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Sports


Sydney FC overcome Perth in nail-biting A-League final

Sydney FC overcome Perth in nail-biting A-League final

Sydney, May 19 (Xinhua) Sydney FC claimed their fourth Australian A-League title on Sunday, overcoming Perth Glory in a nail-biting contest that finished in a penalty shoot-out, after scores were locked at 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Despite a hometown advantage, with the match played in front of 55,000 people at Western Australia's Optus Stadium, the Glory struggled to find space in the final as Sydney's well-organized backline stifled their attack in the early stages.

The sky-blues on the other hand managed to heap the pressure on Perth and in the 28th minute a precision cross from left-back Michael Zullo landed at the feet of English import Adam Le Fondre, who then put the ball in the back of the net.

Although Sydney players celebrated, the goal was controversially disallowed by the video assistant referee, despite vision appearing to indicate that Le Fondre was not offside.

Fuming over the decision, Sydney FC coach Steve Corica was subsequently given a yellow card by the referee for dissent.

When the second half got underway, Perth quickly began to find their feet and in the 52nd minute former Spanish La Liga star, Diego Castro, went achingly close to scoring a header, however Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne denied the striker with a desperation fingertip save.

With the score tied up at 0-0 at full time, a tense 30-minutes of extra time followed but neither side was able to get the breakthrough.

Although the Glory won last week's semi-final via penalties against Adelaide United, on this occasion Perth would come up short due to the brilliance of Sydney's Redmayne, whose unusual goal-line movement appeared to rattle the Glory's players.

The penalty shootout ended 4-1 to Sydney, with Iranian international Reza Ghoochannejhad sealing the win for the sky-blues.

XINHUA AKC 1901

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