"I've always dreamt about this as a kid and now it's come true, finally," says Nabbout of his emergence from the Victorian Premier League in the after-match interview. "Nine out of 10 times I would have missed it," the 19-year-old says of the winner, citing good fortune. Too modest. Pascal Bosschaart, by contrast, has this to say: "I still can't beleive we give it away." Another tough week coming up for the Sky Blues.
Full-time: It's all over. Sydney capitulate under Melbourne pressure. The 19-year-old Andrew Nabbout has just marked his arrival.
93rd minute: Bru and Broxham on for Rojas and Finkler. What must Del Piero think? He goes off 2-0 up and 25 minutes later his side is behind. Nabbout had a marker but he fell off the Victory man for the winning goal.
91st minute: Nabbout's the hero!! Goal!! Off the Victory's 15th corner of the night. Sydney's only had two. So maybe that's justice. Five mins of extra time but they don't need it now.
88th minute: Rojas on the left creates a half chance for Finkler, after the ball ricocheted off Ryall. He lashes it wide. Now Thompson weaves around the box and all Sydney can do is pack it with bodies. It's 2-all but Sydney might take this ball into the corners, such is the relentlessness of Melbourne's attack.
Thompson got a touch off Milligan's header. Nabbout earned the corner that lead to the equaliser.
85th minute: Melbourne will feel they deserve more. Quick interplay between Finkler, Nabbout and Thompson. GOAL!!! Thompson.
80st-83rd minutes: Emerton down the other end on a long, slaloming individual run. His end shot was harmless enough but Coe spills the ball and Victory have to clear the lines. It's end-to-end stuff! Sydney with a three-one-one advantage ruined by Powell; Rojas trips over his feet while poised to put the ball past Coe; another corner for Melbourne; Thompson forces a save from Necevski; Nabbout with another volley.
79th minute: GOAL Victory! Curling left-foot shot, in off the post, from super sub Nabbout. He got past Reid and simply unleashed. Wonderful strike.
77th minute: It's all Victory, as Sydney concede ground and possession. Mallia breaks again on the counter with the unlikely support of McFlynn. It's a brief respite.
74th minute: Another two corners for Victory. From the most promising, Reid gets his body in the way of the replacement Nabbout's on-target strike.
71st minute: Victory with 57 per cent possession, and nearly 60 in Sydney's half. Yau replaced by McFlynn. Mallia on the counter races down the flank and misplaces a backheel for Emerton. Fabio joins the fray but the ball is easily cleared from his effort.
67th minute: Flores heavily involved in and around the Sydney box as Melbourne probe with a lot of close-quarters work. However, they don't quite manage to pull the trigger.
64th minute: Mallia warming up on the sideline and it's Del Piero who makes way. Ian Crook understandably being cautious with his prized recruit. Sydney certainly looked a different outfit with him on the field.
61st minute: Ferreira suckered into fouling Del Piero on the fringes of the box. The great man rolls the ball into the Melbourne wall. But oh dear. If Leijer didn't have concussion before he might now. He clears it for the Victory with his heavily bandaged head.
59th minute: Game opening up as Melbourne press to get back into this game on the scoreboard. It's hard to believe they haven't put one in the back of the net. Now Thompson beats Fabio on Sydney's left; Traore on the right threatens but Flores can't do anything with it.
54th minute: Necevski can't clear the ball beyond Finkler, whose touch and shot is cleared off the line by Ryall. On a swift counter, Yau draws a save from Coe. At the other end, Thompson disposseses Powell and crosses the ball for Finkler right in front of goal. Finkler butchers the chance, putting it over the top! All this in the space of 90 seconds.
50th minute: Sydney 2-0. Now a Bosschaart error gifts possession to Rojas, followed by a piece of over-elaboration by Del Piero. Namely a backheel to no one. Thompson works towards goal and the ball is moved back to Milligan. He skies his effort.
48th minute: GOAL Sydney! Del Piero's corner is headed back into the box by Powell, Ryall attempts an overhead kick and then the ball falls for Bosschaart, who hits a left-foot volley sweetly into the back of the net.
Second half: Fifteen seconds into the term and Melbourne have a corner. Finkler's flat ball cleared easily and Yau on the break is fouled by Celeski. Abbas does well to maintain possession in the corner and he and Del Piero combine neatly to earn a corner.
Half-time: Melbourne dominant in the last half hour and Sydney forced to defend deep. Thus invited, Victory attacked in waves. Bosschaart earning raps for his defensive efforts and Ryall credited with better positional play.
46th minute: Bosschaart, sporting Movember facial art, times his tackle on Thompson near the corner on Sydney's goal line to perfection. Rojas gives the ball to Celeski with space outside Sydney's box, he shapes for a shot but offers a through-ball instead. The intent was there. Traore beats his man for yet another cross but Sydney survive. Half-time.
43rd minute: Sydney can't wait for the whistle. Now Rojas launches a free kick and Milligan's spinning, looping header is goal-bound but for the leaping one-armed save of Necevski. It breaks for Traore and it's another corner - their sixth. Finkler's delivery is poor.
41st minute: Sydney scramble the ball away but here come Victory. Ferreira denied but again Victory press forward in their most dominant period of the half. They're closing out much the stronger.
40th minute: Good period for Melbourne as Reid is forced to chest the ball out for another corner.
37th minute: Identical move but at greater pace. This time Traore's cross was lightning and Emerton was forced to clear the lines. A speeding Thompson earns another corner but Necevski rises above and out of the pack to claim the ball.
34th minute: Finkler takes a free kick but it drifts and Leijer can only reach it on the goal line. Del Piero finds some space but his pass, uncharacteristically, finds a defender's legs. Rojas puts a racing Traore to the byline and he earns Melbourne's second corner. Griffith-Jones spots an infringement, however.
30th minute: Leijer gets his head swathed in a mess of bandages on the sidelines. Meanwhile, Yau and Del Piero strike up a neat combination on the edge of the box. Finkler launches a long-range effort that has none of the precision of last week. Leijer back on the field. Ryall, too, is sporting a great roll of strapping tape around his noggin.
26th minute: Abbas fouls Flores, followed up by Bosschaart's knees. Milligan gets to the free kick but his header goes wide. Leijer and Ryall involved in an ugly clash of heads as the ball comes back in. The Melbourne skipper looks like he's suffered gunshot wounds. Bloody mess.
23rd minute: Reid in the clear but he asks too much of Powell, losing the opportunity with a heavy ball on the right flank. Thompson, likewise, gives Rojas plenty of work with a long ball the Kiwi just keeps in. Victory giving up too much cheap possession.
22nd minute: Abbas drives through the centre, the defence holding off, but Powell doesn't do justice to his final ball.
17th minute: Grant's cross too strong moments later and Del Piero pulls out a few party tricks on the edge of the box. At the other end, Victory earn a corner and Finkler's delivery is met by Leijer, who can't generate power or direction. Meanwhile, Traore passes to no one.
14th minute: GOAL! Yau opens the scoring. One touch from Emerton to Del Piero, who puts the perfect pass through to Powell, the youngster crossing the ball near the six-yard mark for the onrushing Yau. Beautifully worked goal by Sydney.
11th minute: High-paced affair so far. Finkler brings the ball down to dink ahead for Thompson and regains the possession as he follows through but he's dispossessed. Milligan yellow-carded for dissent after Del Piero is fouled.
8th minute: Flores this time with a delightful pass that puts Rojas on goal. But the flag goes up again. Appeared marginal.
7th minute: Del Piero touches it off for Fabio, who manages a cross but it's harmless. Minutes later Del Piero threads the needle with a beautiful ball to Powell, but it's just a fraction ahead of him.
4th minute: Rojas ruled offside after a neat through-ball, then Milligan gets ahead of Abbas and he chips the ball forward for Rojas with just a bit too much weight. Abbas on the deck after the Milligan challenge.
Kick-off: Yau gets it underway in front a vocal crowd. Quick free kick and Emerton gets in behind for a cross that's gobbled up by Coe. Quite frantic in the early stages with both sides giving up possession. Fabio give Rojas a push.
Blake Powell, who was energetic off the bench last week, joins Bosschaart, Fabio and Del Piero in the starting line-up for Sydney FC tonight. McClenahan on the bench.
Victory hit the field respendent in their fluoro council-workers strip for away matches.
Join us for kick-off from 7.45pm (AEDT).
Preamble: Melbourne Victory are apparently wary of a wounded beast. Sydney FC must be wary of unforseen catastrophes. If the visitors’ form in the first hour against Wellington on Monday, and Sydney’s generous defending against Central Coast, are any guide, this won’t be a cagey affair. Fourteen goals were scored in those two encounters. For the home side, the possible return of Pascal Bosschaart and Fabio ought to shore up a side that shipped seven to the Mariners, while Alessandro del Piero is back from a hamstring strain to add some authority. And maybe some frantic arm-waving. Melbourne are likely to be unchanged for the “Big Blue”.
Played 24: Sydney FC 5 wins, Victory 7 wins, 12 draws
Last encounter: Sydney FC 1-0 Victory, March 10, 2012
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones
Tab Sportsbet: Sydney $2.25, Victory $2.80, draw $3.50