NINETY minutes weren’t enough to contain the drama of Tuesday night’s FFA Cup final.
Sydney FC needed extra-time to beat Adelaide United 2-1 at Allianz Stadium to vanquish the pain of losing last season’s decider and claim this year’s trophy.
Bobo’s header in extra-time served as the winner for the Sky Blues at the end of an entertaining final, the goal assisted by eventual man of the match Adrian Mierzejewski, who took home the Mark Viduka Medal.
The match was marred when the benches were cleared in a baseball-like all-in brawl towards the end; the melee was sparked by Adelaide player Michael Marrone manhandling a ball-kid refusing to relinquish the ball to the defender – Marrone was red carded.
Milos Ninkovic opened the scoring and Sydney dominated the first half, forcing Adelaide on the back-foot, but the away side responded by levelling the match both in general play and on the scoreboard in the second half through Nikola Mileusnic’s spectacular curling shot.
Sydney become the second team ever to hold all three trophies (Championship, Premiership and Cup) after Melbourne Victory in 2015, and the final was the first to both go to extra-time and have both teams score.
Andrew Redmayne (GK) – 7
The shot-stopper made the first save of game on Ryan Kitto which may’ve proved critical in setting the tone from the start. He wasn’t called into duty too many times in the first half but on the two or three occasions he was needed he handled each situation well, as was the case in the second half.
Luke Wilkshire – 6
Played a solid game at right back. He didn’t venture too high up the park in his twilight years but restricted the influence of the sprightly Ryan Kitto.
Jordy Buijs – 7
Lead the defence brilliantly and made things hard for Adelaide right throughout the game. His handy run to up the middle of the park and passing from defence adds another element to Sydney’s attack.
Alex Wilkinson – 7
Barely lost his shape at all, helping keep the defensive system as tight as a movie-goer on Tuesdays. Made a superb interception on a dangerous Marrone cross early in the second period and dominated the airwaves when the Reds went searching for a forehead.
Michael Zullo – 6
Didn’t do much wrong on the night but will be remembered for being totally beaten by Nikola Mileusnic’s shimmy and goal to equalise. Aside from that a few moments being dispossessed, it was a solid night by Zullo.