Striker Dimitri Petratos notched his first A-League hat-trick to help Brisbane Roar to a convincing 5-2 win against Sydney FC on Boxing Day. Many patrons would recognise Dimi’s face through his involvement with SSC’s Golden Goal academy and those silky skills came back to haunt his former club in the opening match of Round 11.
The Sky Blues opened the scoring in front of their home fans courtesy of a spectacular Alessandro Del Piero free-kick. The Sydney FC skipper was able to bend the ball around the wall in the wet to register his fifth goal of the season. However it was all downhill for Frank Farina’s men from there as the Roar netted five unanswered goals to extend their lead at the top of the table.
German import Thomas Broich scored the equaliser, before Petratos got his first from the penalty spot. The 21-year-old was forced to retake his original effort as his eagerness to pull the trigger saw him fire before the referees whistle was blown. He made no mistake with his second effort, holding his nerve to again fire the ball into the top left corner of the net.
Petratos, who returned to Australia at the start of the season following a brief stint in Malaysia, had his second before the break. The Roar No.23 latched onto the end of a well-worked passing exchange, sending his bullet shot into the roof of the net. He scored his third in the second-half, again from the spot, as the league leaders put the Sky Blues to the sword.
Socceroo Ivan Franjic also found his name onto the scoresheet, while Richard Garcia was able to net a late consolation for the Sky Blues. The win meant Brisbane Roar became the first A-League club to register 100 wins in the competition and saw them end 2013 with a four point lead at the league’s summit.
Roar coach Mike Mulvey heaped praise on his young recruit after the match saying Dimitri was fully deserving of his opportunity due to his fantastic attitude in training.
“He's got great character and I knew that when we released him onto the field,” said Mulvey. “He's got so much energy, he's got quality that it doesn’t matter if he's playing against Sydney FC or anyone else.”
The hat-trick could well be the making of Petratos, who has made most of his appearances off the bench so far this season. The former Sydney FC striker was modest about his performance in a post-match interview and refused the rub salt into the wound the Roar had inflicted. The young attacker will surely be an irresistible inclusion when his side travels to Melbourne to play Victory in the New Year.
On behalf of Strathfield Sports Club we’d like to send our congratulations to Dimi and wish him all the best for the rest of the season. Don’t forget you can catch every match of the A-League live on the big screen in the SSC clubhouse.