Former Melbourne Victory striker Kosta Barbarouses fired Sydney FC to a crucial win against his old team in the Big Blue rivalry.
How does Rhyan Grant do it?
Just a bit more than 60 hours ago, Grant played a full 90 minutes for the Socceroos in the uncomfortable Middle Eastern conditions. Tonight, after a long-haul flight which was upgraded to first-class by his team, he incredibly did another full match.
Full-back is perhaps the role that requires the most running and the most stamina, especially in Grant’s game where he’s ordered to run up and down the right side of the pitch throughout the game.
The 28 year old even found the energy to position himself in the box to chest a Milos Ninkovic cross on a platter for Barbarouses to finish up, just reinforcing how important his attacking tendencies are for the team.
He might have been culpable for Victory’s only goal as he lost Ola Toivonen in the box, but it’s difficult to be especially harsh on him after the past three days that he had.
Now, hopefully Grant can enjoy a well-earned rest and a nice ice bath after the game. It’s the least he deserves.
Ola Toivonen Stands Tall
Since arriving on Australian shores last year, the big Swede has consistently shown that he is one of the best, if not the best, players in the A-League.
Last season, he was alongside quality teammates such as Keisuke Honda and Terry Antonis to help support his plays. Now, Victory has become a one-man show, and Toivonen seems to spend all his time in the spotlight.
Against Sydney, he struggled to receive much of the ball by coming deep and was largely a bystander as Victory looked to hold tight defensively. Still, it only took Melbourne’s captain one chance for him to give his team an unlikely lead.
Toivonen found space in the box while Hope delivered a precise cross from a Victory counter-attack for the Swede to header it in from close range.
It wasn’t enough on the night as Sydney showed while Toivonen might be a one man army, the Sky Blues are a well drilled platoon.