Rhyan Grant accepted Sydney FC were "a little bit lucky" after his unorthodox extra-time goal secured victory over Melbourne City in the A-League Grand Final.

The full-back raced onto Luke Brattan's fine pass and chested the ball beyond goalkeeper Tom Glover after 20 minutes of extra time had been played.

The goal sealed a 1-0 win for Sydney, who became A-League champions for a record fifth time and backed up their Premiers' Plate win from the regular season.

The Sky Blues had ridden their luck earlier in the contest, though, Harrison Delbridge having had a goal disallowed for offside by VAR and Craig Noone seeing an effort cleared from in front of the posts.

Reflecting on his winner, Grant told Fox Sports: "It was nice, I was maybe a little bit lucky with it but I thought I'd maybe put the keeper off with the chest rather than the head and it worked, so happy days.

"We didn't start great, we were a bit shaky, we couldn't get the ball on the deck and play football. Credit to City, they started really well and came at us in that first half. Going into the break, we sort of took that as a restart.

"The second half, we were a little bit better - again, probably not at our best - and it was a bit end to end at times, a bit cagey, so we had to ride that out and make sure when we got our chances, we took them.

"City were very good, but we got a little bit lucky, I reckon."

Coach Steve Corica was full of praise for Grant, who won the Joe Marston medal as the best player in the final.

"You could see when he was out a couple of games that we really missed him and he's come back at the right time," Corica said. "He's been sensational all year; he's the best right-back in the country, of course."

Sydney became the first time since Brisbane Roar eight years ago to win back-to-back titles, having also been crowned premiers for the third time in four seasons.

"It's not easy to go back to back," said Corica. "We said before the start that only one team has done that before in the history of the A-League. It really means a lot to this time.

"We set our sights at the start of the year to win the Premiership and to do the double, and full credit to these boys and all the staff - they were sensational throughout the year."

Sydney FC became A-League champions for a record fifth time on Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Melbourne City after extra time in the Grand Final.

Rhyan Grant's improvised finish in the 100th minute of the match at Bankwest Stadium secured back-to-back championships for the Sky Blues and ensured City's first Grand Final ended in disappointment.

Steve Corica's side are the first to win five titles in the competition's history and the first since Brisbane Roar eight years ago to claim back-to-back triumphs.

City thought they had the lead 17 minutes in when Harrison Delbridge drilled in a shot from the edge of the area, but the goal was disallowed after a VAR check penalised Lachlan Wales for standing in front of goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne while offside.

City had the better of the first half-hour and Craig Noone beat Redmayne with a scuffed effort near the left-hand post only for the covering Ryan McGowan to hook the ball clear.

At the other end, Adam Le Fondre felt he should have had a penalty after going to ground under contact from Curtis Good, but referee Chris Beath was unmoved.

Milos Ninkovic had a quiet first half but played a key part in a fine move that saw Le Fondre come close in the second, and he should have broken the deadlock moments later only for Joshua Brillante to stand tall and block his close-range effort.

Redmayne denied Noone from inside the box and scrambled to gather a Scott Galloway strike, before Tom Glover made a crucial block with his leg to deny Sydney a fortuitous winner at the end of normal time.

Luke Brattan provided the telling moment of quality, his fine pass picking out Grant's run into the box, and the full-back used his chest to divert the ball beyond Glover and into the bottom-right corner.

Sydney FC and Melbourne City will contest the 2019-20 A-League Grand Final thanks to their respective 2-0 wins over Perth Glory and Western United on Wednesday.

Heading into the Finals, Sydney and City were regarded as the favourites to fight it out for the championship given they topped the regular season standings, and that is how it has turned out.

The reigning champions, who finished six points clear of City in the table, looked on course for victory even before the half-hour mark against Perth, as Milos Ninkovic capitalised on a kind ricochet before turning home, and Adam Le Fondre made it 2-0 soon after when he netted in the process of tackling goalkeeper Liam Reddy.

City had booked their passage earlier in the day, though it took them a little longer to make the breakthrough, Jamie Maclaren converting a 68th-minute penalty after he had been tripped.

A Tomoki Imai own goal then sealed Western's fate, as City reached their first ever Grand Final.

Western United dampened the Sydney FC celebrations as they snatched a 2-1 win over the A-League Premiers on Saturday. 

A 90th-minute strike from Steven Lustica secured a sixth win in seven games for United and made their place in the Finals safe. 

Besart Berisha put the visitors ahead at Leichhardt Oval, reacting quickest to prod home after Alessandro Diamanti's effort had been parried upwards by Andrew Redmayne. 

Diamanti rattled the crossbar with a magnificent effort from near the halfway line but Sydney were level 52 minutes in when Adam Le Fondre headed in his 20th goal of the season. 

However, Lustica swept home from Dylan Pieras' cross to claim victory, as Sydney's trophy celebrations were somewhat soured after a fifth game in a row without a win.

Luke Ivanovic's first goal of the A-League season was not enough to prevent Sydney FC's winless run stretching to a fourth match, as they were held 1-1 by Brisbane Roar. 

Sydney have struggled for momentum since being crowned premiers for a record fourth time on July 25 and were behind early on in Monday's clash at McDonald Jones Stadium. 

Dylan Wenzel-Halls latched on to Jay O'Shea's throughball - possibly intended for Scott McDonald - and coolly lifted over Andrew Redmayne with 11 minutes on the clock. 

However, three minutes after hitting the post, young winger Ivanovic got off the mark for the season with an impressive curled finish into the top-right corner. 

The visitors came closest to winning the game in a goalless second half, Jamie Young producing a number of good saves, including a triple stop 17 minutes from the end. 

Sydney could not find a way through and are now on their longest streak without a win since April 2016, while the Roar are unbeaten in three heading into the Elimination Final.

Adelaide United saw their A-League top-six ambitions dealt a blow as they were held 1-1 by Premiers Sydney FC on Thursday.

Victory would have put Carl Veart's side in a strong position to secure a Finals spot and they were on course for all three points when Jordan Elsey made the most of some slack marking to head in Lachlan Brook's corner after 13 minutes.

Sydney were in danger of suffering a third consecutive defeat for the first time in seven years, Paul Izzo producing a good save to deny Milos Ninkovic an equaliser.

But the Sky Blues were level six minutes before the interval, Adam Le Fondre tapping in his 19th goal of the season after Izzo had come off his line but failed to stop Trent Buhagiar's cross.

Alexander Baumjohann and Riley McGree came close to winners in the second half but it finished level, leaving Adelaide in sixth ahead of their final match of the regular season against Melbourne City next week.

While Newcastle Jets cannot now catch the Reds, Western United could make up the five-point gap as they have three games in hand, while Western Sydney Wanderers have two extra matches in which to mount their own challenge.

Premiers' Plate winners Sydney FC suffered a second straight defeat as Melbourne City fired a warning ahead of the A-League Finals, recording a 2-0 victory. 

Wellington Phoenix's 1-1 draw against Adelaide United last weekend handed Sydney a record fourth title for finishing top in the regular season, but this defeat left them with just one win in their past five matches. 

This was Melbourne's first match since the restart yet they showed no sign of rust and it required a string of first-half saves from Andrew Redmayne to keep it goalless at the interval. 

Craig Noone and Jamie Maclaren found the net in the second half to give second-placed Melbourne a boost in their bid to claim a first-round bye. 

Noone made the breakthrough in the 57th minute, taking advantage of a mishap between Paulo Retre and Redmayne to pass into an empty net. 

And Maclaren made sure of the three points when capitalising on more hesitancy in the Sydney defence - this time from Ryan McGowan - to score his competition-leading 19th A-League goal of the season. 

Wellington Phoenix saw their Premiers' Plate hopes ended by a 1-1 draw at home to Adelaide United on Saturday.

Sydney FC cannot now be caught at the top of the regular-season standings after a late missed penalty from Ulises Davila proved costly.

Kristian Opseth powered home a header on the hour mark to put the visitors ahead at Bankwest Stadium, but Jaushua Sotirio levelled five minutes later.

Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo made three fine saves to keep Wellington at bay, although arguably the most comfortable of those was from Davila's tame penalty with three minutes to go.

The result means Wellington are 11 points behind Sydney, having played a game more, while Adelaide remain in the top six despite Western United's 2-1 win at Melbourne Victory.

A fine half-volley from Tomislav Uskok and a powerful strike from the excellent Max Burgess put United ahead, with a looping, glancing header from Storm Roux proving scant consolation.

Kosta Petratos scored a stoppage-time winner as Newcastle Jets prevented Sydney FC from clinching the A-League Premiers' Plate with a 2-1 victory at Jubilee Oval on Tuesday.

The Sky Blues only needed a point to be guaranteed top spot, but suffered just a third league defeat of the season.

Anthony Caceres put the defending champions in front from close range after 25 minutes, but the Jets stormed back to keep their finals hopes alive with three games to play.

Nick Fitzgerald equalised in style with a volley and Petratos won it with time almost up, turning before firing into the far corner from just outside the penalty area.

Trent Buhagiar grabbed a late double as Sydney FC came from behind to beat Wellington Phoenix 3-1 and move to the brink of clinching top spot in the A-League.

In the first match played in the league since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wellington threatened to upset the runaway leaders when Reno Piscopo fired home a penalty in the 66th minute.

However, Sydney levelled, also from a spot-kick, as Adam Le Fondre netted 10 minutes later.

Although the game then looked destined to finish all square, substitute Buhagiar came good in the closing stages.

He went beyond goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and slotted in after Milos Ninkovic's pass to make it 2-1 to Sydney in the 88th minute, before firing home two minutes later to make certain of the win.

Sydney require one point from their final five regular-season games to be confirmed as winners of the Premiers' Plate, ahead of the Finals series in August.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) released the schedule for the remaining matches of the coronavirus-hit A-League season, with a bonanza of 27 games in 28 matches before a quick-fire finals series.

The 2019-20 A-League campaign has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 crisis, but Australia's premier football competition is set to restart on July 16 followed by a five-game finals series – the Grand Final to take place on August 23.

A derby between Melbourne Victory and Western United – originally scheduled for AAMI Park in Melbourne – will be played at a stadium still to be determined due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the state.

Six venues will be used in New South Wales and Queensland with the potential for more to be added subject to government regulations – ANZ Stadium (NSW), Bankwest Stadium (NSW), Central Coast Stadium (NSW), McDonald Jones Stadium (NSW), Jubilee Stadium (NSW) and Cbus Stadium (QLD).

"Over the past three months all stakeholders have been working hard together with one goal in mind – To finish what we started," FFA's Head of Leagues Greg O'Rourke said on Wednesday.

"We know the COVID-19 environment has been very difficult for many people in our community and we hope that delivering an extravaganza of matches will allow our fans to basically see a game everyday will be a unique experience for those who have stood by us.

"As we are a truly national game, the current border controls means that some of the match day venues may need to change, however we have secured venues in both a NSW Hub model and a hybrid hub model which has most games in NSW but allows for a few games in other states.

"Whilst we don't see the draw changing, the planning we have undertaken provides us with agility to shift between certain states if required. This version of the draw displays our current venue plan.

"We will continue to work with the Federal and State governments to ensure the health and safety of our players, coaches and other stakeholders and have detailed and practical protocols in place for all parties involved in training and match days.

"I am excited to see us kick off the restart and ultimately finish off what we started last October, with our priority always being to be in a position to crown our Hyundai A-League premiers and champions for this season."

Defending champions Sydney FC top the table by eight points through 20 matches, though second-placed Melbourne City have played three games less.

Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as "I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank" ahead of the Olympic Games.

Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.

Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA's former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.

"I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over," Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.

"Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.

"It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.

"[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank."

Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

"There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world," Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.

"I wasn't going to commit to something half-assed and not know what's in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I'm at, so they can't act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.

"I didn't want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say 'I don't know yet'. I think in fairness to the club, it's the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end."

Andrew Bogut quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings, but the veteran NBA champion is not retiring from basketball just yet.

Bogut announced his exit from the Kings via social media on Monday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old, who won an NBA title with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, had been planning to retire after playing for Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But those plans were put on hold following the decision to push back the Olympics 12 months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

"I have decided not to sign with the Sydney Kings, or any professional sporting team for that matter for the time being," Bogut wrote in a statement via Twitter.

"With everything going on in the world, the future does not look too clear, most notably in regards to sporting leagues worldwide.

"This is by no means a retirement note, but simply saying any concrete decisions are too hard to be made at this point in time.

"The reason I have decided to do this now is to give the Sydney Kings enough notice to act accordingly with free agency being around the corner."

The number one pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, former Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

"I have enjoyed being home with the family and learning more about my kids than I ever could have previously," Bogut, who returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season, said.

"My body is enjoying the break after playing basketball for 19 straight months and I hope to be back out on the basketball court in the near future!

"The plan moving forward? Spending time with my wife and kids, slowly getting back into physical shape, and finally making the most out of time we don't traditionally get at home."

Sydney FC were never going to be stopped in the race for the A-League Premiers' Plate, but one club joined them in red-hot form late in the regular season.

The campaign was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic with the Sky Blues on track to win a record fourth premiership.

Steve Corica's men were eight points clear and had three games in hand when the season was stopped.

Using Opta data, we predict the rest of the A-League regular season and while Sydney FC were unstoppable, one other club hit fine form.

 

SYDNEY MATCH POINTS RECORD

The Sky Blues' dominance continued late in the regular season.

Sydney went on to win each of their final six games and 21 of 26 to end up 17 points clear atop the table.

Only one team matched such a run late in the season – and they went on to finish second, a position that was held by Melbourne City when the campaign was suspended.

Sydney also matched their record points haul from 2016-17 with 66 points, despite playing one fewer game.

GLORIOUS PERTH PURR

Perth Glory, third when the season was stopped, also grabbed six wins from six to charge into second place.

With four of their last six at home and their two trips being to Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United, Perth found form to secure a home Semi-Final.

Sydney and Perth also finished as the top two last season before going on to meet in the Grand Final.

 

FOWLER'S ROAR, WESTERN UNITED IN FINALS AS VICTORY LEAVE RUN LATE

Under Robbie Fowler, Brisbane Roar managed just three points from their final four games, but even that was enough to finish fifth.

Meanwhile, in their maiden A-League season, Western United clinched the last finals spot, finishing four points clear in sixth.

Struggling in 10th when the campaign was stopped, Melbourne Victory charged but fell short.

They grabbed 12 points from their last five games but it was only enough to finish seventh, missing the finals for the first time since 2011-12.

 

A-League table at end of regular season
1. Sydney FC – 66
2. Perth Glory – 49
3. Melbourne City – 43
4. Wellington Phoenix – 42
5. Brisbane Roar – 38
6. Western United – 36

7. Melbourne Victory – 32
8. Western Sydney Wanderers – 32
9. Newcastle Jets – 30
10. Adelaide United – 27
11. Central Coast Mariners – 13

Western Sydney Wanderers continued their excellent recent derby record as Kwame Yeboah's late goal gave them a deserved 1-1 draw against Sydney FC at Bankwest Stadium.

Sydney have dominated the A-League this season and are eight points clear of second-place Melbourne City with two games in hand.

However, their only two defeats of the campaign came courtesy of 1-0 reverses against the Wanderers, who played behind-closed-doors hosts on Saturday.

Adam Le Fondre applauded and bowed to the deserted stands when he put the Sky Blues in front after 35 minutes – reacting quickest when Daniel Lopar parried Kosta Barbarouses' effort to net a 17th goal this term.

But Western Sydney responded impressively, dominating the second half and earning the fortune that came their way eight minutes from time.

Yeboah did not appear to know much about Simon Cox's shot when the ball struck him and spun beyond a helpless Andrew Redmayne in the Sydney goal.

The Wanderers lie eighth and retain post-season ambitions as they sit a point behind sixth-place Western United, having played a game more.

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