Melbourne City hammered defending champions Sydney FC to claim their maiden Championship title.
Both the teams missed three players each as they were stuck in quarantine after World Cup qualifiers in Qatar. Sydney FC missed the service of Rhyan Grant, Ryan Mcgowan and Andrew Redmayne. Melbourne City had to work around without Curtis Good, Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe.
Sydney drew first blood through Kosta Barbarouses, who produced a brilliant strike from 25 yards in the 21st minute of the game.
However, City equalised in a blink of an eye after Nathaniel Atkinson found the top corner of the net, with youngster Stefan Colakovksi, who was influential in the semi-final, providing the assist after slaloming past several defenders.
Then arrived the turning point of the game when Luke Brattan was shown his second yellow of the night in the 35th minute, forcing Sky Blues to play with ten men for the remainder of the game.
Melbourne had the numbers advantage, and they were provided with the opportunity to go ahead when they were awarded a penalty on the brink of half-time. Skipper Scott Jamieson made no mistake from the spot as City took one step closer to the title.
The defending championships struggled to make their presence felt as they registered only one shot on target. Scott Galloway put the game to bed after scoring in the injury time as City finally got their hands at the long-evading Championship glory. It also marked a double for the hosts, who topped the A-League table to win their first-ever Premiership.
It was a deserving victory for City, who had been excellent from the beginning of the season. Furthermore, the victory also served as a payback to their defeat in last season’s grand final.
Sydney looked lethargic some of the time during the game, and they should have capitalised on the early opportunity, when Bobo failed to snatch a Tom Glover error. For Sydney FC, Brattan’s red card proved costly, and the Sky Blues must be regretting in hindsight.
Melbourne City FC
Tom Glover, Rostyn Griffiths, Nuno Reis, Scott Jamieson, Scott Galloway, Aiden O’Neill, Adrián Luna, Florin Berenguer, Stefan Colakovski (Andrew Nabbout, 74′), Marco Tilio, Nathaniel Atkinson.
Craig Noone, Ben Garuccio, Matthew Sutton, Kerrin Stokes, Raphael Borges Rodrigues, Taras Gomulka.
Tom Heward-Belle, Ben Warland, Alex Wilkinson, Joel King, Paulo Retre, Luke Brattan, Anthony Cáceres (Patrick Wood, 86′), Adam Le Fondre, Bobô (Harry Van Der Saag, 38′), Alexander Baumjohann (Milos Ninkovic, 72′), Kosta Barbarouses.
Patrick Flottman, Luke Ivanovic, Callum Talbot, Adam Pavlesic.