Milestone man Rhyan Grant scored a rare goal as Sydney FC ended a winless A-League run with a 2-0 home victory over Western United.
Playing in his 200th A-League game, Socceroos fullback Grant rounded off a fine 47th-minute move to slide the ball home in Wednesday’s match at Netstrata Jubilee Oval.
He doubled the half-time lead Sydney earned through an 18th minute penalty from Bobo as the Sky Blues were good value for their win.
The victory – Sydney’s first in five games – lifted Sydney to seventh level on points with Brisbane, who held on to sixth by virtue of having scored more goals than the Sydneysiders.
United finished with 10 men after veteran defender Andrew Durante caught Jordan Swibel with a hand to the face in additional time.
Ninth-placed United have lost three successive matches outside Victoria and four of their last five.
With talisman Alessandro Diamanti left at home, United didn’t have as much creative firepower but still made the slicker start.
They came close in the second minute when Connor Pain fired a shot against a post.
Sydney worked their way into the game and the impressive Anthony Caceres forced Ryan Scott into a save in the goalkeeper’s starting debut.
Former Sydney player Aaron Calver gave away a penalty after bundling over Kosta Barbarouses and Bobo’s powerful spot kick flicked Scott’s fingers before bulging the net.
After Bobo’s goal it was Sydney who created most of the chances, though United competed well.
United’s Iker Guarrotxena had a shot stopped by Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne following a rare error from captain and defender Alex Wilkinson.
The visitors had few chances in the second half with substitute Lachie Wales putting the ball over with his thigh from close range near the end.
Sydney had opportunities to extend their lead after Grant’s goal, with Barbarouses firing into the side netting and substitute Swibel shooting wide.
One concern for Sydney was an ankle injury to Ninkovic from a foul by Tomislav Uskok, who got a yellow card.