A-League high flyers Sydney FC have stretched their unbeaten run to five matches but have been made to work overtime by an unlucky Melbourne City before securing a feisty 3-1 comeback victory at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Two Sydney goals within minutes approaching half-time proved pivotal on Friday night, as Adrian Mierzejewski cancelled out Luke Bratton’s goal for City, before Bobo put the Sky Blues ahead for the first time in front of 10,688 spectators.
While the win strengthened Sydney FC’s hold on top spot, there was little of the silky football on display that was seen in last weekend’s 5-0 Sydney derby victory.
City proved a gritty opponent and could easily have finished sharing the spoils with a dose of luck, but it might prove a costly night for the Victorians with prolific striker Ross McCormack forced off with a muscle injury.
McCormack spurned a gilt-edged chance approaching the quarter-hour mark, and his match was over after 30 minutes with the league’s leading scorer suffering an apparent calf injury in innocuous fashion.
City stifled the Sky Blues in the opening half and had their reward seven minutes before halftime with a goal awarded with the assistance of a video review.
Bratton’s shot from near the penalty spot bounced off the underside of the bar, with play continuing briefly before the goal was awarded by the VAR.
But the tide turned within a matter of minutes just before half-time.
Sydney’s in-form midfielder Mierzejewski proved last week’s sparkling free-kick goal against Western Sydney was no fluke, by equalising with a carbon-copy strike in the 44th minute.
The Pole curved his 25-metre shot into the top corner of the goal, albeit with a slight deflection and from a less acute angle than in the derby.