Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sydney adopt a Brosque approach to down Phoenix

Sydney FC stayed on top of the A-League ladder after beating Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at the Sydney Football Stadium this afternoon.

Sydney led 3-0 at half-time and survived a strong comeback by the New Zealanders in the second half.

Wellington missed a twice-taken penalty, which could have put them back in the game.

Sydney substitute John Aloisi missed three good chances in the second half which would have killed off the Phoenix challenge.

He hit the post from a Steve Corica cross and missed two sitters from close range.

Alex Brosque made all three Sydney goals and should have scored one himself late in the match but squandered a good opening.

Mark Bridge gave Sydney the lead on the quarter-hour when he collected a throw-in from the right and played a neat one-two with Brosque on the edge of the box before firing past substitute goalkeeper Reece Crowther from 14 metres for his fifth goal of the season.

Crowther had replaced regular keeper Mark Paston after just 8 minutes when he injured a hip and could not continue.

Sydney captain Corica added the second in the 31st minute after Brosque’s shot was parried by Crowther.

It was Corica’s third goal of the season.

It was 3-0 in the 35th minute when Bridge collected his second goal of the game, tapping home a simple chance created for him by the speedy Brosque, who had shown defender Ben Sigmund a clean pair of heels down the left before cutting the ball back from the byline.

Wellington were awarded a penalty on the hour after a long kick by Crowther delivered the ball into the Sydney box and Sebastian Ryall and Shannon Cole combined to foul Barbados international Paul Ifill.

Clint Bolton was beaten by Daniel’s spot-kick, but referee Jeremy Parsons ordered the kick to be retaken because of encroachment by Vince Lia.

Bolton saved the Brazilian’s second attempt to maintain Sydney’s 3-0 advantage.

In the 62nd minute, Aloisi missed a sitter from the edge of the 6-yard box following Corica’s low cross from the right, while 10 minutes later, he struck the base of the left-hand post from Brendan Gan’s low cross from the left, the ball rebounding into Crowther’s arms.

Wellington pulled a goal back in the 81st minute through substitute Costa Barbarouses, who finished off a cross from the right by Ifill.

The game was watched by a crowd of 10,653.

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