Rivals share points

Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory shared six goals and split the points in their Grand Final re-match at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory shared six goals and split the points in their Grand Final re-match at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

Sydney appeared to be coasting towards all three points midway through the second half only for Mate Dugandzic to inspire the Victory to a remarkable three-goal burst within the space of seven minutes.

Sydney had marginally the better of the first half but possession remained even at the interval with the opening 45 minutes giving no indication of the drama that was to follow.

On 20 minutes Stuart Musialik momentarily looked like breaking the deadlock as his free-kick from distance appeared goalbound only to take a deflection.

Hayden Foxe came close to breaking the deadlock from Nick Carle-s ensuing corner but the central defender could only power his header wide of the mark.

On the half-hour mark Carle displayed lightning-fast feet to set up a passing opportunity on the edge of the penalty area. Though the move ultimately came to nothing, Sydney fans will be hoping the moment of magic from their star off-season recruit is a portent of things to come.

Moments later Mark Bridge lifted a ball over his defender with Alex Brosque a whisker from stabbing the ball past Michael Petkovic for the opening goal.

Sydney finally were rewarded for their first-half pressure though it came in unlikely fashion. A moment of indecision from Kevin Muscat proved fatal as Bridge disposed the Victory skipper in his own penalty area and squared for Brosque to finish confidently from close range.

The uncharacteristic error follows on from Muscat-s rare, but crucial miss, from the penalty spot at the conclusion of last season-s Grand Final which as Sydney claimed the championship.

The second half commenced with Tom Pondeljak turning smartly inside the penalty area but his shot lacked the necessary venom to trouble the hitherto untroubled Liam Reddy in the Sydney goal.

Another defensive lapse helped Sydney to their second with Terry McFlynn taking advantage of a loose ball to direct a header over Petkovic after Even Berger allowed a cross to bounce past him.

On the hour mark Brosque was set-up for a shooting chance but he pulled his shot wide from the edge of the penalty area. Just as the home side seemed set to take control, the Victory turned the contest on its head with their three-goal burst.

An unlikely goal from Leigh Broxham started the comeback as he bundled the ball over the line from a Pondeljak cross. Just a minute later, Pondeljak was again the provider with Dugandzic brilliantly turning his marker with an inspired piece of skill to slot away the equaliser.

Dugandzic then superbly set up Billy Celeski by holding the ball up inside the penalty area and squaring for the substitute to score.

The three points appeared to be headed south until Cole directed a free-kick from 20 metres inside the near post to send the home fans into ecstasy.

There was still time for Sydney to go close to snatching a winner with virtually the last kick of the match only for McFlynn-s shot to be desperately cleared by the Victory defence.

Sydney FC 3 (Alex Brosque 36-, Terry McFlynn 53-, Shannon Cole 85-)

Melbourne Victory 3 (Leigh Broxham 66-, Mate Dugandzic 67-, Billy Celeski 73-)