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Sydney FC rescue A-L point against City

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/12/2016 Emma Kemp

A 10-man Sydney FC have avoided their first A-League defeat and their second to Melbourne City in 10 days, saved by a late Bobo penalty that cancelled out Fernando Brandan's first-half screamer.

The Sky Blues, out for revenge after being bettered by their interstate rivals in last week's FFA Cup final, mostly controlled Friday night's rematch at ANZ Stadium but again lacked the attacking ruthlessness to put City away.

What they did do is secure an important point that keeps them undefeated in 10 weeks and six points clear ahead of John van 't Schip's men at the summit.

The 1-1 stalemate lacked a crowd - 14,668 turned up - but wasn't short of drama as Sydney had a goal rightly disallowed and a penalty appeal waved away, while Brandan offered this weekend's diving antics when he hit the deck after Rhyan Grant made contact with his head in the second half.

All that was before Josh Brillante was given his marching orders 20 minutes from time following a second yellow card for a late challenge on Neil Kilkenny.

How Sydney were not ahead at the break was anyone's guess as they moved forward dangerously and opened up City's vulnerable defence with ease.

The industrious Grant could have scored more than once and would have nicked the opener had his strike not been disallowed after it caught Bobo's hip in an offside position on the way to the net.

Perhaps spurred by the near-concession, City's Nicolas Colazo took a brilliant free kick that hit the far post as Sky Blues goalkeeper Danny Vukovic watched helplessly.

The Argentine continued his superb form to set countryman Brandan up for an opening goal that was just as stunning as it was unlikely.

Against the run of play, Brandan ran on to Colazo's through ball, took a deft touch surrounded by Sky Blues shirts and blasted a brutal strike from outside the box.

Sydney, behind for just the second time this season, scrambled for an equaliser that would have promptly arrived only for Dean Bouzanis to smartly deny Milos Dimitrijevic's free kick.

Coach Graham Arnold was then incensed as cries for a penalty were waved away when Seb Ryall went down inside the box, his frustration only swelling when referee Kris Griffiths-Jones called back play for a foul on Bobo while Sydney had a clear vantage point.

Arnold, also frustrated by Filip Holosko's ineffectiveness, dragged his marquee off on the hour mark and installed the lively Bernie Ibini.

When Brillante copped his second yellow card on 73 minutes, they chased they game a man down and Bobo finally found joy by milking a soft penalty after Jakobsen grabbed his shirt.

Despite Tim Cahill's introduction with six minutes remaining, there would be no breakthrough for either team.

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