Ten-man Victory no match for Sky Blues in 3-0 defeat
Sydney FC took full advantage of a first-half red card to Melbourne Victory's Elvis Kamsoba to cruise to a 3-0 Big Blue win at AAMI Park on Sunday night.
The Sky Blues went on to score all three goals after Kamsoba received his second yellow card with little over half an hour on the clock, netting once in the first half and twice in the second to take the honours in a Big Blue fixture against the flailing Victory.
Luke Brattan hammered an early long-range attempt off the post down one end and Adama Traoré did the same down the other in a goalless opening half-hour highlighted by the pair of fearsome strikes.
Elvis Kamsoba received an early booking for a challenge on Ryan McGowan before going into the book for the second time on 32 minutes, leaving a boot in late on Paulo Retre to receive his marching orders from referee Daniel Elder.
Victory first went a man down, then went a goal down when Bobô tapped home the simplest of finishes from Kosta Barbarouses' pass across the six-yard box as the Sky Blues took a one-goal lead into the break.
That lead was extended early in the second half thanks to a clinical finish from Barbarouses. The New Zealand international benefited from a smart pass from Anthony Caceres - who was everywhere for Sydney on the night - to bury his strike into the bottom left corner and hand his side a 2-0 advantage with 40 minutes to play.
Second-half substitute Alex Baumjohann made it three from a penalty in the 84th minute after a tangle of bodies in the Victory box led to VAR awarding the visitors the late spot kick. The Sky Blues maintained their advantage to the final whistle, taking all three points from their bitter rivals.
On top of Sydney's early priorities was the intention to silence an energetic home crowd at AAMI Park.
Brattan's fifth-minute thunderbolt from distance managed to do just that for the briefest of moments, as the Victory fans watched his first-time strike hammer the left-hand goalpost and hurtle out for a goal kick.
It was the first of two magnificent strikes to rattle the woodwork in the first half-hour of play, after Traoré flushed one with similar authority down the other end of the ground.
Traoré produced the impressive attempt on goal after a strong run from the halfway line toward the box, hammering his shot toward the lop left corner. Andrew Redmayne, however, was up to the challenge of tipping the swerving ball off target and onto the framework of goal, keeping the score at 0-0.
Kamsoba earned himself an early yellow card for a high boot on McGowan, catching the Sky Blues defender's face with his elevated studs. And on 32 minutes, the Victory forward's late challenge on Retre produced a second yellow from referee Daniel Elder, and suddenly the hosts were reduced to 10 men.
Sydney quickly set about capitalising on their one-player advantage, getting on the ball and pressing for an opening goal which eventually came through Bobô's easy finish. Barbarouses created the chance after a one-two played with Caceres on the right side of the 18-yard box.
Barbarouses slid the ball to Caceres who played him past Dylan Ryan toward the byline. The Kiwi forward found Bobô waiting to tap home with a low cross past Matt Acton in goal, and the Brazilian duly obliged.
Just five minutes into the second half, Sydney extended their lead thanks to a calm finish from former Victory man Barbarouses.
Caceres was involved once more, providing another cutting-edge pass to Barbarouses leading to Sydney's second goal, as the Sky Blues forward took one touch in space before burying his shot beneath Acton into the bottom-left corner.
What followed was an attacking onslaught from the visitors which could have seen Sydney go three or four goals up by the hour mark.
Barbarouses hit the post, Milos Ninkovic shot wide and headers from Baumjohann and Rhyan Grant were both kept out by committing goalkeeping and defensive efforts.
Calem Nieuwenhof emerged from the bench to call Acton into a low save with his left foot, before a drag-back in Victory's defensive penalty area led to a penalty for the visitors, after a VAR intervention. Baumjohann stepped up to the spot and shot on goal - Acton went the right way but couldn't get a glove to the ball as it nestled into the back of the net.
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Wednesday, April 7 2021
Nestrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, April 10 2021
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 3.05pm AEST
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