Sydney FC have come from behind to beat Adelaide United 2-1 in their rivalry round clash at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.
Sydney FC have beaten Adelaide United 2-1 in their rivalry round clash at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.
Second-half goals to Jamie Coyne and Nicky Carle gave Sydney a come-from-behind-victory after they had gone behind in the first-half due to Dario Vidosic's close-range strike.
Vidosic broke the deadlock on 36 minutes pouncing on a misplaced header from Sydney defender Michael Beauchamp to smash the ball home from point blank range.
However Sydney equalised on the hour through a powerful finish from Coyne, before taking the lead thanks to Carle's neat angled-finish.
The game was an exciting encounter that ebbed and flow with both sides having their fair share of chances, particularly in the first-half.
Sydney, a normally defensive side away from home, were doing all the attacking early courtesy of marquee signing Brett Emerton, former Qantas Socceroo Carle and young gun Terry Antonis, often pumping quick crosses into striker Bruno Cazarine.
It was the Brazilian who had the best chance in the opening stages, when he connected with Scott Jamieson cross only for his glancing header to hit the post before Karol Kisel's rebound was blocked by Reds custodian Eugene Galekovic in the 13th minute.
The Reds then took their turn to attack and were often willing to shoot from long distance to test Sydney keeper Ivan Necevski, who was making his first appearance for the Sky Blues this season following Liam Reddy's absence with injury.
Andy Slory had the best effort from distance but dragged his shot wide of the far post in the 22nd minute.
United soon made the breakthrough though on 28 minutes following a disastrous error from Sky Blues defender Michael Beauchamp.
Reds winger Iain Ramsay lofted in a cross to the far post to Sergio van Dijk who headed back across goal only for Beauchamp to intervene with a knocked-down header intended for Necevski.
The cushioned header however fell right into the path of United's marquee signing Vidosic, for the 23-year-old to smash the ball home from six yards.
The goal seemed to motivate Sydney rather than Adelaide, who got back on the front foot and began pushing forward again through the attacking trio of Emerton, Carle and Antonis.
All three had a hand in a golden chance in the 43rd minute when Emerton broke free on the counter and released Carle, only for the midfielder to hit a fierce drive into the underside of the bar before Antonis was denied on the rebound by Galekovic with a diving save.
Galekovic was again called into action moments before the end of the half when he saved from Carle who had broken free into the left-side of the box.
Momentum swung back towards Adelaide in the opening minutes of the second-half, with defender Milan Susak forcing Necevski into a full-stretched save to tip over his swinging left-foot volley on 50 minutes.
But as the match had played throughout, Sydney wrestled back control of the game following Coyne's strong¬ finish from just inside the penalty box on 60 minutes.
After some neat footwork from the ever-present and confident Antonis, the 17-year-old cut the ball back for Coyne to drive the ball home into the top right-hand corner behind a stumped Galekovic.
Despite Emerton pulling his hamstring and having to come off in the 64th minute, compounding a rough first few weeks in the Hyundai A-League for the former Blackburn Rover, Sydney were still brimming with confidence following their goal.
They almost made it 2-0 on 70 minutes, when Antonis, again pivotal on the ball, released Carle through the middle with Cazarine in support, with only a back-tracking Susak to beat.
After a series of one-twos, Cazarine was clear on goal but was again denied by the in-form Galekovic who made a smart save.
Galekovic was unable to do anything about Sydney's next effort though.
Carle, who was now spearheading the attack after Emerton and Antonis had been substituted, broke through United's defence following an intelligent through ball from Karol Kisel on 81 minutes to slide the ball past the 30-year-old and complete his side's comeback victory.
Sydney will be sweating on the fitness of Emerton, while Adelaide will need to monitor Vidosic, who came off after 52 minutes with a corked thigh.
Adelaide United 1 (Vidosic 36) Sydney FC 2 (Coyne 60, Carle 81)
Crowd: 12,054 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide