Sydney FC home semi-final spot in doubt

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Sydney FC have suffered a shock loss to Perth Glory on Saturday and in doing so have put their chances of a home semi-final in doubt.

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A win for the defending champions would have secured a second place finish and hosting rights for finals football.

The Sky Blues can be overtaken on the ladder by both Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory in the final rounds of the competition.

Results pending may mean next week’s Big Blue will be a do-or-die clash for second.

Sydney coach Ante Juric lamented missed chances and said the visitors were deserving of the win.

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“We didn’t play our best,” he said.

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“Perth defended well and caught us on the break twice.

“Some of these lower teams on the ladder are actually playing with a free spirit.”

Juric said there is a real advantage in a home semi-final and it is something he feels is crucial.

“It makes a big difference,” he said.

“You don’t want to travel to Melbourne or somewhere else.

“(If we finish second) we play at Jubilee I believe, we have done well there in the past.”

The result for Perth was their third win of the season, all of which have come in their last three fixtures.

Morgan Andrews was the hero for the visitors with a brace giving her five goals in three games.

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The American midfielder was complimentary of Sydney but suggested Perth were hungrier.

“They are a really good side with quality players and staff,” she said.

“Today it just came down to grit and who wanted it more and I think we showed that we did.”

With the fixture played at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, it was a return to the Illawarra for Sydney midfielder Mackenzie Hawkesby.

The 19-year-old was given a 30 minute cameo in front of her home fans and Juric praised her recent performances for the club.

“She has stepped up from an NPL (National Premier League) stage,” he said.

“She is a W-League player and we will keep her for the next couple of years one hundred per cent.”

Feature image credit: Efsco Media

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.