Sydney FC have bounced back to winning ways and piled more pain on A-League strugglers Melbourne Victory, with the reigning champions cruising to a 3-0 win over their 10-man rivals at AAMI Park.
Victory were down a man from the 32nd minute when Elvis Kamsoba received a second yellow card.
Kamsoba’s first caution came in the 14th minute when he attempted to kick the ball in midair and instead collected Ryan McGowan – who was bending to attempt to head the ball – in the head.
Victory coach Grant Brebner queried why fourth official Jonathan Barreiro had intervened to let referee Daniel Elder know the incident deserved a yellow card.
Brebner compared the incident to earlier in the season when Western Sydney Wanderers’ Graham Dorrans avoided a straight red card for a high boot that broke Marco Rojas’ nose.
“I’ve got no problem with the fourth official intervening to suggest there’s a yellow card but at what point do we draw the line?” Brebner said.
“Is that every tackle, every one that’s missed – the fourth official will just step up now and give his opinion – ‘that’s a yellow card’?
“I’d understand if it was a straight red but to stop the game and tell the referee it should have been a yellow? Then it needs to happen at every opportunity and every time.
“Because I do remember a few weeks ago when Marco Rojas breaks his nose … something that was a lot worse than Elvis’ tonight, I didn’t see the fourth official saying ‘actually, it could have been a red, that one’.”
Kamsoba received his second yellow card for leaving a boot in on Paulo Retre and Sydney took advantage in the 42nd minute.
Kosta Barbarouses played a one-two with Anthony Caceres, then slid the ball across the face for Bobo to tap home.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Sydney doubled their lead when Caceres slipped through Barbarouses, who took a touch then slid a shot past Matt Acton.
Barbarouses then celebrated in front of the home team supporters, who responded by throwing plastic bottles at the former Victory forward.
Victory’s night went from bad to worse when Dylan Ryan brought down McGowan, with a penalty awarded after a VAR review determined the foul was inside the 18-yard box.
Alexander Baumjohann coolly slotted the spot-kick to make it 3-0 in the 84th minute, and, like Barbarouses earlier, celebrated in front of the home fans and was greeted with bottles.
“We should have had a few more tonight but it was a very dominant performance,” Sydney coach Steve Corica said.
“Obviously with 10 men for them it makes it harder for them, but you still have to get the goals and produce the goods and I think we did that.”
Last-placed Victory’s finals hopes are all but over but Brebner vowed to fight out the season.
“One thing we won’t do is throw in the towel. We’ll endeavour to get as many points as we can over the remaining games,” he said.