Sydney FC 1 (Grant 101’) defeated Melbourne City 0
Sydney FC have been crowned Hyundai A-League Champions for a record fifth time after defeating Melbourne City 1-0 in extra time at Bankwest Stadium.
Moments That Mattered:
- McGOWAN GOAL LINE CLEARANCE - 17’ – Berenguer turns and looks to slot home at the near side of an advancing Redmayne before McGowan comes to the rescue, clearing off the line.
- DELBRIDGE DISALLOWED GOAL - 18’ – Delbridge’s long range effort is chalked off after VAR intervenes, adjudging an offside City player to have impeded Redmayne’s line of sight.
- LE FONDRE PENALTY SHOUT - 28’ - Calls for a penalty are waved away from a clumsy clash with Good up-ending Le Fondre. VAR checks and confirms Beath’s decision.
- LE FONDRE CHANCE – 62’ - Some sublime Sky Blue interplay between the sides attacking quartet almost leads to a Le Fondre goal but his toed touch is dealt with by Glover.
- NINKOVIC CHANCE 62’ - A quick fire double attacking move as Ninkovic is played in behind by Caceres one on one but Glover does enough to deny the midfield maestro with a quick left hand parrying away the chance.
- BUHAGIAR CHANCE - 89’ - Le Fondre drives down the line to square for the speedster whose diving header goes inches away from being a late winner.
- GRANT GOAL - 101’ - The Sky Blue grand final heroics of the 2017 repeat themselves as Brattan spots Grant’s marauding back post run for the right back to chest the ball far post beyond an outstretched Glover.
- GRANT HEADER - 108’ - Baumjohann whips a ball near post with Grant’s thumping header stinging the palms of Glover.
- REDMAYNE SAVE - 111’ - Redmayne produces a brilliant save to deny Atkinson’s long range effort, getting vital fingertips to the ball to prevent a certain goal.
The occasion opened in similar fashion to many grand finals, being cagey in nature with both sides feeling each other out and applying pressure in the hope of taking advantage of the early nerves.
However, the flash points soon came thick and fast with a City goal and what seemed to be a Sydney FC penalty waived away by VAR and the official during the midway boiling point of the half.
Corica’s men appeared to be buoyed by attacking The Cove end in the second stanza, showcasing an attacking masterclass at times and sustained levels of high pressure resulting in a number of nearly moments.
This continued throughout the half with the Sky Blues controlling large parts of the game but thanks to some heroic goalkeeping from Glover, extra time was forced.
The breakthrough would come through an unlikely yet familiar source, echoing the amazing scenes of the famous 2017 Grand Final triumph.
Rhyan Grant’s gut busting and never ending work ethic was rewarded in the best way possible as Brattan’s driving diagonal ball picked out the Socceroo’s shoulder to push it past a flapping Glover and send those lucky to be in attendance into raptures.
As City desperately searched for a way back into the contest, more gaps started to appear with Sydney FC extremely unlucky on a number of occasions to not double the advantage.
In the end, the solitary Sky Blue goal was enough to secure a historic fifth Australian domestic Championship title, making the club the most successful club in the nation.
What they said: Steve Corica: “It’s amazing, it has been the longest season ever. I’m just so proud of these boys for not only winning the Premiership but also the Championship as well.
“We wanted it, we were desperate to go back to back and the players and staff deserve all the credit.
“I thought Melbourne City played very well for the first 15 minutes. I think the disallowed goal woke us up a bit but I think from then on we controlled the game.
“I think this one is very special going back to back and becoming the most successful club in Australian football history with five Championships is great.”
Rhyan Grant: “I said to Bimbi before the game that I thought I was going to score and I was just having a joke, but in the back of the mind I thought I was a chance.
“I thought tonight I might get a bit lucky and the way it went in I did get a little bit lucky, but as my old man always says you’ve got to create your own luck.
“I’m over the moon to score but even more happy to collect another trophy for such a great club.”
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 6. Ryan McGowan, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 87’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES (5. Alexander BAUMJOHANN 87’), 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Luke BRATTAN.
Subs: 20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 3. Ben WARLAND, 18. Luke IVANOVIC, 19. Chris ZUVELA, 21. Harry Van Der SAAG,
Yellow Cards: 8. Paulo RETRE 53’, 23. Rhyan GRANT 97’.
Red Cards: None.
Melbourne City: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 4. Harrison DELBRIDGE (2. Scott GALLOWAY), 6. Josh BRILLANTE, 9. Jamie MacLAREN, 10. Florin BERENGUER (34. Conor METCALFE 76’), 11. Craig NOONE (49. Stefan COLAKOVSKI. 107’), 13. Nathaniel ATKINSON, 19. Lachlan WALES (21. Ramy NAJJARINE 86’), 20. Adrian LUNA, 22. Curtis GOOD, 40. Richard WINDBICHLER (7. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 116’).
Subs: 46. Joe GAUCI (GK), 30. Moudi NAJJAR,
Yellow Cards: 40. Richard WINDBICHLER 103’, 13. Nathaniel ATKINSON 117’,
Red Cards: None.
Ground: Bankwest Stadium
Referee: Chris Beath