IT WAS the most amazing 3 mins and 40 sec of my Sydney FC life.
The two goals scored by Shannon Cole and Brendan Gan where so good that I spend the next 15 minutes rewinding and fast forwarding my Foxtel IQ, watching the goals over and over again.
Reluctantly I forced myself to watch the game live again; remembering that this was Sydney FC and the game was 90 minutes. With the score at 2-0, I kept on thinking that the self proclaimed halo above Kevin Muscat’s head was now gone forever because of his and Grant Brebner's gambling odyssey.
It was as if the Football Gods had cursed Melbourne Victory, losing to the bottom team Newcastle Jets last week and now losing 2-0 to Sydney - could this be the beginning of the end for Melbourne’s season? I was optimistic, but then after 13 minutes the wind changed and Sydney FC reverted to ballwatching from a free kick and Archie Thomson put Melbourne back in the game.
This was a great game to watch, both sides had lots of room to move particularly Melbourne who passed out of midfield through Kevin "I didn’t know I couldn’t bet" Muscat. The problem gambler is very good at organising and I felt that Sydney would have trouble holding on at that stage; you wouldn’t have bet on the score being 2-1 to Sydney for very long.
Well maybe Grant Brebener would have bet on Sydney leading 2-1, he likes betting against his own team.
Sydney had chances to go 3-1 up when, in the 18th minute, Mark Bridge gave a beautiful flick pass off the outside of his right foot to Alex Brosque who ran through on goal only to hit ball straight at Micheal Theoklitos. If Brosque converted more of those chances into goals he would be in Europe and a regular Socceroo.
In the 28th minute another beautiful through ball this time from Corica to Mark Bridge gave Sydney a half chance from outside the box but the keeper saved.
Lately Shannon Cole has been bullied out of taking free kicks from close range by Bobby Petta and in the 33rd minute it shows why you should stand up to bullies.
With Petta on the bench Cole took a beautiful free kick that was sailing into right hand corner of the goal only for Theolkitos and his square jaw to save again. Necevski saved brilliantly off Thomson earlier but I really don’t want to talk about Melbourne.
In the 35th minute Shannon Cole did some good work on the right wing sending in a lovely cross for Brosque who sent the header wide. Cole is much better as a midfielder.
This was Sydney’s best performance since the first few rounds of the season. The second half brought a couple of crucial substitutions; Billy Celeski, who reassured my faith in his inability a couple of weeks ago with a free kick attempt that ballooned into the stands, was substituted for Nick Ward who has done fark all this year.
Ward decided now was the time to pull out one of the goals of the year scoring a screamer from outside the box, he hit his shot with great power and the ball swerved away from the keeper's left hand and into the back of the net the score 2-2. Grant Brenbner looked like he was going to lose his bet.
Ernie Merrick had emptied his bench and John Kosmina substituted Steve Corica with John Aloisi.
Alex Brosque and Mark Bridge both had chances to give Sydney the lead again, Alex Brosque dispossessed Muscat in his own penalty box but his tame shot made the keeper look good.
Melbourne took the lead when the spitter Ney Fabiano bundled the ball over as Iain Fyfe turned up late again.
Losing to our main rivals a team made up of gambling cheats, and spitters is hard to take but I do feel optimistic that if we play like that with the same energy and enthusiasm and a bit of luck we can make the finals.
Our Judas defence needs to work harder - and our coach still doesn’t how to make subs yet.