You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ten-man Sydney FC hold off chasing Roar

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC have delivered another formidable statement to their A-League rivals, standing strong with 10 men to see off Brisbane 2-0 and shoot 10 points clear at the top of the table.

The Sky Blues played a man down for nearly half an hour at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, after skipper Alex Brosque was given his marching orders following a second yellow card for clipping Luke DeVere's leg.

The Roar tried every trick in the book but couldn't peg back the deficit after earlier goals from Brosque and Milos Ninkovic - both orchestrated by Bobo - secured a lead convincing enough for Graham Arnold's side to remain undefeated after 13 games.

The result snaps the Roar's 10-match unbeaten streak and leaves John Aloisi's side 12 points adrift in third.

Brisbane had an early edge, pressing Sydney with authority in a first half more resembling a game of chess than football.

Chances came and went amid the tactical maneuvering, but Sydney made it count first on 35 minutes thanks to some excellent play - and a bit of luck.

Filip Holosko managed to re-claim the ball and lay off to Bobo after his wayward pass ricocheted off an orange shirt.

As the Brazilian took on two defenders and searched for an opening, Brosque - heading for the goal mouth - changed tack and peeled off the right.

It was a moment of intelligence that paid dividends when Bobo's well-weighted ball allowed the captain to sidefoot home.

That lifted the Sky Blues into a new gear and Brosque nearly netted a second three minutes later, denied only by goalkeeper Michael Theo after excellent service from Michael Zullo.

Jack Hingert's unpunished handball inside the box in the aftermath had Sydney coach Graham Arnold - and most of the 16,510 crowd in attendance - crying for a penalty.

They would have been more tears had it not been for Danny Vukovic's heroics just before halftime.

The Sydney gloveman, who'd earlier saved Dimi Petratos' free kick, stopped the playmaker equalising twice within a minute, first tipping a long-range shot over the bar and then pulling off a sensational one-on-one double save, blocking Petratos while on his knees and then again with an outstretched hand.

The game cracked open after the break when substitute Manuel Arana hit the crossbar and Theo made two outstanding saves, including one with his left foot.

But it was Sydney who again drew blood on 62 minutes, Ninkovic benefiting from more quick movement from Bobo to put a clinical finish past Theo.

With Brosque gone, Brisbane set up camp inside Sydney's half, but though Maclaren and Brandon Borrello found good areas, couldn't close the deficit.

"We had our chances to score and didn't take them; they had a few chances and took a couple," Aloisi said.

"When you come away from home against a top side full of confidence and still create those chances you have to be pleased, but still disappointed we came away with nothing."

Arnold felt Brosque's second yellow card was warranted and praised the character of his players.

"To win games where you have to roll your sleeves up and fight is also quality," he said.

"It might not have been the football purist's result when we went down to 10 men, but I coach my teams so they know how to defend in case we have a player sent off."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon