Sydney FC surged to second on the A-League table after a 3-0 rout of Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Friday night.
Captain Alex Brosque netted a brace and Bernie Ibini scored one of the goals of the season as the Sky Blues jumped three places on the table to trail leaders Melbourne Victory on goal difference.
Glory also hold a share of top spot with Sydney and Victory on 44 points, but the club was ruled out of the finals series earlier on Friday due to a breach of the A-League’s salary cap regulations.
0-1 Alex Brosque (35’)
Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic did well to deny a strong header from Marc Janko, but he was helpless to stop the Sky Blues captain from pouncing on the rebound and scoring one of the easiest goals of his career.
0-2 Bernie Ibini (60’)
The young gun once again displayed his talent for freakish goals with an amazing strike that sunk Perth’s hopes of a second-half revival. From the corner of the penalty area, Ibini controlled a cross with his right foot and then used his left foot to send the ball into the top right corner.
0-3 Alex Brosque (65’)
Ibini’s pinpoint pass found Brosque alone in the middle of the box and the Sydney skipper produced a class left-foot finish to register his second goal of the match.
Glory striker Jamie Maclaren appeared to have scored an equaliser less than one minute after Brosque put his side ahead. The Olyroos representative curled the ball beautifully past opposing goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic, but his celebrations were quickly cut short when the assistant referee raised his flag for offside despite replays suggesting Maclaren may have been in line with the last defender.
OPTA DATA STATS
The Sky Blues have not tasted defeat in their last 12 matches away from home. It was also the 10th time this season Sydney have scored at least three goals in a match.
Maclaren, who scored five goals in two matches for the Olyroos on a recent trip to Hong Kong, was substituted at half-time with an apparent calf injury.
Rostyn Griffiths will miss Glory’s final home match of the season against Melbourne City next Sunday after picking up his eighth yellow card of the campaign. The well-travelled midfielder was sorely missed the last time he was suspended when Perth slumped to a 3-1 loss to Sydney in early February.
THE FINAL WORD
Sydney coach Graham Arnold will be hoping his team can translate their incredible away form into success at home. Undefeated in their last 12 matches on the road, the Sky Blues have lost their last two at Allianz Stadium. Fortunately, a trip to Newcastle to face the Jets awaits them next Friday.
How Perth Glory approaches their final two games remains to be seen. Ruled out of finals contention for breaching the salary cap, Kenny Lowe’s side looked disinterested in the second half as Sydney romped to an easy win.
Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Rostyn Griffiths, Dino Djulbic, Andy Keogh, Nebojsa Marinkovic (Sidnei Sciola 68’), Chris Harold, Jamie Maclaren (Richard Garcia 46’), Josh Risdon, Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (C), Dragan Paljic (Daniel De Silva 55’)
Sydney FC: Sebastian Ryall, Matthew Jurman, Nikola Petkovic (Alex Gersbach 90’+2), Milos Dimitrijevic, Bernie Ibini, Chris Naumoff (Robert Stambolziev 69’), Alex Brosque (C, George Blackwood 84’), Vedran Janjetovic (GK), Marc Janko, Rhyan Grant, Jacques Faty
Scorers: Alex Brosque (35’), Bernie Ibini (60’), Alex Brosque (65’)
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Alex Brosque (21’), Matthew Jurman (28’), Rostyn Griffiths (48’)
Conditions: 20C, slippery
Attendance: 7426 @ nib Stadiumcomments