Marc Janko has become the first player to score in seven-consecutive Hyundai A-League matches, scoring a hat-trick as Sydney FC held off a fast-finishing Brisbane Roar 5-4 at a rainy Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
In a crazy match that saw three penalties and five goals scored in the last 15 minutes, the Sky Blues held on for a vital win which has propelled them into second spot on the ladder.
The drama started inside five minutes as Henrique opened the scoring for the visitors, before a Matt Jurman strike and Janko’s treble had them 4-1 up with 10 minutes left.
But Roar weren’t done, setting up a thrilling finish as Andrija Kaluderovic and Steven Lustica scored to get back within one before Alex Brosque seemed to make it safe with his goal in the final minute.
Again Sydney allowed Roar back into it, Dimitri Petratos getting one against his former club but it wasn’t enough as Roar missed the chance to move back into the top six.
WHAT THEY SAID
"It wasn't the way we wanted to win but we got the three points so that's the main thing. We scored five goals but to concede four at home certainly isn't good enough... It was a nice goal - on my right foot too but we got the three points that's the main thing." - Sydney FC defender Matthew Jurman
"It's not good enough, if you concede five goals you cannot expect to take anything away from the match... We conceded some soft goals and we must really work on that because if we keep playing like that we won't do anything good this season." - Brisbane Roar defender Jerome Polenz
0-1 Henrique (5’) – A sustained spell of Brisbane possession ended with Jean Carlos Solorzano slipping a clever ball in behind a square Sydney FC defence. It released Henrique who slotted the ball past Vedran Janjetovic into the far corner, although there was a suspicion the Brazilian may have been offside.
1-1 Jurman (7’) – A long ball forward from Nikola Petkovic found the head of Jurman – who had stayed forward from an earlier free-kick – on the edge of the box. Jurman nodded it down into the path of Marc Janko who couldn’t control it but it fell straight back to Jurman who blasted a shot with his weaker right foot which skimmed the crossbar on its way into the net.
2-1 Janko (38’) – The Sky Blues won a penalty as skipper Alex Brosque was brought down in the box by a poor Adam Sarota challenge. Janko sent Jamie Young the wrong way, putting it into the bottom left-hand corner to hand the Austrian the consecutive match goal-scoring record.
3-1 Janko (52’) – Bernie Ibini found Chris Naumoff free on the right, with the youngster playing a killer ball across the six-yard box was perfect for Janko to side-foot into an empty net from close range.
4-1 Janko (75’) – Janko was pushed in the back by Corey Brown to win a penalty, which he duly converted with another powerful, low strike, this time into the right corner.
4-2 Kaluderovic (80’) – Nikola Petkovic bundled into the back of James Donachie in the box handing Roar a spot kick. Substitute Kaluderovic fired it into the roof of the net for his second goal of the campaign.
4-3 Lustica (84’) – Brandon Borrello surged into the box down the right, cutting back inside of Alex Gersbach before laying the ball off to Lustica at the top of the 18-yard box. The midfielder hit a low shot which snuck in despite Janjetovic getting a glove on it.
5-3 Brosque (88’) – A mazy run by Terry Antonis ended with him releasing Shane Smeltz on the right. The Kiwi international looked up and picked out Brosque in the middle who slammed it past a helpless Young.
5-4 Petratos (90’) – Borrello was again involved with his centre failing to be cleared by the Sydney defence, with Petratos on the spot to lash it home from just six yards out.
Five minutes after the break a Roar counter attack saw Dimitri Petratos bearing down on goal. As Sky Blues keeper Vedran Janjetovic came flying out, Petratos dinked the ball over the gloveman towards goal but Jurman was back on the line to acrobatically clear the ball away to safety. Less than two minutes later the Sky Blues scored their third down the other end to make the result safe.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Herique’s goal was his first in six matches but he remains the clubs leading scorer with now eight for the season. It was just Sydney FC’s second win against Roar in their last seven meetings, both of those coming this season. It’s the fourth away match in a row Roar have scored at least two goals but it wasn’t enough as they slumped to their first loss since the return from the Asian Cup break.
Sydney FC’s marquee man Janko has been almost unstoppable since the return from the Asian Cup break and became the first player in Hyundai A-League history to find the net in seven consecutive games. Denied by an exceptional reflex save by Jamie Young just a few minutes earlier, wouldn’t be denied from the penalty spot seven minutes before the break to secure the record. His second goal early in the second half made it 15 for the campaign to go past Alessandro Del Piero’s (14) previous record of goals in a season for the club.
Midway through the first half with scores level at 1-1, Roar left-back Corey Brown showed great skill to get past Bernie Ibini and fly down the flank. His curling centre was weighted perfectly for Jean Carlos Solorzano but the striker inexplicably scooped his effort over the crossbar from just six yards out. It was a poor miss from a striker in decent goal-scoring form of late and allowed the home side to wrestle back the initiative.
Jean Carlos Solorzano picked up a thigh injury on his right leg midway through the first half and spent a few minutes off the pitch as heavy strapping was applied. The Costa Rican managed to get through to the break but couldn’t return for the second half.
THE FINAL WORD
The Sky Blues will be confident of continuing their unbeaten run, at home again against another top-six chasing side as Melbourne City come to Allianz Stadium on Friday night. Roar have a vital midweek ACL clash against Suwon Bluewings to worry about on Wednesday night before league-leaders Wellington Phoenix come to Brisbane on Sunday.