Sydney FC Wins 5th A-League Crown
Sydney FC took home its fifth A-League Championship to confirm what we already know: this is Sydney’s golden A-League era.
As pointed out by ABC, this is the third crown for Steve Corica’s side just in the last four years.
It was a wildly entertaining grand final against Melbourne, too, filled to the brim with controversial calls, near-misses, and some good old extra time.
In the end, it was a strike from Rhyan Grant 10 minutes into extra time that ended it all. Erick Mombaert’s side could only watch in disbelief as their total dominance in the first phase, coupled with an overturned goal early in the match-up, all came to a losing halt.
The final score tally may have read 1-0, but there is more to this grand final that deserves utmost recognition, including midfielder Luke Brattan, whose sublime lofted pass paved the way for Grant’s photo finish.
Then there was Andrew Redmayne, who was simply at the right place at the right time for a favorable, albeit highly controversial VAR review to overturn City’s Harrison Delbridge’s 18th-minute goal.
That is, of course, on top of his superb goalkeeping all game-long, exemplified by his block on City substitute Scott Galloway’s 62nd-minute dipping shot, which could have given Melbourne the win.
City did have some clean looks at that goal in late regulation, but Redmayne stood tall to preserve his flawless rap sheet and secure Sydney its back-to-back.
Grant: A Rare Commodity
Still, all eyes are on the rare commodity that is Grant, who remains a one-club man since first suiting up for the Sky Blues in 2008.
As pointed out by The Guardian, his match-up with City’s Nathanial Atkinson was one of the best subplots in their 120 minutes of action, which culminated in a brilliant cross-steer to escape Tom Glover wat the 100th minute.
Grant, who takes much pride in being unconventional, on-court and off it, now has nine career goals to his name, two of which were doled out in grand finals.
The decorated one-club hero, aside from being his side’s ‘energiser bunny’ (Corica’s words, not ours), has bolstered the stark contrast between Sydney and Melbourne, which has consistently fallen below par in the most crucial of moments, in the most important of games.