2019-20 Australian A League, Semifinals
  • Milos Ninkovic (24')
  • Adam Le Fondre (28')

Sydney hit form to reach A-League grand final

A-League champions Sydney FC returned to form with a 2-0 semifinal win over Perth Glory to reach their fourth grand final in five seasons.

After some stuttering form since the resumption, the Premiers Plate winners rediscovered their mojo at Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday night in the penultimate match of their title defence to ease past the Glory.

Milos Ninkovic and Adam Le Fondre got the first-half goals with the second coming after a horrendous goalkeeping blunder by Liam Reddy.

The Sky Blues will be seeking to become the first club to win five A-League championships when they face grand final debutants Melbourne City on Sunday.

It was an improved showing from Steve Corica's men who had secured just one win in their past five matches -- a far cry from their all-conquering form before the season was suspended due to COVID-19.

Sydney dominated from the outset carving out goalscoring opportunities and dominating possession, while the Glory barely penetrated the Sky Blues' penalty area in the first half.

Yet the goals came from opportunistic moments in attack, with firstly Ninkovic latching onto a loose ball that ricocheted into his path on 24 minutes.

Perth's hopes of steadying the ship suffered a cruel blow just four minutes later as Le Fondre dispossessed a ponderous Reddy by sliding in and force the ball into an empty net and leave the Glory custodian red-faced.

Reddy had prevented Kosta Barbarouses from opening the scoring inside the first few minutes with a strong close-range block as Sydney set the tone from the outset.

The first half could barely have been much different from last year's grand final stalemate between the same sides, which Sydney won on penalties.

The Glory needed to start the second half with renewed impetus and they could have got it through Joel Chianese, but the former Sydney forward fired narrowly wide with only goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to beat.

Perth indeed managed a vastly improved second-half showing and carved out a couple of other half chances to score.

In contrast, it was a mixed performance after the break from the Sky Blues who lost their momentum against a typically resilient Glory.

But if any evidence was needed that it wasn't going to be Perth 's night, it came with a quarter-hour remaining as Bruno Fornaroli's shot from the acutest of angles hit the far post and away to safety.