Sydney FC wins first-ever A-League title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sydney FC wins first-ever A-League title

By Philip Henderson 05/03/2006 07:54:57 PM Comments (0)

Sydney FC's team of champions are the A-League's champion team.

The glamour club of Australia's fledgling football competition ended Central Coast's fairytale run in Sunday's grand final, beating the Mariners 1-0 in front of an A-League record crowd of 41,689 at Aussie Stadium.

Sydney skipper Dwight Yorke, the competition's marquee player who flew halfway across the world and back the past week, fittingly lifted the A-League's inaugural championship trophy after proving the catalyst behind the home side's triumph.

The former Manchester United star set up the winner in the 62nd minute, toying with Mariners duo Andrew Clark and captain Noel Spencer in the penalty area before laying a perfect ball back for Steve Corica, who's thumping strike from 15 metres beat a diving Danny Vukovic.

Yorke had endured the busiest week of all players in the grand final.

Less than four days ago, Sydney's jet-setting skipper was starring for Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly against Iceland in London, scoring both goals in his country's 2-0 win.

He arrived back in Sydney little more than 48 hours before Sunday's kick off, wiping away the jet lag of his 20-hour flight with two light recovery sessions on Friday and Saturday.

His star performance earned him the Joe Martson Medal for player of the final.

"The Mariners probably didn't deserve to lose, they played very well in the first half, but its all about taking your chances," Yorke said after the game.

"As the game went on I knew I had to stamp my authority on the game, and in the end I was able to do that.

"The team showed a lot of character today. We need to stand up and be counted in the second half, and we came up with the game winner."

After being tagged the A-League's glamour club and championship favourites well before the pre-season, Sydney veteran Corica was elated to finally claim the title.

"This was a big challenge, the first ever A-League, first ever grand final winners, so we're pleased with that," Corica said. "I've had a long career... but there's nothing like this."

The Mariners pushed hard for the equaliser in the final 30 minutes, but in the end paid dearly for missing a host of chances in the opening half.

Midfielder Andre Gumprecht was the architect of much of the Mariners attacking raids, but even he was unable to convert - his close-range shot which drifted wide in the sixth minute Central Coasts' best chance of the game.

"It's one of things, when you're on top in football you've got to capitalise your chances and we got punished in the second half," said Mariners midfielder Wayne O'Sullivan.

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