Photo Special: A-League Final

by Neil Sherwin

Sydney FC has added the A-League Championship to the Premiership it won during the regular season with a 4-2 shootout win over Melbourne Victory in the Grand Final.

The sides couldn’t be seperated after 120 minutes as the game finished a goal apiece in front of 44,560 spectators at Etihad Stadium.

After a cagey first half, it was Sydney who drew first blood just after the hour mark when striker Mark Bridge latched onto Alex Brosque’s deflected cross to head home at the back post.

The Victory drew level on 81 minutes however through Adrian Leijer who rose highest to head home a Kevin Muscat free kick.

Bridge came close to his second of the game during extra time, while Carlos Hernandez and Shannon Cole wasted good dead ball opportunities for their respective sides.

In the shootout, the normally reliable Muscat struck the post with his effort, but Victory keeper Mitch Langerak denied Shannon Cole with an excellent stop.

Grant Brebner and Hayden Foxe converted their efforts before Sydney goalkeeper Clint Bolton saved from substitute Marvin Angulo to again give his side the advantage and Byun Sung-Hwan scored the decisive kick to finally settle the contest.

Sydney defender Simon Colosimo picked up the Joe Marston Medal for the game’s best player as the club picked up its second A-League Championship.

Melbourne Victory: Mitch Langerak, Surat Sukha, Kevin Muscat (capt), Rodrigo Vargas, Adrian Leijer, Leigh Broxham, Grant Brebner, Nick Ward, Carlos Hernandez, Robbie Kruse, Archie Thompson.
Sydney FC: Clint Bolton, Sebastian Ryall, Simon Colosimo, Stephan Keller, Byun Sung-Hwan, Terry McFlynn (capt), Stuart Musialik, Karol Kisel, Mark Bridge, Alex Brosque, Chris Payne.

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