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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Adam Le Fondre (57' PEN)
  • Scott Neville (55')

Sydney beat 10-man Roar to go 13 clear at top

Sydney FC further established themselves as the A-League's best with a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

It has now been 12 games since they were last defeated, with Friday's victory propelling them 13 points clear of Melbourne City on the A-League ladder.

However, Robbie Fowler's Roar didn't go down without a fight, putting in a brave performance with 10 men for the majority of the second half at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Scott Neville was given his second yellow card for a handball in the box and subsequently marched in the 57th minute, leaving the league's most prolific scorer Adam Le Fondre with an ideal chance to open the scoring.

He made light work of the resulting spot kick, rocketing the ball into the net past Jamie Young for his 15th goal of the season.

Fowler maintained Neville was defending and not in an unnatural position, calling for clarity around the rule.

"I think it's harsh. What was he, two yards away or three yards away and the ball's hit him? He's not raised his hand, he's not put his arm towards it," Fowler said.

"I don't think we're saying it hasn't hit his arm, but I just think it's incredibly harsh. A few decisions never really went our way tonight."

It's the second time this season the Sky Blues have defeated Roar, but a vast improvement from the 5-1 scoreline at last meeting.

"It wasn't the best of games, they sat back deep to stop us from scoring obviously, considering what happened last time so they made it difficult for us to break them down, especially in the first half," said coach Steve Corica.

"Not a lot of final-third entries and shot, so we wanted to do a little bit better in the second half, and we did until they have the man sent off and then after that I thought we were a little bit sluggish and a little bit slow.

"We wanted more pressure on the ball, which we didn't get."

The crowd of 10,724 watched on as Roar scrambled to hold on through an onslaught of shots from the surging champions.

Young rose to the challenge and made two spectacular saves 10 minutes later under pressure from Luke Brattan and Le Fondre. And he held firm when Anthony Caceres took aim in the 72nd minute.

The loss ended a five-game undefeated streak for the visitors, leaving them just outside the top six.

The Sky Blues will next face Western Sydney in the derby at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, while the Roar will take on Adelaide United in round 18 action at Suncorp Stadium. Earlier in the day Sydney FC took out the Y-League championship with a convincing 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory.