Round 20 Mid Split Review: Sydney roast City to home in on home Semi

By Jeremy Ruane
With compliments of

HAL Round Review

Sydney FC are just two wins away from scoring a home semi-final after thrashing Melbourne City 4-0 at AAMI Park, where those present saw Daniel Arzani provide plenty of inspiration for the home team.

All the finishing power belonged to the visitors, however, Bobo opening the scoring from the penalty spot – via Dean Bouzanis and the underside of the crossbar – on the half-hour after City’s goalkeeper had felled Alex Brosque.

Milos Ninkovic struck a twenty yard gem two minutes before half-time to put Sydney firmly in the box seat, and when Bobo headed home a Michael Zullo cross twenty minutes into the second half, the writing was on the wall for the home team.

A Bouzanis blunder let in Bobo soon after, but his unselfish bid to set up Ninkovic for a tap-in saw a glorious chance spurned. Unperturbed, Sydney came again, and eleven minutes from time another Zullo cross was this time headed home by Adrian Mierzejewski, on a night City striker Bruno Fornaroli made his long-awaited return to action, and had a goal ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

It wasn’t a good weekend for the Victorian representatives, as Melbourne Victory also finished on the wrong end of the scoreline, Brisbane Roar rolling them 2-1 in front of 14,576 fans at AAMI Park.

Massimo Maccarone gave the visitors a flying start with a seventh minute opener, which was built on just shy of the half-hour by Brett Holman as Brisbane, fielding the oldest side in Australian domestic history, made that experience count on the scoreboard.

Melbourne sought a way back into the contest, and substitute James Troisi’s twenty-five yard missile seven minutes from time gave them hope. But they couldn’t muster an equaliser, and they are now looking nervously over their shoulders at Western Sydney Wanderers.

They wrapped up this week’s truncated round of action by thumping a pitiful Wellington Phoenix combination 4-0 at ANZ Stadium – the second week in a row the New Zealand team has been on the wrong end of that scoreline.

But for the efforts of Dylan Fox, things could have been much worse for the league’s cellar dwellers. The defender was one of only a couple of Wellington players who did justice to his club’s shirt in this encounter, on a night Oriol Riera headed the home team in front after six minutes.

The visitors could have drawn level either side of the break when Andrija Kaludjerovic went close with a couple of efforts, but even a goal would have flattered Wellington on this occasion, so woeful was their display. John Kosmina was calling for them to be axed from the competition during the week, and displays of this ineptitude will do nothing to stave off such calls.

After going close on numerous occasions, Wests finally doubled their tally just after the hour mark through Michael Thwaite, while Chris Ikonomidis and substitute Jaushua Sotirio joined in the fun before the final whistle as Wellington capitulated in front of 7,127 fans.

Wests welcome Newcastle to Spotless Stadium on Friday night to kick off the rest of this split round of action, which sees two matches on Saturday. Adelaide entertain Central Coast at Coopers Stadium after Wellington and Perth meet at Westpac Stadium in the latest “distance derby”. There are no games scheduled on Sunday.


Match details

Melbourne City FC 0 – Sydney FC 4 (Bobo (32 pen, 65), M. Ninkovic (43), A. Mierzejewski (79)); HT 0-2

Melbourne Victory FC 1 (J. Troisi (83)) – Brisbane Roar FC 2 (M. Maccarone (7), B. Holman (28)); HT 0-2

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 4 (O. Riera (6), M. Thwaite (63), C. Ikonomidis (72), J. Sotirio (82)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 0; HT 1-0


League ladder

P W D L F A GD Pts

Sydney FC 20 15 4 1 50 14 +36 49

Newcastle Jets 19 11 4 4 41 22 +19 37

Melbourne City 20 10 3 7 30 26 +4 33

Adelaide United 19 8 4 7 22 23 -1 28

Melbourne Victory 20 7 5 8 28 30 -2 26

Western Sydney 19 6 7 6 24 31 -7 25

Brisbane Roar 20 6 4 10 24 31 -7 22

Perth Glory 19 6 1 12 23 39 -16 19

Central Coast 19 3 7 9 19 27 -8 16

Wellington Phoenix 19 3 5 11 22 40 -18 14