Sydney FC March Into Grand Final

A double to substitute striker Chris Payne and clinical strikes from Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque have catapulted Sydney FC in the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League Grand Final with the Sky Blues running out 4-2 winners against the Wellington Phoenix at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.


A double to substitute striker Chris Payne and clinical strikes from Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque have catapulted Sydney FC in the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League Grand Final with the Sky Blues running out 4-2 winners against the Wellington Phoenix at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night.

The result sets up a mouth watering decider with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium next Saturday night in what promises to be another pulsating encounter between the two clubs.

“It was an important game for both teams. I was happy we played a good game,” coach Vitezslav Lavicka said. “It was trouble when John Aloisi had to come off but Payne is a young player and he showed tonight that he is more than a good replacement.”

“We are focusing on next week-s game. We will have a couple of recovery sessions and after that we will prepare and train for next week-s final.”

It was a match that the Sky Blues always looked to be in control of and despite losing captain John Aloisi early in the match, the hosts dominated the match.

“It was good we went at them. We put them on their back foot. We have been good on counter attacks all year and tonight was an example of that,” Alex Brosque said.

“We are confident that we can go down there and win. We need to do what we did when we beat them 3-0, we went at them, we left nothing in and just really put them on the back foot.”From the outset the Sky Blues looked to put the Wellington defence under pressure, with Brosque in particular finding the ball in dangerous spots early.

Though it was an unlikely hero in Chris Payne who opened the scoring for Sydney. Brought on after 19 minutes following a hamstring injury to Aloisi, his impact was immediate.

In just his second minute on the pitch a clever pass from Brosque found Payne in space, and from close range he slotted it past Wellington goalkeeper Liam Reddy at the near post.

Down the other end, chances were few and far between for the Phoenix inside the first twenty minutes.

Though on 26 minutes, in what was Wellington-s first real chance of the match, they managed to draw level through Andrew Durante. A Francis Lia header found Durante in space and his close range header managed to find the back of the net.

The goal however was only a brief setback for the Sky Blues as they immediately looked to apply pressure straight back on the Wellington side.

It was a quick reply for Sydney with Payne scoring his second and third of his career on the 30 minute mark. With a dangerous free kick from Sung-Hwan Byun to the penalty box, Payne converted from close range to give Sydney a 2-1 lead going into break.After the break Brosque looked dominant again, and on 63 minutes he made Wellington-s task a whole lot tougher.

With Bridge leading the attack, Sydney found themselves with a three on two in attack. With a clever pass from Bridge, he found Brosque in space, and from inside the area he slotted one past a despairing Reddy to put Sydney up 3-1.

The contest was as good as over on 70 minutes with a Mark Bridge tap in making it 4-1 for the hosts.

With Brosque and Bridge in space in their attacking half, the pair managed to find themselves one out with Reddy, with Brosque unselfishly handing it off to Bridge who had an open goal beckoning.

Eugene Dadi scored a consolation for the visitors with ten minutes remaining, but it was Sydney-s night, with their dominant performance an encouraging sign going into next week-s decider.

Match Details:

Sydney FC: 4 (PAYNE 21', 30', BROSQUE 62', BRIDGE 71') Wellington Phoenix: 2 (DURANTE 25', DADI 80')

Sydney FC Line-up: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI (c) (16. Christopher PAYNE 19'), 14. Alex BROSQUE (7. Brendan GAN 83'), 15. Terry MCFLYNN (5. Hayden FOXE 87'), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN.

Substitutes Not Used: 13. Antony GOLEC, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: 15. Terry MCFLYNN 66', 16. Christopher PAYNE 78'. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 16. Christopher PAYNE 21', 30', 14. Alex BROSQUE 62', 19. Mark BRIDGE 71'.

Wellington Phoenix Line-up: 2. Emmanuel MUSCAT, 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jonathan MCKAIN, 6. Tim BROWN (15. Eugene DADI 65'), 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL (5. Diego WALSH 79'), 9. Chris GREENACRE, 13. Troy HEARFIELD (11. Daniel CORTES 58'), 17. Vince LIA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 40. Liam REDDY (gk).

Substitutes Not Used: 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk).

Yellow Cards: Nil. Red Cards: Nil. Goals: 22. Andrew DURANTE 25', 15. Eugene DADI 80'.

Referee: Peter GREEN Attendance: 13 196 at the Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.