Sydney FC crowned A-League champions after shootout heroics


Sydney FC are the A-League Champions after beating Perth Glory on penalties in the grand final at Optus Stadium.

Andrew Redmayne saved efforts from Andy Keogh and Brendon Santalab in a shootout to deny the Glory in front of a record grand final crowd.

Adam Le Fondre, Brandon O'Neill, Rhyan Grant and Reza Ghoochannejhad scored in the 4-1 penalty success.

The win brings Sydney a fourth title, meaning they sit alongside Melbourne Victory as the A-League's most successful club once more.

It also sends Sky Blues captain Alex Brosque out on a winning note, the former Socceroo bringing the curtain down on his career.

The result broke Perth hearts, the club still yet to break through for their first title in the A-League era.

For coach Tony Popovic, it brought a similar feeling.

While Popovic delivered the Glory a premiership in his first season at Perth, he is also still waiting for a grand final win after four efforts; the first three with Western Sydney.

But Sydney - who claimed three of their four titles through shootouts - proved their prowess from the spot with four expertly taken penalties.

They will feel justice was served in the shootout after scoring what they felt was a legitimate goal in the first-half, when Matthew Spiranovic sliced Michael Zullo's cross into the net.

The linesman incorrectly flagged Zullo as offside, and a video assistant upheld the decision despite replays appearing to show the full-back as onside.

Tense grand final tactics and a slippery pitch contributed to goalless affair, with very few chances.

Popovic sprung a surprise by leaving Keogh out of his starting lineup, with his replacement Joel Chianese failing to cut through.

Diego Castro, a peripheral first-half figure, drew the first save of the game after half-time with a header from Ivan Franjic's centre.

A furious bust-up between Rhyan Grant and Jason Davidson shortly after signalled the contest had finally come alive, and made the mulleted Sydney FC man a pantomime villain for the rest of the contest.

Redmayne was equal to another Castro header but Glory weren't able to fashion cut-through moments.

In extra-time, Perth looked likely winners, still possessing pace up front thanks to the fresh Keogh and the lively Chris Ikonomidis.

With Brosque off with a tight hamstring, bringing a premature end to his final appearance, the Sky Blues were out on their feet.

Sydney's defence, led by a superb Aaron Calver, was able to hold Perth out to a shootout - where Steve Corica's men saluted.

Milos Ninkovic was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for his performance, though there was no standout choice for the prize.

Source AAP