Gold Coast goes top

Gold Coast United are back on top of the Hyundai A-League after an impressive 1-0 victory over Sydney FC at the SFS on Sunday.

Gold Coast United are back on top of the Hyundai A-League after an impressive 1-0 victory over Sydney FC at the SFS on Sunday.

United's Joel Porter was the hero with a clinical finish inside the first 20 minutes to make it three wins from three against the Sky Blues this season.

Sydney threw everything into attack in the final 20 minutes but was unable to fashion enough clear-cut chances to get back into a hard-fought clash.

Gold Coast began sharply in front of 14,941 fans on a perfect day for football. They were first to the ball and created plenty of openings - the best falling to Shane Smeltz but the Kiwi hitman failed to connect with the ball inside the box.

But on 18 minutes Porter connected perfectly after Tahj Minniecon drifted inside and played him in. His angled finish went under Sydney FC keeper Clint Bolton for a 1-0 lead to the visitor.

The tricky Minniecon was causing havoc in wide positions and Jason Culina imperious in midfield for United. Further efforts on goal to Zenon Caravella and Culina's audacious lob from just inside Sydney's half underlined the visitor's confidence.

John Aloisi created the few opportunities for Sydney - his best a low drive flashing just wide of Jess Van Strattan's left post.

And five minutes before the break a rehearsed free kick on the edge of the box found Mark Bridge who opened up Gold Coast's defence with a ball across the box. The danger was averted and from the resulting corner, Simon Colosimo found himself in space but his chip across the goal-line was scrambled clear by Gold Coast.

The Sky Blues began to regain some authority heading into the break but it was the visitor with the precious 1-0 lead.

Sydney went on the offensive from the start of the second term and a well-worked build up saw midfielder Terry McFlynn in the wars after jumping for a cross with Van Strattan.

Porter carved out his own chance with a curling shot just wide of Bolton's post while Culina fed Kristian Rees brilliantly as the chances continued to flow at both ends.

Young Sydney striker Chris Payne came on for Bridge on the hour mark as Sydney searched for answers in front of goal.

Chances fell to Smeltz and Michael Thwaite for the visitor while a header to hard-working Aloisi went close for the home side.

And 85th Sydney substitute Rhyan Grant could've been an instant hero but he just failed to connect with a set-piece after Stephan Keller caused havoc in the United box.

It was a desperate final few minutes as the home side poured forward but Gold Coast didn't sit back and Bas Van Den Brink could've finished off the home side in time added on after a bursting run.

The big defender butchered the chance but Gold Coast held on for a crucial win.

Sydney FC 0 Gold Coast United 1 (Porter 18)