Sydney FC scores 1-0 victory over Perth - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sydney FC scores 1-0 victory over Perth

By Philip Henderson 14/12/2006 10:48:30 PM Comments (0)

Ten-man Sydney FC struck a major blow for its A-League title prospects after Alex Brosque's drought-breaking goal sealed a 1-0 win over Perth Glory in Sydney.

After consecutive 0-0 draws against Central Coast and Melbourne, Sydney appeared set for its third straight scoreless match before Brosque ended the 260-minute drought with his first goal of the season.

Brosque, starting for the first time in five weeks, paid back the faith shown by coach Terry Butcher by powerfully heading home in the 80th minute after Steve Corica had battled hard to deliver a centimetre-perfect cross.

It gave Sydney one of its most important wins of the season and came after skipper Mark Rudan was sent off in the 27th minute for bringing down Perth striker Leo Bertos as the last defender.

The Blues temporarily move five points clear in second place with the win and will go into the Christmas break with at least a two-point gap ahead of third place.

Perth, meanwhile, remain rooted to seventh on the ladder and need to win all of its last four games to even have a sniff of sneaking into the finals.

It was a vital win for Sydney, which may yet be docked one point in the coming weeks for a reported second salary cap infringement.

The Blues also have a tough schedule in the run home, with only one home game in the final four rounds and away fixtures against fellow finals contenders Adelaide and Newcastle.

Sydney is now unbeaten in eight matches and has kept three straight clean sheets.

But it will miss skipper Rudan for the next two games after his second red card of the season.

Perth was unable to take advantage of its one-man advantage despite Bertos constantly looking dangerous in attack.

Jamie Harnwell came the closest for the visitors, but his on-target header was well saved by a diving Sydney 'keeper Clint Bolton in the 70th minute.

Brosque was the third striker to play the lone role up forward for Sydney in as many games after David Zdrilic and Sasho Petrovski both failed to score in previous games.

Butcher said he went with Brosque because of his speed and the state of the pitch - which was somewhat worse for wear after hosting a couple of Robbie Williams concerts the previous week.

"The pitch wasn't a good pitch ... it was a very, very difficult bouncy pitch, so I felt if we put balls over the top and turn the Perth back four then we could use his pace," Butcher said.

"We needed penetration and we needed a bit of length and Alex certainly provided that.

"I thought he showed a lot of fight, spirit and pace as well.

"I'm pleased because it gives me now another dimension."

An "extremely" disappointed Perth coach Ron Smith was at a loss to explain his side's lacklustre performance.

"I'm more disappointed with the performance than the result," Smith said.

"It's hard to explain that a group of people can be out there and not be in the game for so long.

"It's out of character and I'm at a bit of a loss.

"We had so much to play for to even keep a chance of making the top four ... but individually there was only a couple of people who could hold their head up and say I've actually gone out there ... and put the effort in."

Midfielder Simon Colosimo refused to use the Glory's four-day turnaround from their last match as an excuse.

"It was 11 of us, 10 of them and we weren't good enough, pure and simple," he said.

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