New Team, Same Popa Against Sydney FC

Sydney FC were asked the question on a hot, summers evening in Perth. The underwhelming and underperforming team were forced to make the cross-country trip just to be embarrassed by the top of the table Perth Glory, or so I thought.

While I caught the first 10 minutes on the My Football app (not an ad) because the Foxtel app is a piece of shit and decided to freeze after I had waited until 9:15pm AEDT to enjoy this mouth watering fixture. No complaints from me with the wait as I had the pleasure of enjoying the W-League prior which was not at all disappointing!

Sydney FC ended up being the ones doing the embarrassing. I mean, when your team has Rhyan Grant and you are still able to embarrass an opposition.. Although kudos to Mr Joe Blow who has now reached 10 years with the club.

Le Fondre opened the scoring in the first half with Liam Reddy caught more off-guard than a mouse spotting a cube of cheese surrounded by a metal trap.

As this sweaty, sloppy evening continued, the fatigue slowed down play. Both teams looked to be missing their magic in the final third. Sydney FC had their magician in the middle of the park, Milos Ninkovic, while Perth’s magic was viewing the match from the comfort of an air-conditioned private box. Diego Castro with more leave from match day activity than I have over the finals series.

Although, unlike myself, this Glory team don’t necessarily need one Spanish man to complete them. Every player within their team that has the ‘ka’ or ‘ko’ or ‘ki’ sound has the ability to win the game.

Sydney FC however were still as uninteresting as the girl in school who’d always talk about horses. They stayed in the lead but didn’t really do the thing. You know, the thing they need to do, play the football.

Both sides looking like they’ve read a page out of the Tony Popovic handbook of Tiki Taka and just holding back. Perth Glory lacking the excitement fans desire going into the area.

Grant clearly on cloud 9 from recent achievements, from being selected in the Socceroos Asian Cup squad to 10 years with Sydney FC, he continued to make the second half his bitch. Terrorising Ikonomidis and Mrcela and at one point border-lining being the star of a brawl.

Danny De Silva, Perth born former player was subbed on with barely 10 minutes left in the match. Injecting energy into this flat and tiring match. With only a few minutes of regular time on the clock, the zippy little lad gets it in the back of the net. The boo’s of NIB Stadium are loud and clear but the De Silva/Sydney FC minority in the crowd are ecstatic to be two up away from home on the path to destroying Perth Glory’s undefeated season.

But who would ever count Perth Glory out? I sure as hell wouldn’t. If anyone knows how to get it in when we all thought they were done..

In the 90th minute the Glory fight back with clear communication from a corner which finishes off some body part of Ikonomidis. There were so many bodies and so much bouncing, he scored somehow.

It only took two minutes for the Glory fans to scream again with Santalab scoring in the 92nd minute. But wait, no goal says ref. I am to believe there was some type of foul on Redmayne where he milked a touch like a farmer squeezing udders.

Sydney FC get the three points on the road, piss off every Perth Glory fan and finally redeemed themselves by beating a good team (soz WSW fans). The Glory now travel to ye olde Gosford for a crazy New Years Eve on the coast while Sydney head back home to play the Roar this Saturday evening. If Perth can’t bounce back the fans may need to invest in the large quantity of #PopaOut t-shirts a certain Wanderer fan has in possession.

By Rose Valente

New Team, Same Popa Against Sydney FC

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