Barbarouses haunts Phoenix with match-winning double for Sydney
Kosta Barbarouses bounced back into goal-scoring form with a brace to haunt his former employers as Sydney FC punished a wasteful Wellington Phoenix 2-1 on Monday night.
New Zealand international Barbarouses - who started his A-League career with the Phoenix in 2007 - struck midway through the first half against the run of play by applying a fantastic finish from Alexander Baumjohann's pass.
In doing so, the 30-year-old, without a goal in open play in more than a year, became the sixth player to reach 70 A-League goals.
Wellington enjoyed a host of opportunities to find the net, including hitting the crossbar through Ulises Davila and Louis Fenton, and unleashed 20 shots to Sydney's 7 on the night, but could not make it count until the Mexican star Davila scored a deflected consolation in stoppage time.
Phoenix were punished for their profligacy when Barbarouses netted competition goal number 71 a little past the hour mark by driving a powerful finish past Stefan Marinovic after substitute Jordi Swibel had headed on Andrew Redmayne's goal-kick.
Fenton hit the crossbar in stoppage time to send an almighty scare around Kogarah, but Sydney's excellent record over the New Zealand-based outfit continued.
The Sky Blues have only lost once to the Phoenix since the 2016/17 campaign while Phoenix boss Ufuk Talay is yet to defeat former boss and Sydney stalwart Steve Corica.
Sydney move third on the competition ladder after five matches played.
Sydney were fortunate not to be trailing inside the opening minutes after Wellington stormed out of the blocks in Kogarah. Andrew Redmayne was required to smother Clayton Lewis' effort out for a corner after a flowing Phoenix foray, while the Sydney and Australia goalkeeper came up trumps again soon after when David Ball appeared poise to capitalise from close range after Tomer Hemed had miscued Ulises Davila's cutback.
The opportunities continued to flow for the visitors. Mexican international Davila flashed a low shot wide, before Israeli striker Hemed found his radar wayward again as Wellington sprung forward on the counter attack again.
Calem Nieuwenhof glided past a few Wellington chances and teed up Patrick Wood for a big chance, but the teenager arrowed his finish inches past the bottom corner.
But Sydney had steadied after Phoenix's whirlwind start, and took the lead when a beautiful pass from Alex Baumjohann Barbarouses' diagonal run across the box, and the Kiwi hit it first time low and hard across Wellington 'keeper Stefan Marinovic. Goal number 70 in the A-League for the Kiwi.
Wellington rallied early in the second half and were only denied an equaliser by the crossbar. Davila, so often the attacking force for the Phoenix, picked up the ball in the right channel, drove forward and crashed an effort against the woodwork.
Talay's men spurned further opportunities.
Luke DeVere headed a Davila corner over after getting a free run at the ball, while Lewis blazed over the bar after second half substitute Reno Piscopo drove into the penalty box and picked out the New Zealander with a firm pass.
Sydney punished Wellington for a second time on 64 minutes with a goal of simplicity. Jordi Swibel headed Redmayne's goal-kick on, and Barbarouses took it under control and lashed it past Marinovic with his left foot.
Western United v Sydney FC
Saturday 13 February, 2021
Kick-off: 5.05pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC TV
Stream: MyFootball App, Kayo Sports
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
Sunday 14 February, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT
Venue: WIN Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports
Stream: MyFootball App, Kayo Sports
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