Sydney FC have handed the newly crowned Premiers Perth Glory their first away defeat for the season following their 1-0 win at Jubilee Oval.
The Sky Blues’ midfielder Brandon O’Neill fist-pumped the air when the full time whistle blew, and was not shy in telling media what the victory meant to his team.
“It was a phenomenal performance, Rhyan Grant is playing every position on that field – massive three points, we’re looking forward to finals,” O’Neill told Fox Sports.
“It’s big beating them [Glory] twice, looking forward to facing them again in finals.”
The panel disagreed with O’Neill’s sentiments regarding the manner of victory – in their eyes, Sydney FC got the job done, but were by no means extraordinary.
The scrappy goal that separated the two sides came when Paulo Retre headed the ball into the near post. Adam le Fondre got the final touch to open the scoring and put the Sky Blues in the driving seat in the 37th minute.
Perth Glory were not at full strength, with Popovic shuffling the deck to give some key players a rest. For the first time this season 17-year-old Jacob Italiano made a starting appearance. He will be moving to Germany at the end of the A-League season to take up his deal with Borussia Monchengladbach.
Tony Popovic also gave an A-League debut to his 17-year-old son Kristian Popovic, a defensive midfielder in Perth Glory’s youth team. His dad said he’ll end up as a centre back.
The Sky Blues captain and leading goalscorer for the club Alex Brosque announced his retirement earlier in the week, and didn’t feature in the game tonight due to a minor injury.
“I get a chance to thank the fans and members tonight.”
“Hopefully [I’m out for] just tonight, it’s another foot injury, I’m letting the swelling settle down and should be right to start back up again,” Brosque told media.
Following the game Brosque was recognised for his achievements with a ceremony on pitch and walked off to a guard of honour.
The game was played on a Thursday due to Sydney FC’s busy schedule – Steve Corcia and his team will now be heading to China for Tuesday’s Asian Champions League clash against Shanghai SIPG.
It was the 43rd fixture between these clubs, and Sydney have now won two out of their three meetings this season.
A bit of a confidence boost for the home team, but it’d be unwise for any squad to discount the Glory who have been dominant all season.