Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has applauded his side and Perth Glory for bravely grinding out 90 minutes of football in sweltering heat.
Players from both teams struggled to have their usual impact during Saturday’s match at nib Stadium, which kicked off in 34°C heat and finished with the mercury sitting on 32°C.
No serious attacks were made on goal and opposing goalkeepers Ante Covic and Vedran Janjetovic were rarely called into action as the score finished 0-0.
“You’ve got to give full credit to the players for the courage they showed and the intent to play,” Arnold said post-match.
“It was a game from the 1980's when I played. Slow.
“It was tough. I was sitting in the shade and I was sweating.”
Arnold said he told his players before the match to “throw all tactics out the door” and just make sure they got through the match unscathed in the hot conditions, adding the final result was not as important as player welfare.
“You just hope that the players don’t mistake because the first half destroys the players physically and mentally,” Arnold said.
“It’s a matter of just hoping the players can get through the game with no injuries…and not making mistakes.
“It comes down to who is able to still perform…but I don’t think any of those players performed to their (usual) level tonight.”
Arnold said he would have preferred for the match to have kicked off at 6.30pm local time rather than the scheduled 4.30pm start.
“At the end of the day it’s roasting hot and the players can’t run…they were buggered,” he said.
“If you go and ask those 22 players if they enjoyed today’s game, I think you’ll find those players would say they would have rather been at the beach.”