Brosque fires Sydney

Sydney FC will go into Christmas with a share of the A-League competition lead after a 1-0 win over Central Coast at the SFS.

Sydney FC will go into Christmas with a share of the A-League competition lead after a 1-0 win over Central Coast at the SFS.

A superb Alex Brosque goal after 34 minutes separated the two sides following a game featuring some flashes of quality football mixed with periods of junk.

The win - Sydney's eight from 10 matches at home - places them equal with Melbourne at the A-League summit on 35 points, the Victory's superior goal tally nosing them in front with a game in hand.

It's all bad news for the Central Coast, a fourth consecutive loss for the first time in the club's history leaving it vulnerable to teams just behind it outside the top six.

The healthy Christmas crowd of 12,869 saw a lot of sweat early without much sign of fluent football on a pitch soddened by a pre-game dousing from the sprinkler system.

Central Coast fashioned the first real chance on 10 minutes, striker Dylan Macallister just failing to get a meaningful touch on Shane Huke's teasing low cross.

Sydney was trying to play football but it just wasn't flowing for them until a rare piece of enterprise at the 19-minute mark.

Steve Corica hit a low pass into the edge of the box which Brosque neatly dummied for Mark Bridge while making a run into the penalty area.

Bridge's first-time pass picked up Brosque's run but the recalled Socceroos striker dragged his shot wide of the left post.

His moment would, however, soon arrive.

A beach ball made its way across the Mariners penalty area, invoking memories of the infamous Anfield goal, as Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna exploded into a rage over his side's inability to impose itself on the game.

His mood darkened further on 34 minutes.

Terry McFlynn picked up the ball coming out of defence and hit an exquisite pass to Brosque with the outside of his right boot.

The spin on the ball placed it perfectly in Brosque's path at the edge of the area and his trusty left foot did the rest, hitting it first time to beat Danny Vukovic at his near post.

There will be better individual goals in the A-League this season but Brosque's goal - his sixth of the campaign - will take some beating for pure artistry.

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek, watching from the SBS, could not fail to be impressed.

Perhaps inspired by some choice words from McKinna at the break, the Mariners returned with greater purpose and a desire to hold the ball instead of hoofing it thoughtlessly downfield.

There were still seven in defence at times but at least the visitors looked they were willing to take a few risks in search of an equaliser.

Sky Blues custodian Clint Bolton had a quiet night but was called into action on 52 minutes, getting down low in a crouched position to block Macallister's path to goal.

There were yellow cards for Alex Wilkinson and Nigel Boogaard as the Mariners' frustration began to surface as the half wore on, with McKinna going to his bench in the quest for answers.

Karol Kisel, one of Sydney's best, was starting to ask questions of his own, running at defenders and opening up opportunities.

He worked his way into the box on 71 minutes, only to be robbed off possession and watching as the ball fell to Corica.

The skipper latched onto the rebound but was denied by a defender diving in at his feet.

Bridge wasted two decent chances while Brosque could have added to his tally but hit his effort straight at Vukovic in the 75th minute.

It mattered little in the end as Sydney parcelled up the three points despite some frenzy around their goalmouth in the dying stages.

Sydney FC 1 Brosque (34m)

Central Coast 0