Perth Glory 1 Sydney FC 2: A-League leaders' unbeaten start to season halted
Perth Glory's unbeaten start to the 2018-19 A-League season has come to an end, with Sydney FC holding on in a dramatic finish to claim a 2-1 win on the road on Friday.
The Glory have set the pace during the early weeks of the campaign, but they suffered a first defeat in their ninth match of the season, with Danny De Silva's 87th-minute goal ultimately proving decisive as a late Perth rally proved in vain.
Much of the first half was contested in midfield and there were few clear-cut chances, but one did fall to Sydney's Adam Le Fondre in the 18th minute and the striker slammed home his seventh goal of the season from close range after a scramble in the penalty area.
The visitors should have increased their lead in the second half, but Milos Ninkovic missed the target following Alex Brosque's cut-back.
De Silva made no mistake three minutes from time, however, brilliantly skipping past one challenge in the area before coolly slotting home.
Chris Ikonomidis - who was named in Australia's Asian Cup squad earlier this week - pulled a goal back, finding the net from a tight angle after a corner had not been cleared.
The Glory then thought they had restored parity right at the end, but Brendon Santalab's goal was disallowed for a foul and Sydney held on to move to within three points of the pacesetters, who could be overtaken by Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) December 21, 2018