An undermanned Melbourne Victory suffered a 2-1 loss to Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday.
Ola Toivonen continued his fine start to the season with the opening goal for a Victory side without a host of players due to international duty and injuries.
But Adam Le Fondre and Kosta Barbarouses scored second-half goals to give Sydney its win.
In what was a tight start, Le Fondre blazed an attempt over the crossbar in the 10th minute.
Victory almost took the lead midway through the first half, Toivonen heading a Corey Brown corner over the bar.
Sydney threatened again approaching half-time, but Le Fondre dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area.
Instead, Victory made the breakthrough just before the break, Toivonen heading in his fourth goal of the season at the back post after a fine cross from Josh Hope.
As rain fell to begin the second half, Toivonen almost doubled Victory’s lead, curling a 25-yard free-kick just wide.
However, Sydney equalised just after the hour-mark, Le Fondre heading in from close range after Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas had tipped over a Milos Ninkovic strike at his near post, leading to the corner.
The host took the lead in the 68th minute, Barbarouses tapping in after hitting the crossbar following a chest down across the face of goal from Rhyan Grant.
Thomas made a great low save in a one-on-one with Brandon O’Neill late on, but Victory was unable to find an equaliser.
Player in focus
What they said – Robbie Kruse
on his return…
“Tiring. I’ve been out for probably about 12 weeks now. It’s disappointing that I’m a bit behind where I should be at the moment so hopefully I can just get fit and hopefully we can start building some wins together once we get our full team on the deck.”
“Of course this club demands results and fight for trophies and we’re on five points from six games I think so obviously it’s disappointing, but we’ve had a really disrupted start to the season. Today’s my first minutes, Andrew, Tim, got four, five boys away on international duty so it was a tough gig for us, but hopefully we can get everyone back on the park and start getting some good results.”
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Round 6
Sydney FC 2 (Adam le Fondre 61′, Kosta Barbarouses 68′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Ola Toivonen 45′)
Sydney FC: Redmayne (gk); Grant, McGowan, Wilkinson (c), Retre (Zullo 76′); Brattan, O’Neill; Baumjohann (Caceres 66′), Ninkovic; Barbarouses (Buhagiar 90+3′), Le Fondre.
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Lauton (Carrigan 90+5′), Donachie, Broxham, Traore; Poulsen (Dobras 87′), Basha, Lesiotis; Hope (Kruse 65′), Toivonen (c), Brown.
Yellow cards: Baumjohann 35′, Retre 52′, Basha 75′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: Jubilee Stadium
Victory makes the trip to Adelaide United in Round 7 on Saturday, November 23.