A stunning first-half strike from Ola Toivonen helped Melbourne Victory to a 2-1 win over Sydney FC in an entertaining Big Blue clash on Australia Day.
Victory went ahead 2-0 before seeing off a late surge by the Sky Blues to leapfrog Steve Corica's men into second spot on the A-League ladder in an enthralling encounter on Saturday night in front of 21,085 fans at AAMI Park.
Victory dominated possession from the opening whistle, with crisp passing and high-tempo play, and thoroughly deserved to go ahead in the 20th minute.
Toivonen stepped up to take the free kick after James Troisi was felled just outside the penalty area. The Swedish star sent a beautifully crafted, curling strike over the wall and into the top left corner off the post, giving Andy Redmayne no chance.
Toivonen, with 10 goals from 13 appearances, was involved in the Victory's second goal with a well-timed ball releasing Spanish midfielder Raul Baena.
Troisi finished the scything move, lashing home Baena's cut-back close to the penalty spot in the 54th minute. But the visitors had looked more dangerous after the interval and finally broke through thanks to Milos Ninkovic with 63 minutes gone.
Lawrence Thomas could only parry Ninkovic's first shot and he finished the job well from an acute angle.
The Sky Blues will consider themselves unlucky not to depart with a point after a strong finish, but Thomas was important with a brilliant save denying Adam Le Fondre with just over 10 minutes left.