Get your A-League tips for the 2019 Grand Final as Perth Glory hunt a drought-breaking title triumph against perennial big guns Sydney FC.
History: Played 40: Sydney 23 V Perth 9 (8 Draws)
Last meeting: April 18, 2019: Sydney 1 d Perth 0 at Jubilee Oval
Final Thoughts: The top two teams from the A-League regular season have won their way through to a mouth-watering Grand Final showdown. But the heavyweights took very different Semi-final paths to the big one.
Perth Glory, the Premiers Plate winners, survived an almighty scare from Adelaide United. The match finished 3-all after extra-time, before the Glory won an extraordinary penalty shootout. Goalkeeper Liam Reddy was the hero after saving three straight spot kicks (and scoring from his own) to secure Perth’s passage to the decider.
But it was a reality check for the Glory, who coughed up a 2-0 lead despite conceding just 23 goals in the regular season.
Sydney FC, meanwhile, obliterated defending champions Melbourne Victory 6-1 in the other semi. The Sky Blues led 3-0 at halftime, while an Adam le Fondre brace in the second stanza sealed the result.
The Glory are appearing in just their second A-League Grand Final, losing to Brisbane in 2012. Sydney FC have won three (2006, 2010 and 2017) and lost one (2015).
Perth’s regular-season dominance did not quite extend to overturning their poor record against Sydney.
The Sky Blues won two of the teams’ three encounters: a 2-1 win in Perth in Week 9 and a 1-0 victory at home in Week 26 either side of a 3-1 away loss at nib Stadium. Sydney striker le Fondre scored a goal in all three games.
The Glory lost just one other game this season.
Sydney have won 10 of their last 11 against Perth and seven of their last nine in the WA capital.
Four of the last six A-League Grand Finals (and eight of 13 all-time) have produced two goals or less. The home team is 9-4 in A-League Grand Finals.
Last week’s nail-biter may have chipped away at the Glory’s confidence. Underdogs Sydney FC bring irresistible momentum into the decider and – coupled with their big-match experience – look a great bet to take out another title.