Sydney FC Are A-League Champs After Penalty Shootout Win
Sydney FC are A-League champs for 2018/19 after a dramatic penalty shootout win in the A-League Grand Final against Perth Glory at Optus Stadium in Perth.
The match finished 0-0 after regulation time, and scores were still deadlocked after extra time, in what will not go down as a great Grand Final.
This is a record-equalling fourth A-League title for the Sky Blues, who finished the regular season in second place.
"I'm so happy, not only for me but for the whole team," Reza Ghoochannejhad, the Iranian international who joined Sydney mid-season said.
It was Ghoochannejhad who decisively put away the final penalty.
"Everybody has worked so hard to work where we are right now, not only the staff but the fans who travelled so far to get from Sydney to Perth," the Iranian added.
And then he uttered what was either a word of Farsi (the official language of Iran), or a juicy f-bomb... to be honest, it was almost certainly the latter.
"Sorry to curse on television," he said.
He'll be forgiven. Whether the Video Assistant Referee will be let off the hook so easily is another question entirely.
This match will sadly be remembered for what appeared to be a howler in the first half, when Sydney appeared to score but the ref called offside.
A forensic analysis showed that no such breach occurred, yet the VAR ruled the decision was unworthy of being overturned, in a call that mystified football fans.
THE FIRST HALF
That was a great first half. The stats don't necessarily say as much, with just one shot on target, but it was a high quality 45 minutes with quite a few chances at each end.
The moment the half will be remembered for is of course the moment the VAR stepped in, or rather didn't step in, after Sydney FC scored, but the goal was disallowed for offside.
Was it offside? Not one person who's not wearing purple thinks so. But for reasons known only to the officials, VAR declined the opportunity to overturn it, saying it was "too tight".
We'll be back with the second half action soon.