Alessandro Del Piero was integral to Sydney FC's win over Victory. Image courtesy of fifa.com/Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Sydney FC got a much needed win last week, showing enough spirit to keep under fire coach Frank Farina in a job. Any question of if the Sky Blues coach had the respect of his dressing room dissipated as Sydney showed the unity and heart that they have been lacking in previous outings. The return of the wily Alessandro Del Piero was the catalyst that ignited a thrilling first stanza against Melbourne Victory, and the Italian was even able to celebrate his 39th birthday with a goal. The hosts led 3-2 at half-time and despite playing the final hour with 10 men , they held on during a scoreless second half.
Finding the back of the net is something that struggling Melbourne Heart is finding hard to do , with Maltese talisman Michael Mifsud yet to fully fire. This leaves the cellar dwellers with just one goal so far this campaign and their former Socceroo coach John Aloisi now the one under pressure to get the best from his team. One piece of hope that the Heart can cling on to is that despite not yet recording a win this season, their last victory (in February) came at home to Farina’s men.
Heart has named a relatively unchanged squad after last week’s diabolical loss vs. reigning premiers Western Sydney Wanderers. While Sydney FC’s depth will be tested after being hit by the suspension of Marc Warren and Tiago Calvano, which sees the return of hard man Terry McFlynn and shaky defender Matt Jurman.
Five of the nine clashes between these teams have ended in draws, including two scoreless affairs. Sydney FC has only ever recorded one win over Heart in three seasons with a 2-1 triumph at home in January their only victory.
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