Sydney FC up to fifth with win over Adelaide

LIAM FITZGIBBON
Last updated 21:44 16/02/2013
Blake Powell
Getty Images
ON A ROLL: Blake Powell celebrates scoring for Sydney FC in their win over Adelaide United.

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Sydney FC's charge to the A-League finals gathered more steam as they beat Adelaide United 2-1 to post a club-record fifth straight home win on Saturday.

Second half goals to youngsters Terry Antonis and Blake Powell delivered a deserved win in front of 15,602 fans at Allianz Stadium.

The win ensured Sydney climbed up to fifth spot, handing them some precious breathing room inside the top six with six regular season games to play.

The victory capped a memorable day for the club, after they earlier announced the signing of Socceroos captain Lucas Neill for the rest of the season.

Despite a sense of optimism surrounding Neill's imminent arrival, and the midweek re-signing of coach Frank Farina, Sydney were slow out of the blocks.

However, they were clearly the better side by the time a dour, scoreless first half drew to a close.

Sydney lost Peter Triantis to a suspected knee injury after halftime and he was replaced by Paul Reid.

But it didn't stop them coming to life, as Alessandro Del Piero struck the left post with a curling, 30-metre free kick just minutes after the break.

It wasn't long before Sydney took the lead when Antonis struck in the 49th minute with his first A-League goal in 35 appearances for the club.

The midfielder collected the ball from Reid and there was more than a touch of fortune as his shot took a wicked deflection off Reds defender Iain Fyfe and went in.

Sydney kept up the pressure as Reid went close and the dangerous Del Piero forced a good save out of Eugene Galekovic.

But the goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Sydney's second goal in the 66th minute.

Adam Griffiths barged onto a corner kick and Powell was there to clean up the scraps, turning the ball in from close range.

Adelaide kept the game alive when substitute Tomi Juric collected a Galekovic free kick and strode away to score.

There were some nervous moments for the home side, but they withstood some late pressure to seal a vital win.

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- AAP

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