When these teams play, it’s going to be hard to score goals. If it’s action you’re after, make sure you’re not looking up YouTube clips of these four teams.

These are the four stingiest defences in Hyundai A-League history. With three classic defensive teams [and one current team], make sure you strap yourself in for some eyelid-dropping action.

4. Sydney FC 2009/10 – Average Goals per game: 0.85

It’s the Sky Blues who start off the list with their rock-solid defensive unit of 2009/10 the backbone of a team who claimed the domestic double. Graced by the likes of Clint Bolton, Seb Ryall, Simon Colosimo and Hayden Foxe it’s not hard to see why they conceded just 23 goals in 27 matches throughout the regular season.

3. Central Coast Mariners 2012/13 – Average Goals per game: 0.81

Next up is the Central Coast Mariners’ backline of 2012/13 featuring a young Mat Ryan in goal, alongside Josh Rose, Pedj Bojić, Patrick Zwaanswijk and Trent Sainsbury. Despite conceding a miserly 22 goals in 27 games, the Mariners finished second in the league behind the Wanderers but got revenge with a 2-0 victory in the final to claim their first title.

2. Western Sydney Wanderers 2012/13 – Average Goals per game: 0.78

It just had to be. Currently occupying the mantle of A-League’s greatest ever defence is the Western Sydney Wanderers side of 2012/13. Amazingly, for those who’ve decided to block out memories of that year, this just happened to be the Wanderers’ debut season.

Somehow Popa managed to work his magic with Ante Covic, Shannon Cole, Adam D’Apuzzo, Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Michael Beauchamp to create a defensive unit that would make a certain bus-loving Portuguese manager jealous. Conceding just 21 goals in 27 matches on their way to winning the league, the Wanderers fell agonisingly short of a fairy tale grand final victory.

1. Sydney FC 2016/17 – Average Goals per game: 0.52 (as of Round 21)

The season’s not over yet but it would take a disaster of Lasagne-gate proportions to stop this Sydney side marching to the title of best ever A-League defence (who cares about the league anyway). Even if Vuka and co. were generous enough to ship in a goal a game – double their current rate – for the rest of the season, they’d still easily smash the record for a regular season defence.

While it might not be the sexiest topic of choice for pundits and fans, Sydney FC’s brick wall of a defence deserves to be reflected on in a big way: shipping just 11 goals in 21 games, not to mention Danny Vukovic’s 11 clean sheets along the way.

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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