Sydney FC are the Foxtel Y-League Champions for a record-breaking fourth time – completing an unprecedented undefeated season with an emphatic 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory.
Foxtel Y-League leading goal scorer Marco Tilio led the returns for the Sky Blues with a brace at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium, while Jordie Swibel, Jake Hollman and Benjamin Koop were also amongst the spoils for the hosts.
The Victory levelled terms midway through the first-half but were ultimately outgunned in the hot conditions as the Sky Blues became the first team to ever finish a Foxtel Y-League season without defeat.
The Grand Final win is the fourth for Sydney in 12 seasons of the Foxtel Y-League – the most by any club in the competition’s history.
They are also the first club to concurrently hold all all three Championship titles across the Hyundai A-League, Westfield W-League and Foxtel Y-League.
Just five minutes in, Sky Blues leading goal scorer Marco Tilio fashioned the first chance of the contest – the dynamic attacker breaking through one-on-one but seeing his shot denied by Victory goalkeeper Matthew Sutton.
However, the hosts were in less than a minute later through Swibel – the attacker bringing down Thomas Fay’s cross before drilling his shot high into the back of the net past Sutton.
The Victory responded with their first shot on target as Aaron Anderson saw his long-range free-kick held by Sydney shot-stopper Levi Kaye in the 10th minute before the visitors were forced to go to their bench as Matthew Bozinovski replaced an unwell So Nishikawa.
Still, the Sky Blues were the most dangerous prior to the first of four drinks break in the hot conditions, but the visitors found their attacking spark with the resumption of play as Jack Morton flashed a shot wide of the target from the top of the box on 22 minutes.
Soon after, Kaye was again called into action with a pair of crucial stops in as many minutes – first denying Victory’s Joeys striker Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, who was released by William Wilson’s early ball, one-on-one in the 25th minute before then foiling a fierce, 30-yard drive from Birkan Kirdar.
A second drinks break on the half hour mark again tilted the balance of play as the Sky Blues’ Thomas Main failed to capitalise after breaking through-on-one in the box before Swibel also spurned a half-chance for the hosts.
The missed opportunity proved costly as the Victory levelled on 37 minutes - Lawrie-Lattanzio cutting inside from the left and driving home into the bottom corner from the top of the box despite Kaye getting a hand to the shot.
The shots kept coming as Swibel forced Sutton to palm away a 39th minute free kick, while Kaye was also called up to tip a curling strike from Anderson over the bar.
The Victory threat remained into time added on as Hollman cleared another Lawrie-Lattanzio strike off the line for the Sky Blues before the hosts dramatically regained the lead immediately prior to the break from the penalty spot.
Tilio calmly slotted the spot kick for his tenth goal of the Foxtel Y-League season – becoming the only player to reach double figures this season – after Main was brought down just inside the penalty area.
The Sky Blues rode their momentum into the second half with a clutch of half-chances before an early release for Swibel resulted in another one-on-one save from Sutton to keep the Victory in the contest.
The pressure soon told again, however, as the Sky Blues tucked away their third – Hollman tucking away a rebound after Callum Talbot’s initial free-kick bounced back off the post in the 56th minute.
There was no respite for the Victory defence either side of the first drinks break of the second half as Hollman again forced Sutton to tip a shot around the post on the hour, before Swibel blazed over the crossbar from just inside the box in the 69th minute.
The visitor’s fading hopes of a comeback were put to bed shortly after when substitute Benjamin Koop followed in a Swibel free-kick and tuck away the rebound from Sutton’s parried save.
A fifth followed barely two minutes later as Tilio secured his brace with a strong headed finish at close range after being picked out by Thomas Fay’s cross - the 18 year old's joining supporters in the crowd for the celebration.
The chances kept coming for the Sky Blues as Hollman fired wide of the near post prior to the final drinks break, before Calem Nieuwenhof and Koop both flashed shots high of the target in the closing stages of regulation time and Swibel also blazed high in time added on.