Sydney FC are A-League champions, just as they deserve to be

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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210 Have your say

    The beautiful game can be cruel sometimes, as an A-League grand final for the ages was settled by a couple of missed penalty kicks.

    All the wash-up from the A-League grand final
    » Five talking points from the match
    » Player ratings: Melbourne Victory
    » Player ratings: Sydney FC
    » Georgievski wins Joe Marston Medal
    » Full match report
    » Re-live the live blog

    One thing critics of football always get wrong is claiming that a lack of goals makes the game boring.

    It’s as though some people simply can’t sit through a contest between two evenly-matched sides and enjoy the highs and lows, ebbs and flows and sheer pageantry of a sport that wrings every lost drop of competitive tension out of its very existence.

    Yet you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t enjoy the 2017 A-League grand final – even if Melbourne Victory fans have every right to be disappointed.

    In the end, the coveted ‘toilet seat’ trophy ended up where everyone thought it would, in the hands of Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque.

    But could the Sky Blues have picked a more roundabout way to win it?

    Kevin Muscat and his pugnacious Victory side deserve a huge dose of credit for taking the game to their arch rivals – and then some – as the visitors threw absolutely everything at their hosts.

    Victory almost snatched a pulsating winner when James Troisi was on the end of a ricochet in the second half of extra-time, only for his arcing volley to come clattering back off the inside of the post.

    Had that gone in, Victory would surely have held on against a Sydney FC side that had expended an incredible amount of energy just to get back into the contest.

    Instead, the game went to a penalty shoot-out and even then, Victory still held the upper hand when Alex Wilkinson sent his spot-kick skidding wide.

    But they didn’t count on the width of the crossbar – not to mention their former goalkeeper – on dashing their title dreams.

    Danny Vukovic may have been beaten by a Besart Berisha wonder goal in normal time, but his shoot-out save from Marco Rojas effectively won Sydney FC the title.

    And as impressive as Daniel Georgievski was throughout – although he was fortunate not to give away a penalty in extra-time – the Victory defender probably benefited from an off night from the Sydney FC attack in winning the Joe Marston Medal.

    What was up with the Sky Blues? They looked rattled by Victory’s dominant start, and were it not for Rhyan Grant following up on the rebound, we might be talking about one of most unexpected grand final results in A-League history.

    Justice eventually prevailed for the first-past-the-post purists – just – in what was a truly gripping game of football.

    Sydney FC A-League 2017 Grand Final

    We learned a few other things on the day, including the fact that more than 41,500 fans were willing to stump up sizeable sums of cash to sell out the grand final.

    Where are all these fans for the rest of Sydney FC’s home fixtures?

    As much as Allianz Stadium looked a treat decked out in both team’s colours, it should be said the stadium experience is a largely forgettable one for supporters.

    There were long queues to get into the ground, as well as to use the facilities, and not for the first time an A-League venue simply shuttered most of its food and beverage outlets well before extra-time even approached.

    Meanwhile, there were plenty of signs around the ground advertising the Sunday Telegraph, yet the newspaper contained just two pages of A-League coverage on the day, sandwiched between an incredible ten pages of rugby league news on a weekend when there were no NRL games.

    Make no mistake. Much of mainstream Australia still wishes the A-League would simply disappear, with the passionate fans and raucous atmospheres pushing the status quo well beyond its comfort zone.

    However the A-League is not going anywhere.

    And on a night when the world game served up another unforgettable slice of unscripted drama, it was Sydney FC who were crowned 2016-17 A-League champions.

    Few would argue they don’t deserve it.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (210)

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:08am
      70s Mo said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:08am | ! Report

      A great game. Oh but when pro/rel comes we don’t need a GF blah, blah, blah. Long may the GF rule. Long may the purists squirm.

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:10am
      Michael Mills said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      Forza Sydney FC. Brillante should have got the Marston Medal.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 2:04pm
        punter said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        Brillante was outstanding all night!!!! What an engine.

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:12am
      mwm said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      Those 41,000 mike that you speak of probably consisted of a large amount of fans who mostly watch Sydney on their tv at home. They will turn up to a grand final and a derby but mostly miss the week to week games due to a busy lifestyle .

      • May 8th 2017 @ 7:26am
        Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:26am | ! Report

        41k is a good 4-5k under capacity and with all tickets sold you’d assume the missing are stadium members – presumably only interested in NRL and unwilling to attend football matches.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 7:39am
          jamesb said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:39am | ! Report

          41k is brilliant, especially when you consider that there was only an eight day notice of where the grand final was going to be held. Whereas with NRL and AFL, we all know where the grand final venue is before their season’s are kicked off.

          • May 8th 2017 @ 7:49am
            Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

            Yeah but Suncorp, Adelaide Oval and Etihad all sell out closer to capacity with the same weeks notice. The fact this one was 4K short of capacity looks to be beyond Sydneys control, if stadium members don’t want to watch football what can they do? I know from experience a lot of the 4,500 Suncorp members offer their tickets to Roars grand finals to people who do want to go. It looks like Sydneys NRL contingent aren’t as benevolent.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 8:02am
              Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

              Waz, there wasn’t a vacant seat in the stadium, when the cameras panned around the stadium. I suspect that there were head there that were not counted.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 8:07am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

                So the ffa under-reported the attendance? Not likely. And SFS know how to count attendance – I was there last year with a crowd of over 44k for the rugby; the difference has to be the number of stadium members and whether they’re motivated to turn up or share their tickets?

              • May 8th 2017 @ 8:20am
                AGO74 said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

                I was there last night and cannot believe there was 4-5000 seats vacant. You couldn’t see any vacant seats anywhere.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 10:20am
                spruce moose said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                Ok, Solomon is here.

                Waz, you are talking our of your bot bot. I am a member, I was in members, and it was jam packed. There was a MASSIVE queue to get into members before gates opened at 3pm. I was stunned to arrive at 2:50 and have to join a queue that snaked all the way around to the Paddington side of the stadium to get in. I’ve never seen that before. All seats had the reserve stickers slapped on them by 4pm.

                Caltex, there were in fact vacant seats in the stadium. To the side of the Melbourne supporter bay behind the goals (and closer to the corner) that bay was actually about 80% full. There was also an entire tier of corporate boxes that was empty (which was to be honest, a very poor reflection of the A-league/FFA to not be able to sell out corporate packages).

                But you two are arguing over scraps here. 41,500 is a great show.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 10:41am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                Bot Bot?

                It’s at least 2,500 less than the rugby got. Jeez you guys are sensitive.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 8:08am
              Chris said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

              The SFS does NOT have a 45k capacity. The record attendance there is around 42k so not sure where you are getting your figures from.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 8:54am
              Buddy said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

              Waz, plenty of seats were offered by members. I know quite a few people that went along to watch the game from that area and none were SFC supporters but the area is rarely full up. Perhaps at state of origin….not played there anymore or if the All Blacks are in town although they tend to be at ANZ too. I have sat in there for derby games and although the rest of the stadium is bulging at the seams, there has always been plenty of space up there at least in the back third.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 9:13am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                I think that’s one of the disappointing aspects of our stadiums; memberships are great value but if you take it with a strong preference for one code then Finals like this get undersold by a couple of thousand. Maybe it’s time the ffa negotiated the GF out of stadium membership packages and instead gave them a first refusal on buying their ticket? That way at least additional seats can be released if the members have no interest

              • May 8th 2017 @ 9:13am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                I think that’s one of the disappointing aspects of our stadiums; memberships are great value but if you take it with a strong preference for one code then Finals like this get undersold by a couple of thousand. Maybe it’s time the ffa negotiated the GF out of stadium membership packages and instead gave them a first refusal on buying their ticket? That way at least additional seats can be released if the members have no interest

            • Roar Pro

              May 8th 2017 @ 9:11am
              Josh Barton said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

              Allianz wasn’t open to full capacity for the match. A large number of seats were removed (particularly towards the Melbourne end) in an effort to segregate the away fans. This is probably as many people as you could possibly put into a football game there.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 9:17am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                There’s no way they took out 3,000+ seats to segregate fans. No way.

              • Roar Pro

                May 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
                Josh Barton said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                Allianz has a few different configurations since the recent redevelopment depending on the event being played. One is approx 42000, the other is the full 44000. Judging from the tarps on some seats and the removal of others, they were using the 42k version.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 9:33am
              JAJI said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

              Waz – I am a Gold member and have been for 20 years. Members stand last night was full and people were standing. The ground was full. Fact is the record for the ground was 43,900 (Maradona) till the England Rugby test last year – the record stood for 25 years almost. The ground has seated 41-42000 constantly over the years. It only ever gets to 43,000 on a very unique occasion like Maradona or the Rugby last year when every member turned up literally

              • May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

                as I said, it’s normally stadium memberships that reduce our crowds. If that was 44,500 tickets open to football supporters we’d have got 44k+

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 10:35am
                spruce moose said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                Waz, you know absolutely nothing.

                Members was completely full. It’s amazing what type of garbage you peddle for not actually being there.

                Like I said above. There was a disappointingly high vacancy in corporate boxes at the ground, that kept the figures in the 41’s, and the not the 42’s – which is why rugby set a record. They have a phenomenal corporate following the other 3 codes can only dream of (and arguably the only thing that keeps rugby in existence today).

              • May 8th 2017 @ 10:45am
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                I can’t understand your sensitivity in this – every available ticket was sold. Fantastic, and I recon had there been another 5,000 for sale they’d have been sold too. The “missing” 2,500/3,000 is just a fact – it’s either poor corporate sales or low stadium membership turnout.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm
              Happy Hooker said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

              Not sure what the rules are at Suncorp, but SCG/Allianz member passes are not transferable. The member’s guest pass can be used by someone else, but not the member pass.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 1:02pm
              JAJI said | May 8th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              Also Waz – Rugby League – the biggest game in town – and always the biggets game in town – hasn’t got over 43,000 in 30 years at the ground – that includes mind you 10 years of State of Origins and Grand Finals. So you are cherry picking one rugby game and Diego Maradona over a 30 year period and applying to your argument

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Magnus M. Østergaard said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                The last time State of Origin or an NRL Grand Final was played there was when th capacity was in 1998 when the capacity was ~42,000. so no wonder it hasn’t gotten over 43,000 people there.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 5:58pm
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:58pm | ! Report

                JAJI, it’s not a criticism of the actual attendance, calm your farm. If Rugby can get 44k in there then football should be able to as well. Given all available tickets were sold to the public that means some seats weren’t taken up, about 3,000 of them.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 10:41am
          Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          Goodness Waz. What a disappointing response from a football person, such as yourself.

          A terrific contest yesterday, but your focus is on a few empty seats?

          What is wrong with some Aussies that they are so focused on crowd numbers instead of the contest?

          • May 8th 2017 @ 10:52am
            Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            I’m actually focussed on both Nemesis. My first comment was on football which got a couple of responses, my second comment was on the missing three thousand – it’s not a case of being critical but if there were empty seats there then they should have been sold to real supporters who would like to have been there. Seems a few people are a bit sensitive about the topic do there’s no discussion going on as to how Rugby got 44k in there and a GF 41.5k; bizzarly its generated some personal attacks which is odd – I’d just like those missing seats to be freed up for genuine supporters!!

            • Roar Pro

              May 8th 2017 @ 11:53am
              Wolly said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

              So you call people sensitive and then you say you’ve been personally attacked which is nothing short of a massive overreaction. You give some great insight regarding football on this tab especially when it comes to Brisbane Roar and can honestly say I’ve learnt a thing or two from your posts in the past but the way you comport yourself sometimes is cringeworthy.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                I still think you’re missing my point.

              • Roar Pro

                May 8th 2017 @ 4:47pm
                Wolly said | May 8th 2017 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

                It would appear so Waz, kindly enlighten me sir.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                About 3,000 less people saw the game live than capacity. That’s unfair. Stadium memberships (if that was the cause) should not apply to GFs like this so tickets can be sold to real supporters.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 12:05pm
              Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

              “if there were empty seats there then they should have been sold to real supporters who would like to have been there”

              I’m sorry, but if those few empty seats are for Stadium Members then I strongly say “NO”.

              If you pay upfront to be a Member you have invested in a seat at that stadium for every event and that seat is yours even if no one ever sits in it.

              If people don’t like this system, then don’t sell Stadium Memberships. Members are willing to fork out their money up front. Those seats are theirs. They don’t have to turn up.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                As usual, the people with the most money in the world can afford to be inconsiderate.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm
                Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Agreed Caltex. And as some stadium memberships are variable (they exclude certain events) it’s possible for the ffa to negotiate the GF out say and instead return those seats to public sale. That might have got an extra 5% in there yesterday. You can still give the member first refusal on a paid ticket.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 3:20pm
          Paul said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

          The crowd numbers at Stadiums are rubbish. Everyone knows attendances are manipulated. I sat in the

          members area and they were over-sold by a country mile. People trying to sit on the steps and isles. Only 4 Corporate Boxes closed and empty and some single seats empty, if any, as many more fans crowd the Cove and seats allocated. CAPACITY MATE!! ,,,and some…

          • May 8th 2017 @ 6:03pm
            Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 6:03pm | ! Report

            So what your saying is there were 44,500 people there but the attendance was reported at 41,500. Why?

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:34am
      Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      James Troisi rattled the post in extra time, replays showed what terrible technique he had in taking that shot, anything better and Mike Tuckerman would have been crying in his cornflakes this morning lol. So as usual it was fine margins decided a game, Victory (again) executed an excellent game plan that knocked SFC out of their stride but yet again Sydney were good enough to hold on and come back.

      Penalties are a test of skill and nerve, and it showed last night – Rojas perhaps shouldn’t have been taking one as he looked physically and mentally exhausted long before the games end. A huge question mark over why Berisha didn’t put his hand up for one surely?

      • May 8th 2017 @ 8:05am
        AGO74 said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:05am | ! Report

        Surely he was number 5? He may have wanted the theatrics of being the winning penalty taker but realistically he should have been the pragmatic first choice.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 8:10am
          Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:10am | ! Report

          Possibly although it wasn’t mentioned in commentary was it? Rojas looked too knackered to take a penalty though. Mental toughness is needed and I don’t think he was all there – Bes has missed a few this season but I’d have thought he’d go early.

          • Roar Guru

            May 8th 2017 @ 9:18am
            Chris Kettlewell said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

            They usually put one of the better penalty takers as penalty #5 as it can often be an extra high-pressure penalty, but if things don’t go right prior to that one, it can be over before the fifth guy gets his chance as happened last night.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
              Cool N Cold said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Is it reasonable to say that if the team not shooting first, they play the best spot kick takers earlier, not #5?

              I thought Berisha would be the fifth taker, despite his failure in some penalties in league matches. However, he did not needed to kick.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm
                Caltex & SBS support Australian Football said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                Considering Berisha’s ego and persona. He undoubtedly wanted the 5th penalty (ie if it went to the final penalty) to express his supremacy antics (chest beating). I must say tho, his goal was a beaut—one of the best I’ve seen all season.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2017 @ 11:34am
              Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:34am | ! Report

              Incorrect Chris. The general consensus is;
              1st penalty – 2nd best penalty taker
              3rd penalty – best penalty taker
              5th penlaty – 3rd best penalty taker

              The chances of a 5th penalty being taken are quite low during the course of a penalty shootout, which is why it baffles me that Berisha hadn’t taken one. Probably looking at another glory moment? Who knows.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 11:42am
                Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

                I’ve never ever heard any such stuff about the order of penalty takers.

                It’s often decided in the minutes before the shootout – who is feeling confident; who is physically up to the task.

                2016 UCL Finale: Ronaldo took the 5th penalty; Vasquez & Macelo were 1 & 2.
                Doubt anyone would rate Ronaldo lower from the spot than Vasquez

                2012 UCL Finale: Drogba took the 5th penalty. Mata took the 1st (he missed), David Luiz took the 2nd.

                Doubt anyone would rate Drogba lower from the spot than David Luiz.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 12:06pm
                Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                The general consensus is as I’ve posted.

                It can change during the shootout, obviously.

                When Portugal were knocked out of Euro 2012 on penalties against Spain, their was furor as to why Ronaldo didn’t take the third penalty as he was their best penalty taker – with many deciding that he wanted the glory of the 5th penalty – much like the current consensus on Berisha.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 12:08pm
                Ben of Phnom Penh said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                As an ex-goal keeper I can confirm that the agreed order of penalty takers is thus:

                1st Penalty Taker – some glory seeking poser
                2nd Penalty Taker – another one
                3rd Penlaty Taker – and another one

                ad nauseam

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:12pm
                Ian said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

                I haven’t heard of this consensus either and thought it was how players were feeling after the match generally…..unless it has been pre-decided, but you never know who is going to get subbed or injured.

                It is surprising Berisha didn’t get to take one but assuming it is a glory moment by some is a stretch. He could have gone first…and Valeri is a cool character who hit the post. Rojas doesn’t do penalties much so it wasn’t a huge surprise it got saved….less of a surprise then Valeri hitting the post.
                Perhaps Berisha should have gone 4th….but in the end it doesn’t matter.

                Closer to home, the Roar – Wanderers shoot out the order went for Roar…
                1 – Borello, 2 D’Agostino 3 Maclaren 4 – Devere 5 – Kristensen 6 Oar

              • May 8th 2017 @ 12:28pm
                Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

                There’s no guarantee Berisha would’ve scored.

                As Berisha rightly said post match: In a Penalty Shootout, someone has to miss. I’ve missed many penalties so don’t blame Marco.

                Messi missed from the spot in the Copa America Finale.
                Baggio missed from the spot in the 1994 WC Finale.
                Ronaldo has missed from the spot.

                Australia’s greatest players: Viduka, Harry both missed from the spot.

                This is football.
                Win as a team.
                Lose as a team.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 7:30pm
                hogdriller said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

                Only thing Berisha could miss taking a penalty is the ball…..still King Of The Air Swing.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 11:41am
              Chris said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:41am | ! Report

              I think recent thinking has changed on that one and you now see the best pen takers as earlier takers. You make a good point with the high pressure towards the end but then you get left with Berisha wondering why did I wait!

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:35am
      ede said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

      Berisha: “Sydney was a bit more lucky”. A true statement for this particular game. Looking a the whole season however, Sydney FC was the best team and deserved to win the title. And therefore there was no finals needed…

      It wasn’t a nice game of Football. Quite nasty actually. Lots of fouls, yellow cards, bad behavior of players, not much technique. Skill level of 2nd Bundesliga.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 9:19am
        punter said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        But the tension & drama of a champions league final.
        Rarely are finals great games.

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2017 @ 9:32am
        Chris Kettlewell said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        I think you often find that in big matches like this. The hightened tension gets to players and you end up with a more rough game, more fouls, bust-ups, less quality passing.

        Passing accuracy was abysmal, Sydney FC finished with 65% and MV with just 54% passing accuracy. That’s only half the passes actually finding a team mate. So when they passed the ball they gave it away almost as often as they found a team mate. Incredible really. The lowest season average was 75%, so MV was a full 21% below that. That’s really low.

        Passing accuracy isn’t everything (as shown by Sydney FC being equal last in passing accuracy for the season yet finishing 17 points clear at the top!) Passing accuracy can be reduced by being more aggressive and attacking rather than just passing it amongst yourselves for ages while really doing nothing positive with the ball. But having passing accuracy so low that you lost possession almost as often as you hit a team mate certainly isn’t a sign of the highest quality football.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 9:35am
        JAJI said | May 8th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        It was riveting though – and its our game. I fell asleep watching man city v palace on Saturday night. Grand Finals are a must in Australia

        • May 8th 2017 @ 10:17am
          Sydneysider said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          No disrespect to the Victory fans out there but everyone knew the tactics Muscat was going to employ, hence why the game ended up being a battle and not a pretty game of football.

          In saying that, his tactics were effective but SFC still had quality across the park to score the equaliser and also to almost snatch a win.

          You can’t blame Graham Arnold for the display on the pitch. Muscat’s tactics were to blame.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 11:44am
        Chris said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

        EDE the 2010 WC final between Spain and Holland was not much better than yesterdays GF. It was tense, rough and scrappy. Was that 2nd div Bundesliga as well?

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2017 @ 3:55pm
          Chris Kettlewell said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

          That was the one where Xabi Alonso got taken down by a karate kick to the chest! A lot of very dirty play from the Netherlands in that one!

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2017 @ 11:53am
        Ben of Phnom Penh said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

        I am little confused as Bundesliga 2 is a very skillful competition yet the tone of your comment did not suggest a compliment.

    • May 8th 2017 @ 7:48am
      danwain said | May 8th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      What more can we really expect of a Muscat coached team, Melbourne came to kick Sydney and ruin their flow, and it worked for 120 minutes, unfortunately for them the cream did ruse to the top and Sydney got the win.

      How victory ended with 11 players is beyond me, ref did not have the stomach to make a stand against the thug-lite tactics.

      • May 8th 2017 @ 8:07am
        AGO74 said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        It was brutal. Both teams gave as good as they got but victory in particular were intent on kicking ninko in to the next suburb. Fahd Ben khalfallah is a great player but his theatrics/gamesmanship last night were a slight on the game.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 8:11am
          Waz said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

          It was the same game plan as vs. Roar last week. Teams are going to have to toughen up and learn how to deal with it.

          • May 8th 2017 @ 8:30am
            danwain said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

            Clearly Sydney did deal with it, they won.

            It’s garbage though, and on another night victory would have finished with 9 men.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 8:54am
              Swanny said | May 8th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

              Epic game

              Loved it

              The atmosphere was brilliant

              Sydney and in particular Ryan Grant have been kicking people all season . Victory just got in first

      • May 8th 2017 @ 10:30am
        Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        How funny to hear Sydney Fc fans complaining about thuggish tactics.

        Graham Arnold’s coaching at CCM & Sydney has been based on thuggery from his defence & DMs.

        Rhyan Grant should have been given a red card. Holosko could’ve been given a Red by the VAR for making contact with the face. Brosque used to be a gentleman player I respected, now he’s morphed into a thug under Arnold.

        Zullo, Grant, Bujlis, Brillante & Brosque all played extremely physical games yesterday. In the lead up to Berisha’s goal, 2 SydFC players tackle Rojas from behind. Both could’ve been given Yellow Cards.

        Yes, Victory has players also willing to be very physical. Football is physical as well as technical.

        But, don’t pretend Sydney do not get physical. When the team is being beaten on the park, Arnold breaks up play with thuggery.

        For heaven’s sake he brings on Matt Simon every week. The bloke is pure thug.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 10:42am
          Sydneysider said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          Unfortunately Nemesis, you have the number 1 thug of all time as your manager – Kevin Muscat.

          I did say his tactics were effective though against SFC.

          Anyway the best team all season got the result.

          Berisha’s goal was sublime though. Great goal from him.

        • May 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
          AGO74 said | May 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          Geez you make it sound like Sydney should have finished with 4 players on the pitch!

          • May 8th 2017 @ 11:13am
            Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            Not at all.

            Both teams played the match in the spirit of competition that I want.

            100% commitment.
            Meaty challenges when needed.
            Exquisite skills.

            And, above all, I thought the refs & linesmen were outstanding. They were anonymous most of the match as we want & firmly stamped their authority when tempers boiled over just before HT.

            My only point is

            Sydney FC are not Choir Boys, so let’s cut out the nonsense about them only wanting to play football. They do not.
            They play as physical a game as any ALeague team.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 2:17pm
              AGO74 said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

              Fair enough – I agree that both teams gave as good as they got, though I think Melbourne carried the ledger with callous tackling on Ninkovic in particular. I dare say we’ll agree to disagree!

              My biggest worry heading into last night was Berisha and so he proved. He has an incredible record on the biggest stage. His goal last night was superb.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 2:34pm
                Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                Absolutely correct.

                Now that the season is over, I can fully admit Ninkovic is a superb player. Like Thomas Broich, Diego Castro, Bruno Fornaroli, etc. these are players I love watching.

                Victory were brutal with their tackling of Ninkovic. All Yellows well deserved.

                Having said that, Zullo was brutal with his tackling of Rojas. Eventually the ref gave him a YC in the 105′ after Rojas was chopped down again. Berisha was hacked & chopped all night, but he gives as good as he gets.

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2017 @ 1:49pm
        Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 1:49pm | ! Report

        Nothing wrong with the physicality of the game, both teams gave as good as they got.

        However the quality of the game itself was quite poor as a (semi)neutral

        • May 8th 2017 @ 2:00pm
          Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

          Which Grand Final do you consider to be better than yesterday?

          For me;

          The Best Cup Finals are competitive & intense.
          The Worst Cup Finals are insipid with teams just going through the motions waiting for an error, or penalties.

          Yesterday’s Final was typical of the best Cup Finals I’ve seen in the best domestic competitions & international competitions.

          In fact, from memory, I’d rate all ALeague GFs in recent years as excellent – they’ve all been contested with the right spirit from kick-off.

          • Roar Guru

            May 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm
            Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            I’m not comparing Grand Finals

            It was a suspenseful and intriguing match, however the quality of the game (i.e the FOOTBALL on display) was quite poor.

            • May 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm
              Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

              Sure. No harm if you think the quality was poor.

              I assumed when you rate something “poor” you have a benchmark for what you consider “not poor”.

              If you have a “not poor” standard for ALeague Grand Finals, I’d be keen to know which one is your benchmark for “not poor” football. Maybe, I’ll have a look at that replay & understand what was missing yesterday that could have been better.

              Probably the ALeague Grand Final that sticks in everyone’s memory is the 2011 epic Brisbane vs CCM. I’m sure even the ardent Brisbane fans would rate the actual football as below what Brisbane played during the year.

              But, what a contest that Grand Final was.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 2:58pm
                Sydneysider said | May 8th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

                I think most of the grand finals have been amazing in the A-League.

                I’m going through the list of them and each one of them has a memorable moment attached to them:

                2006 – SFC v CCM 1-0. Corica goal, Yorke assist. First A-League grand final. Sold out SFS.
                2007 – MV v ADU 6-0. Archie’s 5 goals. Massive crowd. Biggest in A-League grand final history?
                2008 – NEW V CCM 1-0. Bridge goal. Big crowd at SFS for both out of town teams.
                2009 – MV v ADU 1-0. Pondeljak goal. MV asserting their dominance as the biggest club in the league.
                2010 – SFC v MV 1-1. SFC win on penalties. First club to win a grand final away from home in the league. SFC do the double.
                2011 – BR v CCM 2-2. BR on penalties. Famous game with BR scoring 2 goals in extra time to level the match and then win on penalties. First of the Orange Sundays in Brisbane. Ange’s amazing team.
                2012 – BR v PER 2-1. Berisha with the winning penalty. BR coming from behind to win the match. Berisha with 2 goals. Ange winning again.
                2013 – CCM v WSW 2-0. Zwaanswijk cracking header from a corner. McBreen penalty in front of the RBB. RBB and WSW fans doing the poznan, see of red and black. FFA creating the WSW in the heartland of football.
                2014 – BR v WSW 2-1. Berisha once again saving Brisbane. Henrique with the winner in extra time. Another Orange Sunday in Brisbane. Huge travelling contingent of Wanderers fans. Great game.
                2015 – MV v SFC 3-0. MV the best team all season, doing the double once again. Berisha once again scoring a cracking goal in a grand final. Milligan best player on the pitch. Frank Lowy falling off the stage. Another chapter to add to the Big Blue rivalry.
                2016 – ADU v WSW. 50,000+ at the Adelaide Oval. Isias beautiful free kick, Simon Hill’s commentary of that free kick “si senor si”. Pablo Sanchez match sealing goal and celebration. Epic night for Adelaide fans. 4th city to host an A-League grand final and sell out.
                2017 – SFC v MV 1-1. SFC on penalties. Berisha once again scoring a sublime goal. Grant’s equaliser. Penalty shootout down the Cove end. Vukovic save, Ninkovic scoring the winning penalty jumping into the Cove.

                Yep, most of those grand finals have had some great moments. Looking back at that list, last nights grand final was definitely the most brutal with over 60 fouls in the game, but it was still memorable because of the crowds passion and the drama and tension attached to the match.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 3:01pm
                Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                Again, you’re blurring the lines between contest and quality.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 3:23pm
                Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:23pm | ! Report

                “Again, you’re blurring the lines between contest and quality.”

                I’m truly not. I fully agree the technical quality was not the same level as we get in other ALeague matches.

                Just like El Clasico is often not the same technical quality as we get when Barca or Real Madrid play other LaLiga matches.

                World Cup Finals, UCL Finals, FA Cup Finals are, more often than not, of lesser quality than when those same teams play other times.

                I’m keen to know which A-League Grand Finals you classify as better quality than last night.

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 3:53pm
                Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

                It’s like talking to a brick wall with zero comprehension…

              • May 8th 2017 @ 3:59pm
                Nemesis said | May 8th 2017 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

                We can’t all be as smart as you, Kaks.

                Just name 1 ALeague Grand Final that was better football quality than last night.

                There are only 11 to choose from. Which of the other 11 ALeague Grand Finals would get the Kaks’ rating of “not poor football”?

                Or, are you saying every ALeague Grand Final has been “poor quality football”?

              • May 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm
                punter said | May 8th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                A MV fan & a WSW fan, communication breakdown, both blinded by the light that is SFC!!!!

              • Roar Guru

                May 8th 2017 @ 5:06pm
                Kaks said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

                I don’t think you’ve caught on to the fact that you are trying to cause conflict on a pre-determined tangent that you have somehow come to, even though I never alluded to it in my comment for you to come to this conclusion, and fail to see reason so that you can continue to stroke your ego.

                I’ll try and make this as clear as possible as you are struggling today.

                1) A good contest does not necessarily mean that it was of a good quality
                2) I never compared this Grand Final to another Grand Final
                3) In fact, I never said anything about the game being a poor Grand Final, I said it was a poor quality game. Whether it’s a final or not does not bother me, it was a game of football that wasn’t on par with what we have seen. Whether you want to rant, rave and compare Grand Finals is up to you.

                Just writing this again as you are struggling today, the game was a poor game of football. It was a tight, physical contest – but the football on display was not up to par when you consider ANY A-LEAGUE GAME EVERY PLAYED.

              • May 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm
                Lionheart said | May 8th 2017 @ 5:09pm | ! Report

                finals is great
                leagues around the world should adopt them

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