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Jan 25, 2022   |  10:02PM AET

Isuzu UTE A-League report: Victory 2-2 Sydney

Isuzu UTE A-League report: Victory 2-2 Sydney

Melbourne Victory returned to Isuzu UTE A-League action with a 2-2 draw against Sydney FC on Tuesday.

Summary

Victory led twice at AAMI Park, where Ben Folami opened the scoring before also setting up Robbie Kruse in the second half.

Milos Ninkovic cancelled out Folami’s opener, while Bobo headed in an 81st-minute corner as the teams shared the spoils in Victory’s first outing since January 8.

There were chances at both ends in the opening 10 minutes.

Victory goalkeeper Ivan Kelava made a comfortable save down low to deny Trent Buhagiar, before Francesco Margiotta blazed over from inside the area following a Marco Rojas pass.

Folami opened the scoring for Victory in the 17th minute, set up by Rojas’ fifth assist of the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

A flowing team move led to Rojas’ long pass to Folami, who finished superbly into the bottom corner.

But Sydney equalised eight minutes prior to the break, Ninkovic sweeping in from inside the area to make it 1-1.

Victory almost restored its lead in first-half additional time, but Folami was unable to get a long pass from Jason Geria under control.

Another excellent chance fell to Folami in the 52nd minute.

Stefan Nigro, who replaced Jay Barnett at half-time, crossed from the right to Folami, but the attacker’s close-range strike was somehow saved by Sydney goalkeeper Tom Heward-Belle.

After a tight battle, Victory would go back ahead with 13 minutes remaining.

Folami did brilliantly down the right, beating two men, before his cross found Kruse to tap in.

But Sydney equalised almost immediately as Bobo headed in a corner from Anthony Caceres, although Victory was unfortunate not to get a free-kick in the lead up after a high boot from Elvis Kamsoba on Leigh Broxham.

Patrick Wood forced a decent save from Kelava in additional time as both teams pushed for a late winner.

Nick D’Agostino tested Heward-Belle with a spectacular attempt in the 95th minute before also heading a Jason Davidson cross over.

Key moment

What they said – Kruse

on his goal…
“Obviously it was nice to score. It’s been a while for me, obviously in front of the fans was really good. I’m disappointed we didn’t win the game, a couple of decisions there could’ve gone our way, but disappointing we couldn’t hold out after going up. I think we played a really good game and created really good chances, but we’ll take the point I guess.”

on foul before Bobo’s equaliser…
“It was pretty clear. The linesman is 10 or 15 metres away there. The unfortunate thing is we try and cut out simulation and everything out of the game. If ‘Broxy’ goes down, he’s not that type of player, he’s a true professional, really fair player, if he goes down clutching his head. We get the free-kick so it’s disappointing because we don’t want that part of our game, he’s done the right thing and unfortunately we didn’t get the rub of the green which we probably should’ve got.”

Player in focus

Folami was in brilliant form for Victory. He scored a fine opener before doing some excellent work to set up Kruse in the second half.

Implications

Victory moved two points clear atop the table after the draw.

Result

Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 Round 9
Melbourne Victory 2
(Ben Folami 17′, Robbie Kruse 77′)
Sydney FC 2
(Milos Ninkovic 37′, Bobo 81′)

Melbourne Victory: Kelava (gk); Barnett (Nigro 46′), Geria, Broxham, Davidson; Brillante (c), Marchan (Kruse 64′); Rojas (Ikonomidis 63′), Brimmer, Folami (Brooks 87′); Margiotta (D’Agostino 70′).
Sydney FC: Heward-Belle (gk); Van der Saag (Amini 62′), Donachie, Wilkinson (c), O’Toole (Burgess 80′); Caceres, Yazbek, Retre (Talbot 63′), Ninkovic (Bobo 69′); Buhagiar (Wood 69′), Kamsoba.

Yellow cards: Kelava 82′, Bobo 90+4′, Amini 90+8′
Red cards:
Nil
Attendance: TBA
Venue: AAMI Park

Next up

Victory will face Wellington Phoenix in an FFA Cup Semi Final at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.