Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sydney and Melbourne draw 3-3 in an A-League thriller

Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory drew 3-3 in a thrilling A-League match at Sydney Football Stadium this evening before 12,106 fans.

Sydney led 1-0 at half-time and 2-0 after 53 minutes, but Melbourne hit back to lead 3-2 with just 17 minutes remaining.

An 85th-minute free-kick taken by Sydney substitute Shannon Cole made it 3-3, but only a goal-line clearance in stoppage time by Melbourne’s Roddy Vargas enabled the visitors to earn a point.

Sydney took the lead in the 36th minute when Kevin Muscat dallied on the ball inside his own penalty area and was dispossessed by Mark Bridge, who squared the ball for Alex Brosque to smash home.

Terry McFlynn headed Sydney’s second in the 53rd minute after Evan Berger allowed a flicked-on cross from the left to bounce past him.

Two goals in two minutes then drew Melbourne level, while a third six minute later put Melbourne ahead.

In the 66th minute, a quick free-kick by Muscat put Tom Pondeljak away on the right and his cross found Leigh Broxham, whose first touch was not good but the ball rolled past keeper Reddy and into the net to put Melbourne back into contention.

A minute later, Pondeljak again floated the ball over from the right and Mate Dugandzic brought the ball down expertly with his right foot, turned and slotted it home to make it 2-2.

In the 73rd minute, a quick counter-attack by Melbourne saw Dugandzic through on the left and, despite being surrounded by three defenders, he kept a cool head and squared the ball to the edge of the 6-yard box for Billy Celeski to tap home and give the visitors the lead.

Brosque and Bridge had missed two excellent second-half chances for Sydney, but the home side managed an equaliser five minutes from the end after Muscat, who was celebrating his birthday today, gave away a hotly-disputed free-kick.

Substitute Shannon Cole scored direct from the set-piece with virtually his first touch of the ball.

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