Sydney FC star Kosta Barbarouses eroded any doubts about his confidence levels by scoring twice in a 2-1 victory A-League win over Wellington.
The 30-year-old celebrated his first brace in two years against his former side at Kogarah, ending a dry spell of just one goal for the season for the league champions. Pressure was mounting after scoring just once against Western United three weeks ago off a penalty, which ended a 15-game streak without a goal. However, the New Zealand striker showed his class in both goals in Monday night's win.
The first came off a supreme pass from Alexander Baumjohann, who had been elevated to the starting side for the first time this season. Baumjohann gifted the ball perfectly to the right of the net in the 32nd minute with Barbarouses cutting his shot across the keeper to rebound off the post and score.
His second came midway through the second half, picking up a header from Jordan Swibel before overcoming three defenders to blast through his second goal.
The Nix showed big energy and rallied late with a goal to Ulises Davila in added time but sank to their third loss of what is shaping up as a difficult season for the Wollongong-based side.
Meanwhile, the Sky Blues suffered an injury blow late in the match with fears for Chris Zuvela. The 24-year-old went down clutching his left knee in the 83rd minute after spending just two minutes on the field. He returned from a year on the sidelines with an ACL injury last season.
Sydney FC will play Western United on Saturday, while the Nix will face Central Coast at WIN Stadium on Sunday.