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Sydney FC continue dominance with win over Wellington Phoenix

League leaders Sydney FC have kept up their brilliant form this season, accounting for Wellington Phoenix 3-1. The Sky Blues produced a dominant first-half display to brush aside the Phoenix who improved sharply in the second term in a very open encounter which provided many chances for both sides.

Sydney FC: 3 (Mark Bridge '15, '35 Steve Corica '31) Wellington Phoenix: 1 (Costa Barbarouses '81)

Venue:Sydney Football Stadium Crowd: 10,653

The Sky Blues begun patiently, biding their time before hitting the lead in the 15th minute.

A well-constructed move saw Mark Bridge play the ball to Alex Brosque at the top of the box who managed a brilliant one-touch pass back into the path of Bridge who hit his shot into the far left corner despite being under pressure from the Phoenix defence.

Fifteen minutes later, Sydney doubled their lead when Brosque turned his defender in the area before shooting across goal but Phoenix goalkeeper Reece Crowther's outstretched hand could only knock it straight to an unmarked Steve Corica who scored with the easiest of tap-ins.

Minutes later, Brosque was the architect yet again when he put on the afterburners and sped past Ben Sigmund down the left flank before playing a perfect ball across goal for Bridge who was on-hand to knock it in from close range.

Just before the hour-mark, the Phoenix were given a chance to reprieve themselves when Sky Blues defender Shannon Cole had a hold of Paul Ifill's shirt as he forayed into the box.

The referee pointed to the spot amidst appeals from Sydney players and although Daniel converted his first shot, the kick was re-called because players had encroached the area prior to the spot-kick.

The Brazilian-born playmaker's second penalty shot was saved by Sydney keeper Clint Bolton, indicating that it just wasn't Wellington's day.

The Phoenix finally got a reward nine minutes from time when Ifill cut the ball in from the right flank and substitute Costa Barbarouses glided it home to give his side some hope.

But the league leaders were able to hold steady and record another win to keep themselves on top of the A-League table.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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