Sydney's Smeltz hit with two-game ban

Title-chasing Sydney FC will lose striker Shane Smeltz for two games after the Kiwi international was pinged for kicking out at Wellington Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund.

Smeltz was given a straight red on Sunday just moments after Wellington lost midfielder Albert Reira for a second yellow on 67 minutes – leaving both teams with 10 men on the park.

The independent Match Review Panel found the 33-year-old former Golden Boot guilty of Assault on a Player and slapped him with the minium sanction for the offence – a one match ban in addition to the automatic one game suspension.

It was a disappointing end to the game for Smeltz who scored on 28 minutes to help the Sky Blues cruise to an emphatic 3-0 victory over the A-league leaders at Westpac Stadium.

Smeltz, who has been seeking more game opportunities with Sydney – and is playing for another contract – has been a handy acquisition for the harbour-siders, chipping in with his seventh goal of the campaign on the weekend.

With just four matches left in the regular season, Wellington lead the chasing pack by just one point.

Sydney are currently sit in third place on the league ladder but equal on points with second-placed Melbourne Victory (with a game in hand), Perth Glory (4th), and just one point above Adelaide United (5th).