Sydney FC Win Books Finals Berth


Sydney FC has booked a trip to Victoria to face the Melbourne Victory in the first Elimination Final after defeating the Perth Glory 2-1 in a determined display at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC has booked a trip to Victoria to face the Melbourne Victory in the first Elimination Final after defeating the Perth Glory 2-1 in a determined display at Allianz Stadium.

In what was a fitting send off for Sky Blues foundation player Terry McFlynn, Sydney FC turned on the dramatics to snatch the three points in the final seconds after the game looked destined for a draw.

A fantastic strike from Terry Antonis coupled with Richard Garcia-s goal with the final kick of the game, cancelled out Rostyn Griffiths equaliser to hand the three points to the Sky Blues and finish the season fifth on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Sydney FC Head Coach Frank Farina named an unchanged line up for the Sky Blues final match of the regular season, with the weekends other results meaning Sydney FC needed at least a point to advance to the playoffs.

Both teams struggled to get a foothold on the game early on as neither side could find an opening.

Chris Harold had a half chance in the 12th minute after a lobbed ball from deep played him in, however he splayed his shot wide from an acute angle with only Janjetovic to beat.

Not wanting to be outdone, the Sky Blues put the Perth defence on the back foot when Milos Dimitrijevic burst into the box to hit a sweet half volley straight at Jack Duncan in the Glory goal.

Alessandro Del Piero took a chance from the most improbable of angles in the 21st minute, curling a free kick from the left flank just wide of the woodwork before Dimitrijevic tried his luck from distance firing wide.

Those half chances spurred the Sky Blues on, and in the 37th minute they took the lead courtesy of a sweet strike from Terry Antonis.

Del Piero picked the ball up in the final third, and with his marker standing off him, the Italian coolly laid the ball off to an onrushing Antonis who hit a venomous first time effort low and hard into the bottom corner of Duncan-s net.

With the Sky Blues plying on the pressure, Perth went on the counter earning themselves a corner right on the stroke of half time through which they equalised.

Gallas whipped the corner in deep, and with Janjetovic outmuscled by his marker, Rostyn Griffiths was able to side foot home at the far post to send the sides in one all at the break.

It was a sprightly start to the second half and the Sky Blues were almost in front six minutes after the restart.

Ali Abbas picked the ball up in space on the left hand side and sent a low driven cross into the box that was met by Alessandro Del Piero, however Jack Duncan made a point blank save with his thigh to deny the Italian.

The Sky Blues continued to open up Perth Glory with a series of half chances that saw both Ali Abbas and Richard Garcia fire over before Jacob Burns was lucky to avoid a second yellow card after he hauled back Alec Urosevski on the left touchline.

Dravydas Sernas put Janjetovic into action for the first time in the 76th minute as he tried to curl the ball in from the edge of the area, however the Sky Blues gloveman had it covered, diving to his right as the ball sailed past the upright and out for a goal kick.

With five minutes to go Ali Abbas looked to take the ascendancy as the Iraqi international burst into space before unleashing a driven shot from distance that whizzed the wrong side of Duncan-s post with the Glory shot stopper stranded on his line.

With only seconds left to play the Sky Blues took the lead and booked a trip to Melbourne as Richard Garcia scored with the last kick of the game.

Alessandro Del Piero received the ball just beyond halfway and with a deft scoop, sent Richard Garcia through on goal one on one. The Socceroo didn-t disappoint as he coolly controlled the ball before dispatching it high into the net to hand Sydney FC a 2-1 victory and a place in the Elimination Finals.

Sydney FC 2 (38- Antonis, 90+3- Garcia) def Perth Glory 1 (45+1- Griffiths).

Ground: Allianz Stadium
Crowd: 15,285
Referee: Lucien Laverdure

SYDNEY FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2. Seb RYALL (58- Aaron CALVER), 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 10. Alessandro DEL PIERO (c), 11. Richard GARCIA, 13. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 16. Joel CHIANESE (67- Alec UROSEVSKI.), 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (70- Matt THOMPSON), 22. Ali ABBAS.
Unused Substitutes: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 24. Hagi GLIGOR, 28. Matt THOMPSON,

PERTH GLORY: 18. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 2. Jack CLISBY, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES (71- Darvydas SERNAS), 17. Chris HAROLD (79- Daniel DE SILVA), 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 36. William GALLAS.
Unused Substitutes: 39. Luke RADONICH (gk), 3. Brandon O-NEIL, 6. Cameron EDWARDS.
Yellow Cards: 29- J.Burns.