Sydney FC scores epic victory
Ten-man Sydney FC staged a brave rearguard action to beat Melbourne Victory 3-2 in a pulsating A-League clash at Allianz Stadium.
The fixture between the league's most fierce rivals that has come to be known as the "Big Blue" had everything including a red card to Marc Warren that left Sydney with a man short for more than an hour.
The match had an explosive start when Sydney took the lead in its first attack after two minutes.
A long punt from goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic was flicked backwards by a Victory defender and Richard Garcia won the race for the ball with Nathan Coe to slot the ball home.
Brett Emerton should have made it two a few minutes later when he headed wide from an excellent position.
But Sydney went further ahead on 14 minutes when a defensive header rebounded off Seb Ryall's face and into the net.
Sydney's joy was shortlived because ace striker Archie Thompson scored with a simple tap-in after being excellently served by Connor Pain.
Pain's pace was causing Sydney all sorts of problems and after 24 minutes he drew a foul from Warren when he was clear on goal and the defender was rightly sent off.
Sydney was made to pay an even heavier price for Warren's indiscetion because James Troisi's subsequent free kick took a wicked deflection and the ball ended up in the net.
Two-all with not even half an hour gone!
It should have been more a few moments later because Victory captain Mark Milligan missed the post with a low shot when he should have done much better.
Victory defender Pablo Contreras amazingly charged into Alessandro Del Piero when no danger appeared and gave away a penalty and the Italian superstar duly obliged by putting Sydney back in front.
Victory came out firing in the second half and Janjetovic did well to turn a low drive from Adama Traore to corner.
Sydney defended well in numbers and relied on Del Piero to relieve the pressure with his ability to keep the ball.
With time running out goalkeeper Janjetovic came out to narrow the angle on the advancing Thompson and the striker hit the ball wide.