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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Adam Le Fondre (29')
  • Kosta Barbarouses (84')
  • Rhyan Grant (25')
  • Conor Metcalfe (22')

10-man Sydney FC nine clear after Barbarouses settles A League thriller against Melbourne City

A classy finish from Kosta Barbarouses gave a 10-man Sydney FC a 2-1 home win over Melbourne City and a nine-point lead in the A-League table.

Barbarouses's precisely curled 84th minute strike was against the run of play, as City had almost all the other opportunities in the second half of Sunday's game at Netstrata Jubilee Oval, where Sydney have won all seven of the A-League games they've played.

The top of the table encounter produced plenty of drama, with Sydney coming from a goal down, after having Socceroos full-back Rhyan Grant sent off in the 25th minute for a late tackle on Nathaniel Atkinson. It was initially deemed a yellow card offence by referee Kurt Ams, but he changed it to a red after being spoken to by the VAR and reviewing the incident.

Grant and Atkinson were involved in the third minute, when they had a nasty head clash, which left the Sydney star with a bloody head gash.

City had more than twice as many attempts on goal after Grant's dismissal but Sydney scored twice to overturn a deficit and also missed a penalty.

The visitors took the lead in the 22nd minute with a thumping header from Connor Metcalf following a cross from Craig Noone in a successful corner variation.

Metcalfe almost opened the scoring when his deflected shot in the 11th minute curled just wide.

The Sky Blues showed their character by equalising through a well-taken 29th minute goal by Adam Le Fondre, who then missed a glorious chance to give his side the lead. His missed penalty was blocked by the legs of City goalkeeper Tom Glover, after Milos Ninkovic had been fouled in the penalty area by Harrison Delbridge.

Noone also missed a great chance with the score at 1-1, when he was right through on goal, but curled his shot wide.

Sydney coach Steve Corica replaced playmaker Alex Baumjohann at halftime with Anthony Caceres.

City had almost all of the chances in the second half, but several of them were from outside the penalty area and Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne was rarely troubled.

Rostyn Griffiths, who was booked in the first half, had an attempt saved by Redmayne, while Atkinson and substitute Adrian Luna both shot wide and Marcelo Cabrera blasted over.