Sydney FC 2-1 Melbourne City: Barbarouses wins top-of-the-table tussle for 10 men

By Sports Desk December 29, 2019

A-League leaders Sydney FC played for 65 minutes with 10 men but rallied to beat second-placed Melbourne City 2-1 on Sunday.

Kosta Barbarouses struck late on to extend Sydney's advantage at the summit to nine points, settling a more sedate second half after a gripping first period that featured two goals, a red card and a missed penalty.

That frantic spell was kickstarted by the City opener in the 22nd minute as a short corner from the right saw Craig Noone send a cross towards the back post to Connor Metcalfe, who thundered a header past Andrew Redmayne.

Sydney quickly suffered a second blow when Rhyan Grant was sent off for an awful studs-up challenge into the shins of Nathaniel Atkinson, which was initially punished only with a yellow card before the referee reassessed the incident on the pitchside monitor.

However, the hosts were level following a scramble in the area when Tom Glover failed to deal with a deep free-kick, allowing Adam Le Fondre to finally slam past Harrison Delbridge on the line.

Noone missed a huge chance when through one-on-one at the other end, before Le Fondre was granted the opportunity to double his and Sydney's tally from the penalty spot.

But Glover's right leg blocked a powerful 12-yard drive after Delbridge was punished for halting Milos Ninkovic's tricky run into the City area.

Sydney were subsequently on the back foot for much of the second half, yet Scott Galloway allowed Barbarouses to cut inside and shape a fine left-footed finish into the bottom-left corner with six minutes remaining to secure a ninth straight home league win.

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