SYDNEY (AP) Sydney FC will face the Melbourne Victory in next weekend’s grand final of Australian football’s A-League after the top-ranked teams won contrasting semifinals.
While Sydney was as dominant as it has been throughout a 27-match regular season in its 3-0 win over Perth on Saturday, Melbourne needed a 70th-minute goal from striker Besart Berisha to advance with a 1-0 win Sunday over Brisbane.
Josh Brillante, Jordy Buijs and Filip Holosko scored first-half goals as Sydney continued a seemingly unstoppable drive towards its third A-League title – and its first since 2010. The video referee interceded in two of the goals, making the win contentious, but Sydney still demonstrated superiority over the young, confident and ambitious Perth side.
Sydney lost only once in 27 regular-season matches and will enter the final as a considerable favorite.
Berisha sank the hopes of his former club, Brisbane, with his late strike in Sunday’s second semifinal. While the margin was small, the Victory deserved to win after playing more assertively throughout the match.
Its semifinal victory means that the teams that finished first and second at the end of the regular season will contest the final for the fifth straight year. The final repeats the 2015 showdown between Sydney and Melbourne, which the Victory won 3-0.