
(Alessandro Del Piero 7', Peter Triantis 69')
Brisbane Roar FC
(Besart Berisha 45'+1 pen)

Sydney edged back into the top six, overcoming Brisbane in an unattractive match, which saw Peter Triantis score his first A-League goal and Alessandro Del Piero bedazzle Brisbane and the 14,000-strong crowd.

The game as a whole, however, was characterised by sloppiness from both sides, starting from Brisbane losing the ball from kick-off and Del Piero turning it over immediately.

Up front for Sydney Blake Powell was a rarity: consistently good. And nearly had a chance after a corner from the left in the opening minutes.

Del Piero of course was regularly fouled but nevertheless drew first blood after receiving a neat ball from Powell. The Italian master turned Ivan Franjic twice and slotted the ball home to Michael Theo’s right.

“He’s worth every cent they paid for him,” said the woman sitting in front of me.

Then the master turned klutz and lofted a corner far over the players assembled in the penalty area.

Normal service resumed and Del Piero from the left of the Brisbane penalty area crossed despite the attention of four opponents and Brett Emerton nearly volleyed Sydney’s second goal.

Sydney were applying a lot of pressure, Emerton was looking more athletic than usual, and Vedran Janjetovic had to get down to save a shot from Stefan Nijland.

The Cove sang a ditty about Besart Berisha’s mother, Emerton collected a yellow card for a lazy trip, and Luke Brattan doubled over after blocking a shot from Del Piero.

In the 22nd minute Mitchell Nichols was allowed too much space on a cross from the right of the box and hit a good shot, drawing a reflex save from Janjetovic.

Rhyan Grant was strong getting into the right side of Brisbane’s box but the shot that followed was disappointing.

A Brisbane shot was deflected for a corner, which was wasted, but Thomas Broich put a lovely lob over the top of Sydney’s defence, providing Brisbane with an excellent chance ruined by the flag of the assistant referee.

Ali Abbas and Triantis were very sharp, making timely interceptions, but somehow Brisbane looked more likely to score.

Del Piero sent Powell goal-ward but he was felled by Jade North (and not for the first time). The free kick was cleared and Fabio rushed a shot toward the left corner flag.

The last 15 minutes of the first half were dull.

Brattan fouled Del Piero and Del Piero’s free kick cannoned off the wall for another corner.

Powell continued to be a good target and Triantis made a couple of avoidable errors, one of which gave Brisbane the possession that led to their goal.

Sydney couldn’t clear the ball from a goal-box scramble, Fabio stuck out a leg to block a ball from Nijland, and Nijland leapt over the leg to secure a penalty. Which was converted by Berisha.

Nijland and referee Ben Williams (whose decisions already had earned the wrath of the Sydney fans) were subjected to jeering thereafter. Several people around me referred to recent reports of corruption in Australian sport.

Five minutes into the second half Del Piero was surprised to find himself in the Brisbane penalty area and not offside but beat Theo to the ball and delivered a fine cross from the goal line. Powell was waiting but Franjic cleared.

Play continued to be scrappy. Very scrappy. With Sydney players and fans frustrated by what they saw as a series of dubious decisions against them.

Janjetovic made a good save against an offside Berisha, Grant hit a gentle, low shot to Theo on a lay back after Powell gave Theo a scare, and a Broich shot from outside the box bounced off Janjetovic’s chest.

The entrance of Joel Chianese and Terry Antonis increased the stress for Brisbane’s defence. There was much pressure on Theo and his backs but errors from both sides were mostly unforced. Triantis was a good example: one minute brilliant, next minute ... what was he thinking!

Chianese embarrassed Theo, catching him on the ball, which fortunately for Brisbane fell safely. But Theo was rattled and kicked the ball out over the sideline.

Emerton, left of goal, knocked a shot very wide but Triantis’ scored with a ripper. A cross from Del Piero on the left was headed only to the edge of the area, where Triantis pounced and launched a fierce drive into the bottom left corner of goal.

Chianese fouled Berisha on the edge of the Sydney penalty area but Sydney read Broich’s free kick better than Brisbane and cleared easily.

Nichols fouled Del Piero, whose free kick rebounded off the crossbar.

Janjetovic had to rush out of his area to clean up after an error by Tiago Calvano, a shot from Nijland went close, and Del Piero made a wonderful turn to play through for Antonis but the pass was just too firm and ran on to Theo.

“Imagine if we had Joel [Griffiths] this week; we’d have at least four goals.”

In the 89th minute an offside decision and a yellow card ruined Brisbane’s celebrations for an equaliser.

In four minutes of stoppage time Del Piero was fouled on the edge of the Brisbane area and Theo saved the free kick.

Brisbane were disappointing. Broich was more out of the game than in it. Nichols, especially in the first half, made their best contribution.

Surpassing everyone, however, was the genius of Del Piero. Not only did he score his 11th goal for the season, a Sydney record, he often chased back, doing his own defensive work, sometimes clearing from the penalty area.

It might have been patchy but Sydney’s commitment was undeniable. With a little stability they could even cling to that top six spot.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 20
5:00pm, Sunday 10 February, 2013
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 2
(Alessandro Del Piero 7', Peter Triantis 69')
Brisbane Roar FC
(Besart Berisha 45'+1 pen)

    Crowd: 14,589


    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Adam Griffiths, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 12. Blake Powell (16. Joel Chianese 60’), 13. Tiago Calvano, 22. Ali Abbas (17. Terry Antonis 59’), 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis.

    Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan Necevski (rgk), 9. Paul Reid

    Coach: Frank Farina

    Yellow Cards: Brett Emerton 7’, Vedran Janjetovic 45’, Ali Abbas 49’, Joel Chianese 80’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael Theo (gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto (15. James Donachie 69’), 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 9. Stefan Nijland (25. George Lambadaridis 75’), 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 17. Mitchell Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan (11. Ben Halloran 73’), 19. Jack Hingert, 22. Thomas Broich.

    Substitutes not used: 20. Matt Acton (rgk)

    Coach: Mike Mulvey

    Yellow Cards: van Franjic 35’, Besart Berisha 88’'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Ben Williams 6/10
    Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields, Owen Goldrick; Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Alessandro Del Piero (Sydney)
    2. Blake Powell (Sydney)
    1. Peter Triantis (Sydney)
    (Honourable mentions to Rhyan Grant and Ali Abbas)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 5 /10

    Match report, photos and ratings: By 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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