Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold surpassed the 100 Hyundai A-League game mark for the Sky Blues in Round 15, becoming the first Head Coach at the club to do so, in yet another milestone in his tenure.
With so many clashes, we look back at some of the more memorable games from game one until the present, spanning the Hyundai A-League, Westfield FFA Cup and AFC Champions League.
1 – Arnie’s first #SydneyDerby. October 18, 2014:
Following a 1-1 draw against City in his first Hyundai A-League clash at the helm, Head Coach Graham Arnold faced the Wanderers in his first ever #SydneyDerby at Allianz Stadium.
Trailing 2-0 early in the match what followed was a remarkable turnaround as Cory Gameiro reduced the deficit before half time, while Sasa Ognenovski levelled proceedings early in the second half.
With time ticking down up stepped Captain Alex Brosque to strike home the winner, spark jubilant scenes on the pitch and cap off a remarkable first Derby for Arnold.
“I think over 90 minutes we had 15 bad minutes,” Arnold said post match.
“I thought we played some real good stuff, when we went down 2-0 I changed the system with Brosquey going to number 10.
“At the end of the day it’s was a great night for our fans, a record breaking crowd, to go 2-0 behind and send out supporters home with a 3-2 win will stay in their minds for a long time.”
2 – A Semi-Final in his first season. May 9, 2015:
Going toe to toe with Melbourne Victory all year, the Sky Blues’ finished second in the Hyundai A-League and lined up against Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium for a spot in the 2015 Grand Final.
What followed was a slick Sky Blues performance as they fired four goals beyond the Reds to ease into the 2015 showpiece clash, to cap off a solid first year in charge for Arnold at Allianz Stadium.
“It was overall a good performance,” Arnold said.
“I thought some of our play was very good, Adelaide are always a difficult team to play against.”
3 – Arnie’s first home AFC Champions League clash. March 2, 2016:
Over 18,000 fans flocked to Sydney Football Stadium on a Wednesday night to see the Sky Blues compete in Asia for the first time in five years.
Coming up against the riches of Chinese side and reigning Asian Champions Guangzhou Evergrande, with $50 million man Jackson Martinez leading their front line, The Sky Blues were ranked outsiders for the clash.
Cue scenes of celebration though, as an early opener to Robert Stambolziev was followed up by and 88th minute winner by Milos Dimitrijevic to hand the Sky Blues their first points in the group and set them up for the knockout stages of the competition.
“It was a wonderful night for Sydney FC and the players especially,” Arnold said after the match.
“Our performance was outstanding, the boys carried out the gameplan very well and I thought we were good for the three points.
“It’s a fantastic result to beat the Asian Champions.”
4 – That Grand Final win, the Record Breakers. May 7, 2017:
Conquering all before them, Head Coach Graham Arnold’s squad eclipsed record after record to firmly cement themselves as the best ever team in Australian football in 2016/17.
Capping off such a fantastic season was a showpiece Grand Final at Allianz Stadium that showed every trait of the Sky Blues’ squad, coming back from a goal down to clinch the Championship in a penalty shootout with Milos Ninkovic slotting the decisive spot kick.
For Arnold, it was his second piece of silverware with the club following the team’s Premiership success that season, and a match that will live long in the memory.
“I thought it was a real cup final, a very physical game, a lot of passion,” Arnold said.
“We had to match the fight and we matched it. If we hadn’t been prepared to match that fight it would have been a more difficult night.
“I wanted it so badly for the players, for everything they’d done. We’ve gone from Round 1 to Round 29 with only one loss.”
5 – The treble is completed, the 2017 Westfield FFA Cup Final. November 21, 2017:
Picking up where they left off last season, Sydney FC set about picking up even more silverware with the ever elusive Westfield FFA Cup.
Triumphing 2-1 after extra time in a match that had every emotion, Head Coach Graham Arnold completed his list of domestic honours by lifting the cup at Allianz Stadium in yet another milestone for the Sky Blues.
“I thought it was a good game,” Arnold said at full time.
“To put in a shift of 120 minutes and find a way to win is what makes me so proud of the players. Their will to win is just second to none.”
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