This is it, the A-League Finals and we’re only one week away from a potential Double Double from (probably) the greatest team the A-League has ever seen.

In fact, Sydney FC could be the first to win a historic Premiers/Champions/Cup treble!

Yet despite (or because of) their domination, most football fans across the country do not want to see Sydney FC crowned A-League Champions.

Thanks to the A-League Finals format which awards the best team on the day, rather then the whole season, we have this opportunity.

Here are the top five cruellest ways for Sydney FC to lose the Grand Final.

5: Losing it SC Freiburg style

It’s been a tough match, both teams have had their chances but the closest either team has come was an 85th minute header from Matt Simon which hit the post and went out. The referee blows full time and two exhausted teams trudge to their benches to grab a well-earnt drink to prepare for another 30 minutes of intense finals football.

But wait… Just as the players have lined-up for the kick-off of extra time, Shaun Evans puts his hands above his head and draws a box in the air before signalling a penalty. Apparently Alex Wilkinson had grabbed Roy O’Donovan’s shirt in the box during the last play of the match.

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A full seven minutes after full time was initially blown, O’Donovan lines-up a penalty and puts the Panenka past a disbelieving Andrew Redmayne. Shaun Evans blows the whistle and Newcastle Jets are champions.

4: Losing it AC Milan style…

It’s half time. Sydney FC have been dominant and the Cove are in celebration mode. Jordy Buijs scored in the first minute and Bobô added two more for good measure in the final ten minutes of the half. To make matters worse for the Jets, Ronald Vargas was forced off after 25 minutes due to a groin injury.

A change of formation for the Jets in the second half didn’t look to make much impact initially, but they got what looked a consolation goal as Wayne Brown headed in a free kick. Things got tense as Steven Ugarkovic scored a long ranger and Sydney FC hit panic stations as Roy O’Donovan equalised with a penalty.

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Extra time comes and goes with no goals Sydney FC miss their first two penalties of the shoot-out through Miloš Ninković and Alex Wilkinson after Jack Duncan employed the Dudek/Grobbelaar spaghetti legs tactic. There was no recovering from there, O’Donovan slots the winning spot kick for the Novocastrians and Jets supporters celebrate their first championship in a decade.

3: Losing it Andres Escobar style

The score is 1-1. It’s in the second half and while the Jets have had some occasional counter-attacks, it is Sydney FC who is putting on the pressure and looking the most likely to score and claim their fourth championship.

But, mid-way through the half, the Jets go on a rare attack forward with Patito Rodríguez taking the ball up the wing.

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With no teammates supporting him and only Roy O’Donovan outnumbered in the box, Rodríguez swings in an innocuous cross only for a sliding Michael Zullo to direct the ball into his own net!

With an unexpected lead, the Jets rally and hold on for a famous victory and rob Sydney FC of their historic treble.

2: Losing it Liverpool style…

Full time has come and gone. 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes. Sydney FC score a classy goal with Brandon O’Neill playing-in Adrian Mierzejewski with a slide rule pass for the Pole to score with a thunderbolt in the top corner.

It’s now half time of extra time. Sydney FC lead 3-2. Players from both teams are in their respective huddles but the Fox Sports cameras get a close-up of the Sydney FC team, Adrian addressing his teammates with a motivating and inspirational speech.

“We have worked hard for this. We deserve this lead. 15 minutes to go. We do not slip now.”

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But with five minutes to go and Sydney FC still holding a 3-2 lead, Adrian gets the ball around half way, looks to play the ball to the right wing but due to the NRL match played the night before, he loses his footing in the Allianz Stadium turf and plays the ball straight to Joe Champness who sprints to goal and slots the ball past Redmayne.

3-3. Game goes to penalties. Jack Duncan pulls off three great saves and Jets are champions.

1: Losing it Leicester City style…

It’s the 97th minute. The score is 2-2 and Michael Zullo’s cross hits Nigel Boogaard in the chest before the big man clears the ball. The referee waves play-on but VAR intervenes and says the ball brushed the inner shoulder of the Jets’ defender. Penalty to Sydney FC!

Bobô steps-up to take it but Jack Duncan dives to his left and makes a save! Instantly the ball is cleared and falls to Jason Hoffman on half way who rounds his defender and puts a floating cross into the box…

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It’s the former Sky Blue playmaker Dimi Petratos who jumps highest and he heads it forcefully past Redmayne to score in front of the Cove! Jets win 3-2 in the 98th minute. Absolute scenes.

Feature image credit: Jaime Castaneda

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