How the war was won: John Crawley’s penalty shootout heroics

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Andrew Redmayne has emerged the hero after Sydney FC secured a 4-1 penalty shoot-out win over Premiers Perth Glory.

But according to Sky Blue fullback Michael Zullo, it was the preparation of Sydney FC’s goalkeeper coach John Crawley that really made the difference.

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But after practising taking penalties all week at training, Zullo was ‘supremely confident’ that his side were going to get the better of their Perth counterparts.

“When it went to penalties, I was confident in the boys who were taking them, and I just knew Redders was going to save a couple. He’s done it all year. It’s amazing what he’s done this year in terms of penalties. He’s saved four out of five penalties throughout the year including the FFA Cup.”

But Redmayne can’t take all the credit. According to Zullo, Sydney FC’s goalkeeper coach John Crawley had tediously prepared for this very moment: giving Redmayne all the tools he needed to pull off a dramatic penalty shootout performance.

The 30-year-old pulled off two crucial saves in the penalty shootout to give his side the win. Firstly denying Andy Keogh with a reflex save before going on to deny the retiring Brendon Santalab’s attempted panenka.

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“John Crawley pretty much knew where everyone was going to go. He provided Redders with a list, some research on where everyone would shoot.

“One of the things he said was Santalab – down the middle, chip.”

“He actually gave him the correct way for the first penalty but Redders had a feeling he was going to go the other way, and he chose incorrectly.

“It’s just great work from the goalkeeping team to get us over the line”.

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But what Crawley can’t take credit for is Redmayne’s unorthodox tactics throughout the penalty shootout. The tactics which Fox Sports Commentator Adam Peacock dubbed ‘The Wiggles routine’, although bizarre, made the difference for Sydney FC.

“I’m telling you, we all practised penalties during the week and Redders was asking us what we thought about it.

“To be honest it’s so off-putting when you’re trying to concentrate on one of the most important kicks of your life and the goalkeeper is walking around trying to distract you… it really is unnerving.

“He’s such a big presence in the goal, that when you go to take a penalty he just puts you off your game, he’s so huge.”

With a 70% save success rate, nine clean sheets and now a stellar penalty shootout performance in the grand final, Andrew Redmayne has been vital in aiding Sydney FC to their fourth A-League Championship.

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.