Brosque's brilliant treble powers Sydney FC past 10-man Mariners
Alex Brosque stole the show with a sparkling hat-trick as Sydney FC recovered from an early shock to crush a 10-man Central Coast Mariners 5-2 on Friday night.
Connor Pain sent a scare through Jubilee Stadium with a shock opener in the 17th-minute but Kalifa Cisse’s sending off for two quickfire offences left the Mariners exposed to a second-half onslaught.
Brosque’s dazzling treble came in a four-goal, 15-minute spell that also saw Adam Le Fondre convert his 10th of the season from the spot.
Aidan O’Neill stemmed the flow with a second Mariners goal against the run of the play but the cellar-dwellers were powerless to stop the Sky Blues from sewing up a fourth successive victory and shipped a fifth towards the end as Aaron Calver completed the rout.
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The Mariners started brightly and deservedly went ahead when Pain cut in from the left, bounced a one-two off Matt Simon and lashed past Andrew Redmayne.
Hope of an upset soon turned to frustration, though, as the experienced Cisse earned himself two yellow cards in three minutes, first for a needless handball and then for a rash challenge on Siem de Jong.
The visitors reached half-time without damage but their lead always appeared shaky and Brosque restored parity with an impudent backheel in the 49th minute, but Le Fondre won and converted his own spot-kick to become the fastest player to double figures in Hyundai A-League history.
Brosque then notched twice more – his third of the night a delightful chip of Ben Kennedy – before midfielder O’Neill continued the goal rush by tucking away the impressive Matt Millar’s intelligent squared pass at the other end.
But it was Steve Corica’s side who would have the final say, the Premiers returning to the top of the table on goal difference thanks to Calver’s expert volley from Josh Brillante’s cross in the 90th minute.
Recap all the action as it unfolded in our LIVE BLOG below!