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Key Events

Substitution
Substitution
Substitution
Substitution
Substitution
Substitution
Yellow Card
Substitution
Substitution
Red Card
Substitution
Substitution
Goal
Yellow Card
Substitution
Substitution
Goal
Yellow Card
Goal
Kick Off
3
1
3
3

Stats

Possession
% %
5
2
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 6 5
Total Passes 421 438

Commentary

FULL TIME; MELBOURNE VICTORY 1, SYDNEY FC 2 - It's all over at Etihad Stadium and Sydney FC continue to charge through this season and look the goods for their first piece of silverware since 2010. With a tight tussle in the second half, the Sky Blues seized on their moment in the 65th minute when a great individual effort saw Ibini finishing a cracking chance. With Donachie then being sent off for the hosts, their already sizeable task became that much more difficult and proved to be one they couldn't complete. Sydney FC come away with a vital three points as they take this Big Blue 2-1 to push themselves 11 points clear on top.
Substitution
​SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Mahazi ON
Substitution
​SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Geria OFF
Substitution
86' ​SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Dimitrijevic ON
Substitution
85' SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Calver OFF
84' CHANCE - Simon just can't get this one out of his boots quick enough as he scampers down the right with Ibini in support. With Ibini screaming for it, Simon opts to close into the right side of the box and unleash a left-footed volley. It's not his best effort as it flashes the best part of 10 yards wide. Should've given it to Ibini.
Substitution
82' SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Simon ON
Substitution
81' SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Bobo OFF
80' CHANCE - Vukovic again coming to the party for the Sky Blues as Valeri and Baro link up to press the hosts forward. With Troisi turning a ball inwards to Rojas, the latter strikes it first time and draws out another impressive feat from Sydney's custodian.
78' CHANCE - A rare sight for the second half as Melbourne build up and break into their penalty area. With Georgievski curling in a killer cross, it's delivered to the smallest man on the field in Rojas. Belying his size, Rojas springs up, gets a solid connection and draws out a top save from Vukovic.
Yellow Card
76' YELLOW CARD SYDNEY FC - Brosque now picks up the first card for the visitors for the night as he can't deal with the pace of Rojas. With the speedy Victory midfielder breaking clear, he angles across the Sky Blues striker before a clash of bodies sees them both tripped up. Brosque questions the card but it gets him nowhere.
Substitution
74' SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Georgievski ON
Substitution
73' SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Bozanic OFF
Red Card
72' RED CARD VICTORY - This is pretty horrible stuff from Donachie as Brosque gallops upfield on the counter. With a one-two played, Brosque is hacked down horribly from behind before the shrill sound of the whistle brings play to a halt. Gillett's got his red out and Donachie's already walking off.
70' They're buzzing around madly now but there's no way through for the Victory. With Rojas turned neatly down the right, Wilkinson sticks to the task as only a crafty veteran can and turns the ball free. With the throw in taken, Calver and Buijs combine to see it clear.
Substitution
68' SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Ingham ON
Substitution
67' SUBSTITUTION VICTORY - Khalfallah OFF
Goal
65' GOAL SYDNEY FC; MELBOURNE VICTORY 1, SYDNEY FC 2 - And what an inspired change to bring Ibini on as he has an almost immediate effect. with a long clearance bobbled forward by Brosque into Ibini's path, the latter tears off, holds off Baro and Broxham and closes in on the top of the box. With Thomas done for, Ibini steams an effort into the top left corner. Fantastic.
Yellow Card
63' YELLOW CARD VICTORY - No questions about this one as Valeri is done for skill by Brosque before he reaches out to take a fistful of shirt. Referee Gillett's on the spot despite protests from the Victory bench that there was nothing in it. Sydney starting to inch their way on top in this one.
Substitution
62' SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Ibini ON
Substitution
61' SUBSTITUTION SYDNEY FC - Holosko OFF
59' SAVED - Vukovic's again at his best to keep the score where it is as a deflected ball drops into dangerous territory for the hosts. With Broxham first to react, he hesitates for a moment before trying to chip the Sydney custodian. From nine yards, the shot's slightly skewed as Vukovic thrusts out his chest to deflect it clear.
58' CROSSBAR - Two opportunities a row for Melbourne who are now starting to warm to the task. With neat build up seeing the Victory inch inside the penalty area, the final ball falls for Khalfallah. Crafting an effort onto his left, he lifts it towards the back of the net before it clips the woodwork and deflects over from nine yards.
56' CHANCE - Not sure this was the best option to be taken as Rojas fires down the right before sending in a cross. With Berisha receiving with his back to goal, he lays a ball back for Troisi who sees his shot blocked. Berisha would have been better to try and turn his man before blasting from close range.
54' Edging closer and closer are the visitors as the Victory, for the time being, aren't really in the contest. On this occasion it's Brillante who turns Calver down the right channel. Approaching the byline, Calver hooks over a cross which misses Ninkovic centrally and allows Geria to clear.
51' Great early pressure from Sydney but their end product needs to be questioned. With Brosque and Zullo stroking the ball around with confidence down the left, the final pass is turned inboard where it finds Holosko. With options ahead, Holosko offloads from 35 yards out and puts it 10 yards over the crossbar. Lazy.
49' CHANCE - Sydney's defence is breached (and with apparent ease), as Troisi holds up possession before sliding a through ball down the left. Quickest to spot the intended target however is Vukovic who dashes off his line to clear the ball ahead of Berisha. Close run thing. 
47' Clever defending from the Sky Blues as Rojas finds space down the right and zips off to create some further headaches. With O'Neill tracking the run from midfield, Rojas sends over a cross looking for Berisha however only finds O'Neill's left foot. 
46' Underway in the second half..
HALF TIME; MELBOURNE VICTORY 1, SYDNEY FC 1 - We're finished for the first 45 minutes at Etihad Stadium and whilst exciting, this instalment of the Big Blue hasn't really hit too many highs as yet. With the midfield congested, Melbourne would open the scoring with a superb counter seeing Troisi drive home from distance. With play then tightening up, it would take an exquisitely placed cross from Ninkovic which found Holosko to bring us level late-on in the first half. With both teams still capable of giving so much more, we reach the interval at 1-1.
44' DRAMA - Bit of a question mark surrounding this but at full speed, it looked to be nothing. With Berisha backing his way into the penalty area, he looks to have been clipped by Buijs before the ball breaks free. At normal speed it looked as though Berisha has slipped. Replays confirm that point of view.
42' CHANCE - Not a real clear cut opportunity but moreso a moment for Sydney to perhaps edge clear on the scoreboard. With Zullo releasing a lovely lofted effort from inside his own half for Holosko, Thomas comes charging off his line to meet the ball 10 yards outside the box. A solid header for the Victory 'keeper clears the danger but if the ball had stayed low, Holosko was through.
40' Not sure how Zullo hasn't come under any further scrutiny for this as Rojas plays around with the ball on the right wing. As only Rojas can, he showcases some blazing footwork before scything inside Zullo on halfway. Not wanting to be outdone, Zullo unceremoniously hangs out a leg to trip Rojas up. Just a free kick; should be a card.
Goal
38' GOAL SYDNEY FC; MELBOURNE VICTORY 1, SYDNEY FC 1 - This is beautiful play from Sydney FC as a corner from their left channel is turned outside the area. With Ninkovic receiving, he weighs up his options before dropping a cross towards the middle of the area. From 35 yards, it's on a dime as Holosko rises tallest, nods strongest and steers it into the top right corner.
36' SAVED - Ooooooo. Almost a second to Melbourne and a second for Troisi as Geria bombs on down the right. Turning a ball back towards the right corner of the box, it's laid off to the supporting run of Troisi. Hitting it cleanly, the ball looks set for the bottom right corner before Vukovic parries it clear.
33' Right idea but the execution is just a tad off as Melbourne do well to steal themselves possession down the right. With the ball turned inboard to Rojas, he angles across field as Khalfallah tries to bend his supporting run. Alas the latter simply can't time his run properly as he's flagged offside 40 yards from home. Should've done much better.
31' Much better with the free kick on this occasion for Sydney as Bozanic's high foot collects O'Neill. Shaking hands and making up, it's up to Boijs to take the free kick. With a solid effort from 35 yards, Boijs sends the ball whizzing towards goal before Geria gets up to nod it clear. Thomas had it covered in either case.
Yellow Card
29' YELLOW CARD VICTORY - This won't please too many parties associated with the Victory as a reckless lunge on Zullo sees play halted. With a number of players calling for handball, Referee Gillett's not interested as he brandishes a card for Geria's silly lunge. Could be costly as he's just back from suspension.
27' He's looking for the corner is Khalfallah but the lead up work needs to be credited as again Melbourne look good on the counter. With Bozanic, Rojas and Troisi all combining, Khalfallah is turned down the right. Closing to the byline, he's flanked by two defenders and squeezes off a cross which Vukovic collects.
24' SAVED - Top drawer material from Vukovic as Rojas is released with precision inside the penalty area. Dragging the ball to his right to draw Zullo's attention, Rojas then cuts it back onto his left foot. With a stinging shot from 10 yards, the shot is destined for the left corner before Vukovic spreads himself wide to tip it clear. Amazing 'keeping.
22' Cheeky. Rojas almost doubles Melbourne's lead as Geria cushions back a nice header for the Kiwi to deal with. Turning instinctively from 30 yards and 10 yards inside the right sideline, Rojas tries an ambitious chip of Vukovic however the Sky Blues custodian is awake and claims overhead.
20' Interesting to see now whether Melbourne's early opener forces Sydney into a formation change or alteration to their playing style. At the moment it doesn't appear as though it has as the midfield area is congested yet again. Victory's early strike could prove quite decisive.
Goal
18' GOAL VICTORY; MELBOURNE VICTORY 1, SYDNEY FC 0 - Clinical counter from the Victory as Khalfallah bursts down the left before going across the box to find Rojas. Receiving, Rojas immediately tees the ball back to the top of the box before an onrushing Troisi arrives and curls it hard into the top right corner. Bliss.
15' Steady and slow from the Victory as Troisi controls well down Melbourne's left. Coming inboard to link up with Khalfallah, the latter tries to slide a through ball to Rojas however the Kiwi midfielder is immediately flagged offside.
12' Not the most languid or fluid of openings that many were hoping for as both defences are cancelling each other out. With Sydney primarily looking for long balls down their left, Baro's been busy so far but extremely solid for the hosts. 
9' First flashpoint of a pretty cagey contest as Buijs goes done under pretty minimal contact on Sydney's right flank. With Buijs adding in a few unnecessary rolls to get Referee Gillett's attention, Berisha's quick the Dutchman a spray. Not a good look; Berisha's steaming mad at the effort.
7' SAVED - Still a little unsure with their build up are the Sky Blues however this worthy of note. With a long throw from O'Neill finding Bobo, the latter nods on a header towards the middle of the box. Controlling well is Ninkovic however's he's cramped for room to unleashes a tame drive Thomas gathers cleanly.
5' Nice little foray for the Victory as Khalfallah shows his wares down the left before turning inboard. Looking to release Berisha, he instead cuts inside Calver and positions himself inside the left of the box. His right-footed volley though is badly skewed from 12 yards and straight out of play.
3' First venture forward for either team as Sydney come through the middle before winning themselves a free kick. Taken by the debutant in Buijs, it's struck well enough from 40 yards but whipped straight into Thomas's waiting arms. Tentative start for the visitors.
1' Our referee for tonight's fixture is Jarrod Gillett who takes control of his third Big Blue encounter. With a sizeable crowd having filed in, we're all set as Gillett brings us underway. It's the Victory starting with it and moving from right to left in the first half..
Sydney FC Starting XI (4-2-3-1) - Vukovic, Calver, Buijs, Wilkinson, Zullo, Brillante, O'Neill, Holosko, Ninkovic, Brosque, Bobo. Substitutions - Ibini, Carney, Redmayne, Dimitrijevic, Simon.
Melbourne Victory Starting XI (4-3-2-1) - Thomas, Geria, Donachie, Baro, Broxham, Valeri, Troisi, Bozanic, Rojas, Khalfallah, Berisha. Substitutions - Mahazi, Acton, Ingham, Howard, Georgievski.
Welcome to Etihad Stadium in Melbourne as Round 17 of the Hyundai A-League commences with arguably the biggest rivalry in the competition. Yes, it's time for another Big Blue as the Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC. With the Victory slipping up and coming off a last-up loss to the Glory, they return home hungry to close the gap to the ladder-leading Sydney FC. With the Sky Blues securing a comfortable win over Adelaide, they look to have one hand already on the Premiers Plate as we await kick-off in Melbourne. This one should live up to the hype.
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