Stage one complete of Popovics exciting vision for Perth – Hyundai A-League

Stage one complete of Popovic\s exciting vision for Perth - Hyundai A-League

Like something Id kick to my 18 month old: Retiring soccer star is roasted over penalty kick

And with that, Ill bid you adieu. What a night. The party will continue into the night for those in sky blue, but spare a thought for Perth, who were the best team this season, and the manner of their defeat. Its tough. But at least no one is talking about VAR. Are they? Until next time.

Some more Sydney FC players are talking. Heres Milos Ninkovic: To be honest, when its a penalty shootout, anything is possible, but Redders did a great job. Hes probably the best goalkeeper in the league. The way he was playing this year I knew he would save at least two penalties. I never thought Id stay so long here. I say many thanks, my wife wand my kids are happy here. And I am too.

Perth Glory fans have been left reeling after a pathetic penalty kick from Perth striker Brendan Santalab (left) secured the grand final win for Sydney FC. Pictured: Santalab being consoled by defender Jason Davidson after losing the 2019 A-League Grand Final at Optus Stadium in Perth

Goalkeeper Wins A League Final With Incredible Penalty Save Technique

Alex Wilkinson: Its special night. Ive been on this situation a few times before, in penalty shootouts. Its difficult to be on the losing side, as Perth are tonight. People wrote us off this year, but were always had belief in the squad. [On the disallowed goal] At half-time, lets just forget about it. To me on the screen it looked onside. Luckily it didnt change the result too much.

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Adam Le Fondre: Unbelievable. Its one of my crowning achievements. I came out here to win big things. Im just buzzing. Its a testament to the boys. Theyre such a great group, its carried us all the way to here.

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.

Brandon ONeill immediately sticks the toilet seat around his neck and embraces his wife. As you do,

Fans slammed Brendan Santalab for his Panenka shot, which is a technique used instead of kicking the ball to the left or right of the goalkeeper by giving the ball a subtle touch underneath

Another grand final defeat for Popovic. Its still raw, he says. Obviously disappointed, we really wanted this. We were very close, we had our moments in the game but unfortunately it didnt come off. But congratulations to Sydney FC.

After helping Sydney FC secure the A-League title, Redmayne was quoted by the Guardian as saying: “Pure elation. Amazing performance. We knew it was going to be tough and a tactical battle and that’s what it was. Just happy we could do it for our captain, our leader Alex Brosque.”

Rhyan Grant is called up. Hes roundly booed. Thats a shame, he played with his heart on his sleeve tonight, and he might have got under Glorys skin, but as he said earlier, thats football.

Alex Brosque begins his speech by thanking Perth and sympathising on the shootout loss. You guys were the best team all year. To the city, and all the people who came out tonight, the atmosphere was incredible. You guys put on a show so thank you very much.

Now the Sydney players are being invited up onto the stage to receive their medals. Oops, Paulo Retre is introduced as Carlos Retre. He can smile about it though.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the likes of Jerzy Dudek and Bruce Grobbelaar, Redmayne pulled off a series of bizarre movements in a bid to psyche out Perth Glory’s penalty takers.

Perth Glory aim to become kings of Asia

The presentation ceremony is underway, with Michael Zappone conducting things. His first point of business: the Joe Marston medal. And the winner is… Milos Ninkovic! For a second time!

Despite the moment of controversy, this was a still final of merit. The 2018-2019 A-League season has been blighted by boardroom struggles, poor ratings and flat attendances, but there was little of that negativity on show in the Western Australia capital. The majestic Optus Stadium, which Manchester United and Leeds United will visit in the coming months, was sold out with a 56,371 record grand final crowd and a wonderful, noisy atmosphere was generated in the west.

More reaction to come, but first Alex Brosque will lift the old toilet seat – an utterly fitting way to bow out of Australian football for the retiring 35-year-old.

But Zullo was adjudged to be offside, despite replays later showing he was not, and the VAR ruled that as the margin was too tight it would not overrule the call made by referee Shaun Evans. It was bitter pill to swallow for Sydney and their supporters, and came exactly a year after the 2018 grand final was marred by a VAR howler at McDonald Jones Stadium. There was a distinct whiff of déjà vu.

Redmayne seems genuinely lost for words. Pure elation. Amazing performance. We knew it was going to be tough and a tactical battle and thats what it was. Just happy we could do it for our cpatain, our leader Alex Brosque.

The two teams arrived in the decider in decidedly different fashion. Perth had dominated the league, picked up the premiers plate and have been reinvented from underachievers to champions by coach Tony Popovic. But they only scraped into the grand final after being put through the ringer by an impressive Adelaide United in the semi-final.

They are champions in my eyes: Popovic

Rhyan Grant: Its freakish. Over the moon for everyone involved. It was very cagey. Not a lot of chances but both teams were getting stuck in. I got booed for it, but thats just part of the game. We backed ourselves. Unfortunately, it went to pens, its never a good way to lose.

Sydney FC, the best team in the competition of the past few years, finished second in the league, but they had lost the FFA Cup final and been dominated in the Asian Champions League. But momentum was with Steve Coricas side after they booked their spot in the final after obliterating rivals Melbourne Victory 6-1 in their last outing.

Sydney FC A-League champs again, thwarting Perth Glory in penalty shootout

Reza delivers the killer blow but Andrew Redmayne deserves immense credit as Sydney secure their fourth A-League title in the most dramatic of circumstances! They edge Perth in a shootout and they will lift the toilet seat shortly!

The most nuanced passages of play involved the full-backs. For Sydney Rhyan Grant was a pest down the right flank, engaging in a running battle with Jason Davidson. The pair carried on like Bash Street Kids, occasionally tumbling over in knots of limbs a cloud of dust away from a comic strip. But it was Michael Zullo down Sydneys left that created the clearest chance of the opening half. Or did he? Zullo was ruled offside by the assistant referee as he struck the cross that led to an own-goal, a decision VAR refused to overturn for failing to reach the margin of error threshold. In a match lacking in incident this decision will be sliced and diced like the Zapruder film.

The spot kicks are going to be taken at the end where the Sydney FC fans are congregated. The Sky Blues will shoot first. Here we go.

The regulation 90 minutes of the grand final were played almost exclusively between the two defensive lines. In that space Chris Ikonomidis and Adam Le Fondre buzzed, Diego Castro and Joe Marston medallist Milos Ninkovic probed, but both sides executed near perfect defensive displays. Rarely was a man out of position. Runs were checked, ball carriers in the attacking third were double teamed, and turnovers in vulnerable areas were kept to a minimum. Even a flaming airborne dragon would have struggled for penetration such was the organisation and communication on display.

An email! Reading the blog, writes Josh Patterson. Can you educate me as to how Perth have made 4 substitutions when the limit was 3 as far as i knew. I believe its a new rule that allows a team to make another in the finals if it goes to extra-time.

Read more If there was one criticism amongst this admiration of defensive resilience it was the lack of chaos embraced by either coach. Only on rare occasions did a defender or midfielder look to break the first line while further forward attackers were so fixated on combinations the unpredictability of a speculative long-range shot or a wrecking ball dribble were declined. Five of the six players with the most possession during the match formed the central phalanx of Glorys rearguard. Just three shots on target in 120 minutes tells its own story.

Glory rally around devastated Santalab

So, Perth go again in a shootout for the second time in just over a week. All eyes on Reddy and Redmayne, but also on those potential heroes and villains who will have to step up and be counted.

120 mins: Is this it? ONeill slips and fails to deal with Davidsons cross. But nothing comes of it. One minute of added time to be played.

Sydney thought they had the lead in the 28th minute when Le Fondre tucked home from Michael Zullos cross, only for the offside flag to cut his celebrations short and, despite the former Reading striker having clearly been onside when the ball was delivered into him, VAR upheld the decision.

118 mins: You can hear the hope in the Perth fans as Santalab looks to get on a long through ball, but the sound of disappointment is just as audible as he slips on the turf.

Alex Brosques A-League career came to an end when he was replaced by Ghoochannejhad shortly after the restart, but it was Perth who had the chance to clinch the win late on only for Jason Davidson to shoot straight at Redmayne from a tight angle rather than tee up Castro.

117 mins: Oh dear, there are some tired legs out there now. Namely ONeill who first shanks a free-kick and then his efforts to get the ball back into the Perth box.

116 mins: Djulbic doesnt like this decision one bit, but thats not going to persuade Shaun Evans to erase his name from the book, taken for a lunge on Ninkovic.

And the goalkeeper proved their hero in the shoot-out, keeping out Andy Keoghs strike before standing his ground when Brendon Santalab – making his last A-League appearance prior to retirement – attempted a Panenka.

114 mins: Time is running out to make a decisive intervention and steer this match away from the dreaded shootout.

Spot on: The two-word note behind Redmaynes penalty heroics

111 mins: Now Ikonomidis and Ninkovic go hammer and tongs with each other. Its all fair though. Meanwhile, Brendan Santalab is going to come on. Sydney FC fans dont really like him too much, so its kind of set up for him to score a late winner, isnt it?

Incorrect use of VAR yet again in the #ALeague this time in the biggest game of the season, the grand final!Worst interpretation of the rules in any league in the world #ALeagueGF

Steve Corica believes Milos Ninkovic is the best marquee in Australia

110 mins: Lowry gets on the end of the corner but its over the bar and Redmayne has a goal kick to take.

109 mins: Grant and Davidson clash again! Great stuff! Theyve gone at each other all night long. This time its a free-kick to Perth, taken by Brimmer. Its floated in and the ball comes off the top of a Sydney head, before bouncing just wide of the upright.

Michael Zullo was adjudged to have been offside in the 28th minute when he played in a ball that was bundled home by Matthew Spiranovic under pressure from Adam Le Fondre. 

107 mins: Neville! Ooh! He lashes wide of the mark after good work from Davidson sees a cross run all the way through to the substitute. Thats just what Perth needed early this period, just to raise the noise levels in the stands.

Sundays crowd beat the previous record for an A-League grand final – the 55,436 that were on hand for Melbourne Victorys crushing 6-0 win over Adelaide United in the 2006/07 decider.

105 mins: Fifteen minutes remain before the horror of penalties. And it wouldnt surprise me if it did go to a shootout, given the lack of scoring chances weve had so far tonight.

104 mins: Perth look like theyre about to make a third change with Jake Brimmer getting briefed on the touchline.

Stage one complete of Popovics exciting vision for Perth

102 mins: Keogh is beaten to the ball by Calver as another promising Perth move forward is snuffed out.

And spare a thought for Popovic, who has now lost all four of his A-League grand finals, three of which were at Western Sydney.

101 mins: The good thing about Grant being public enemy No 1 in Perth at the moment is that if youve turned you head away from the game for a moment, you always know if hes on the ball.

“My whole dream of getting into Asia – once we get over this disappointment, the realisation that next year well be hosting those bigger clubs out of Japan and China and Korea – thats going to sink in.”

97 mins: Here goes Reza with his first real chance to show Perth what hes capable of. He sprints down the Sydney left, before crossing into the box, but theres no one there to get on the end of it.

“We really want to be the best club in Asia,” said Sage, who has pumped almost $30 million of his own money into Glory over the past 12 years.

96 mins: Kilkennys latest corner causes a moment of concern in the Sydney defence, but Redmayne isnt unduly troubled. Difficult to see where a goal is coming from at this stage.

They missed out on being crowned A-League champions but Perth Glory have set their sights on an even bigger goal – to be the kings of Asia.

Sydney FC pinch grand final from premiers Perth

95 mins: And there goes Brosque. The end of a fine, fine career. And hes had a very good game tonight. Ghoochannejhad on to replace him.

Alex Brosque aims for perfect A-League farewell

93 mins: Brosque clashes with Kilkenny in the middle of the park, as Reza gets ready to enter the fray, most likely for Brosque, who is currently doubled over clutching his hamstring.

92 mins: Caceres pulls off an outrageous bit of skill on this near touchline, but it looks like hes allowed the ball to go out of play. Still, mad skills.

91 mins: Scott Neville has come on for Ivan Franjic as Perth get the first period of extra-time gets underway.

Perth Glory A-League Grand Final moves into extra time after VAR controversy

90+2 mins: Its not the best corner but Brosque asks the ref for a penalty, as Davidson tugs at his shirt. Nothing doing though and that could well be that.

90+1 mins: Its a great delivery by ONeill but Franjic stands up to the pressure and heads behind for a corner. Still danger…

Andrew Redmaynes wiggle heroics lead Sydney FC to A-League championship

90 mins: Juande is the next to go into the book as tension increases. You might call this squeaky bum time now. ONeill over the free-kick…

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