Sydney FC secure Premier’s Plate
FOUR down, one to go - Sydney FC's trophy cabinet is expanding again.
On a record-breaking night in Perth, the Sky Blues became the first team to retain the Premier's Plate, and striker Bobo broke the competition's scoring record for the regular season with his 23rd and 24th goals of the campaign.
A mostly comfortable 3-2 win over Glory was the perfect tonic for Sydney after its recent travails, and will put Graham Arnold's side in good heart ahead of their must-win trip to Suwon Bluewings in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday - as well as the A-League finals series to come.
The retention of the Plate means Sydney has won the past four trophies on offer, after last season's double and the FFA Cup victory in December.
Securing the championship again in May's grand final is the final target.
Perth has been such a happy hunting ground for Sydney in recent years the Sky Blues had to be suffused with confidence, back at the ground where a year ago they had claimed the Premier's Plate for the first time in seven years.
So it proved, with the Sky Blues simply picking Perth off.
The Glory had their moments in attack but their defending remains startling naive.
Three goals in the first half for the visitors just proved it, and allowed Sydney to rediscover the early season ruthlessness that had brought it to the brink of making history.
Brandon O'Neill's perfect chip opened space for Bobo in the 12th minute and though the Brazilian's shot was parried by Liam Reddy, Mierzejewski followed up to ram the ball home.
Perth took the game to the visitors, but in the 28th minute Sydney broke to lethal effect.
Mierzejewski picked up a clearance in his own half and essayed a fabulous through ball that Matt Simon chased into the Perth box. As he shaped to shoot, Dino Djulbic lunged in and incurred a penalty.
By driving it into the bottom corner, Bobo was level with Fornaroli.
By half-time, he had the record to himself. Mierzejewski was again the architect, with a sweeping angled pass that allowed Bobo to break the Glory back line yet again. With his left foot, he drove the ball through Reddy's legs.
At 3-0, the game was largely done and Sydney - with an eye on next week's Asian Champions League trip to Suwon - was content to sit back and play out the remainder.
Perth tried manfully to create a contest and with 71 minutes gone the Glory had a lifeline.
Xavi Torres's through ball allowed Adam Taggart to spring Sydney's offside trap - drawing Andrew Redmayne, Taggart rolled the ball in.
Briefly the visitors were ruffled, yet Sydney's defensive composure was solid, another feature to please Graham Arnold as his team seeks to regain their momentum ahead of the finals.
With seconds left, Taggart produced a brilliant second goal, swapping passes with Andy Keogh and sweeping home from distance. But there was to be no comeback, just celebrations for Arnold's men, creating history yet again.
SYDNEY FC 3 (Adrian Mierzejewski 12m, Bobo 29m pen, 39m) PERTH GLORY 2 (Adam Taggart 72m, 89m) at nib Stadium. Crowd: 7,742. Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones