March 21, 2015 10:51:50 UK
The Sydney FC steamroller was stopped in its tracks at Allianz Stadium on Friday as Melbourne City scored a late goal to beat the hosts 1-0.
Everything looked set up for the Sky Blues to claim top spot in the league and set a club record of 10 consecutive games unbeaten.
But it wasn’t their night, as marquee striker Marc Janko found out in the 10th minute when he was denied the chance to extend his scoring streak to eight matches.
The Austrian beat keeper Tando Velaphi after being put through by Alex Brosque’s pass, but saw his shot hit the post – it would be the first of three times the Sky Blues were denied by the woodwork.
Twice after that it was a combination of Velaphi and the frame of the goal that kept Sydney out. First the keeper made an acrobatic save to tip Robert Koren’s shot onto the bar and over, then Bernie Ibini saw his shot diverted onto the post.
Having survived those scares, City produced the vital breakthrough with nine minutes left courtesy of a precise through-ball from Aaron Mooy. It sent James Brown scampering clear and he was able to take the ball around keeper Vedran Janjetovic before scoring.
The result was a real boost for John van ‘t Schip’s side, who are in a straight shoot-out with Brisbane Roar for sixth spot and the last berth in the Finals Series.
For the Sky Blues, the rare defeat not only denied them the chance to overtake Wellington Phoenix at the summit but left them vulnerable to dropping as low as fifth by the end of the round.
Sydney FC are 2.87 to win their next game against Wellington and City are 2.20 to beat Brisbane in their next A-League clash.
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