The two grand finalists from last season’s spectacle in Perth met again this weekend in their first encounter since that fateful night at Optus Stadium and it was the champions who came up trumps. Sydney FC defeated Perth Glory yet again in Perth but unlike the Grand Final, this match was spoiled with goals. Yet similarly to the Grand Final, it was also marred with VAR controversy.
The away side wasted no time in showing just why they are Champions of Australia as the Sky Blues took an early lead courtesy of a penalty from Adam Le Fondre after Milos Ninkovic went down in the box due to a shirt tug from Diego Castro. Only ten minutes into the game and we already have our first controversy of the night. I love this league.
Was the penalty milked? Perhaps. But did Castro pull his shirt? Yes.
1-0 to Sydney.
Perth weren’t going to sit back and let Sydney run riot. Not at all. Not after the embarrassment in the Grand Final.
Enter El Tuna.
Neil Kilkenny played a beautiful long ball to Joel Chianese who knocked it onto Bruno Fornaroli who then volleyed it home to make it 1-1. Game on.
Sydney came into the second half with all guns blazing as they created many chances to try and get back in it and it was through a cool finish from Kosta Barbarouses that they did so. There were doubts of offside from the Kiwi and VAR stepped in to give the verdict but Kosta was deemed onside and the goal stood.
Sydney took control of the game from this point and created more chances to try and put this game to bed and it was some silky link up play from Sydney’s attack that put them ahead even further.
Kosta to Grant to Ninkovic. Ninkovic to the back of the net. Easy as you like.
3-1 to the Sky Blues.
There was a glimmer of hope for the home fans when Bruno Fornaroli scored another stunning strike. A beautiful volley. A contender for goal of the season. But VAR stepped in yet again to deny Perth the goal and football is surely poorer because of it.
The Grand Final rematch finished 3-1 with Sydney heading home with all three points as they look to close in on Melbourne City next week while Perth must surely be hitting the panic button soon as they have only managed 1 win from 6 games this season.