The Perth Glory’s retiring star Brendan Santalab would have wanted that last kick again.
With the game on the line after a dour, scoreless affair on Sunday night, the Glory needed something huge.
One down after Sydney FC’s Andrew Redmayne had stopped Andy Keogh’s shot, Santalab had plenty of pressure on his shoulders.
Unfortunately, he provided a shocking attempt on goal, chipping a ball down the middle with Redmayne waiting patiently for the ball to get to him.
Redmayne was huge in the penalty shootout after not seeing much action in a largely defensive display between the teams.
Played in front of a record Grand Final crowd of 56,371, the fans were met with a 0-all result after 120 minutes.
Perth had a lion’s share of possession and also had 10 shots to three in the game, although had the only two shots on goal for the game.
Sydney FC midfielder Milos Ninkovic was named the player of the grand final.
The result sends Sydney captain Alex Brosque off a champion as the Sky Blues claimed the club’s fourth title from five grand finals.
The result was sealed by Iranian star Reza Ghoochannejhad, who kicked the deciding penalty.
“Unbelievable, I can’t describe the feeling now,” Ghoochannejad said. “I came here at the end of January and I didn’t know what to expect but the guys welcomed me very well. I needed some time to adjust to the team and the way of playing. I got the one goal and to win the final, I’m so happy not only for me but the whole club. Everybody put the effort in today and everybody worked so hard to get where we are right now. They deserve it.
“Not only them but the fans that travelled from Sydney. All the credit’s to the boys and f***ing unbelieveable. I’m sorry to swear on live TV.”
The match was not received well by fans with plenty of social media users slamming the game.
However, the one moment of controversy happened in the 27th minute when a Sydney goal was disallowed.
It was an unpopular decision for social media and in the commentary booth.
Michael Zullo was out wide for a Alex Brosque pass with Adam Le Fondre seemingly tapping it in.
But the flag was up from the sideline official, paving the way for VAR.
The controversial technology refused to overturn the decision despite fans going nuts that it was fair game.
While Sydney FC coach Steve Corica blew up on the sideline, earning himself a yellow card, Fox Football sideline reporter Adam Peacock confirmed the decision,
“That yellow card hasn’t calmed Steve Corica down. Still going off their brains. The fourth official confirmed, too tight to overturn.”
Mark Bosnich said “It’s a massive escape from Perth.”
Fans were not so diplomatic.
The match remained 0-all at halftime with the off-side call potential going to prove vital as the sides fight to break the deadlock.
Former Socceroo Robbie Slater said the Glory were the better of the sides in the first half but scorched the decision.
“The disgrace that is the VAR has again, in the biggest game of the season made it controversial when there should be no controversy at all,” he said.
Mark Bosnich also added “I want to know what they’re thinking because the flag didn’t go up (when the ball gets to Zullo)”.
“That is clear and obvious, that’s what you’ve got VAR there for to say it’s a goal, he’s onside.”
Bosnich has demanded an explanation about the confusion, also bristling at the “too tight” call.
“If the linesman, referees assistant doesn’t put up his flag, that’s a goal,” Slater said. “So why don’t they overrule it.”
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First season Sydney FC coach Steve Corica claiming the title after the Sky Blues were denied last year.
For Tony Popovic, it’s his fourth loss in the A-League after three at the helm of the Western Sydney Wanderers.
But the game itself was also slammed with Sydney winning despite not getting a shot on goal in the match.