Glory denied home final by rampant Sky Blues

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Perth Glory have missed the opportunity to host a home final after they were well-beaten 4-0 by Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

First half-goals from David Carney and Filip Holosko were followed up by late goals from Milos Ninkovic and Ali Abbas after Holosko’s sending off on 78 minutes.

Sydney started the brighter of the two sides, Matt Simon having a couple of chances that he could only fire straight at Ante Covic.

Marc Warren was lucky to stay on the pitch after the Perth Glory defender lunged terribly into the ankle of Simon on 22 minutes.

Perth’s best chances came from a tame header from Alex Grant into Janjetovic’s hands and a powerfully hit shot from Warren that flashed wide.

After 31 minutes, David Carney took advantage of a bit of good fortune to score his first home goal for Sydney FC since November 2006. Holosko lost the ball to Shane Lowry, who’s attempted clearance ricocheted off Carney into Grant and back to Carney, enabling him to instinctively finish under Covic.

If the first goal was a little fortuitous, the same could not be said of the 2nd. Holosko picked the ball up 40 metres out before charging into the box, beating Grant for pace before expertly cutting back inside and passing the ball into the bottom right corner of the net. It was a sublime moment of class from the much-maligned marquee man and in doing so he joins John Aloisi, Alessandro Del Piero and Marc Janko as the only Sydney FC players to score ten league goals in a season.

As the second half began Sydney continued where they left off as George Blackwood and Carney both tested Covic.

In the 69th minute Simon released Holosko into acres of space down the right, only for the Slovakian to pick out Grant.

Holosko’s cynical second yellow card after 78 minutes for time wasting looked to have provided Perth with a lifeline to get back into it.

In form target man Andy Keogh fired over the bar, before Kosta Petratos picked out Janjetovic with his effort.

With Perth throwing players forward it allowed Milos Ninkovic to release Ali Abass down the left hand side in the 85th minute. The Iraqi finished superbly with a low, hard drive across Covic.

Just into added time, Ninkovic released fellow substitute Andrew Hoole with a delightfully chipped through ball. Hoole charged forward before showing impressive composure to lay it back to Ninkovic to make it four.

Sydney FC fans must be wondering why this sort of performance has been so difficult to achieve in the A-League recently. Ending an 11 game winless streak and not competing in the Finals Series, the Sky Blues are in good form for their continuing AFC Champions League campaign.

Despite recording 10 wins out of their last 11 and with a home final at stake, Perth were mysteriously flat tonight. They will need a much improved performance in order to remain in the competition as they prepare to travel to Melbourne to take on City.

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