Opta Team of the Week: Hyundai A-League Grand Final
Sydney FC's nail-biting fourth Grand Final victory was a triumph of preparation and perseverance as they knocked Perth Glory off their stride at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
The closeness of a contest ultimately decided from 12 yards is reflected in Opta's selection of a standout XI.
With the numbers crunched, here are the players who statistically stood tallest on the Hyundai A-League's showpiece stage.
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Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC)
In a game of fine margins, Redmayne did everything to swing the silverware in Sydney FC's direction.
The 30-year-old goalkeeper denied the hosts on two occasions inside 120 minutes before producing two decisive stops in the shootout, a combined four more saves than Glory counterpart Liam Reddy.
Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC)
Arrived at Optus Stadium in career-best form and didn't stray from those standards.
No player made more total shots (three), interceptions (three), or contested more duels (26) than Grant.
An excellent contribution for a right-back.
Matthew Spiranovic (Perth Glory)
At ease in big matches thanks to his FIFA World Cup™ experience and did a superb job in subduing an in-form Sydney FC attack.
Spiranovic attempted the most passes (117) of all players on the pitch and made a joint-high three interceptions to go with his three clearances.
Dino Djulbic (Perth Glory)
Djulbic's full-blooded playing style is tailor-made for Grand Finals and the experienced defender undoubtedly did his best to advance the Glory cause.
His passing accuracy (90 per cent) was the highest of any of the 13 players to make 50+ passes on the night, with the 36-year-old also tallying one shot and the joint second-most clearances (nine).
Michael Zullo (Sydney FC)
Always an outlet on the left, Zullo collected a team-high 102 touches and created one scoring chance in a match light on opportunities.
The left-back also registered two interceptions and a game-high seven tackle attempts.
Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)
The Johnny Warren Medal Winner had to curb the naturally creative, freewheeling elements of his game to perform an unselfish and crucial function for the collective.
He did it brilliantly: Ninkovic won each of his four tackles, gained possession on 12 occasions, and won 10 of the 17 duels he contested.
Neil Kilkenny (Perth Glory)
Played through the pain of an ankle injury and still managed to complete the joint second-most dribbles (three).
Kilkenny, the fulcrum in the middle of the park for Tony Popovic's team, also delivered the equal second-most passes into the final third.
Brandon O'Neill (Sydney FC)
A beacon of consistency all season for Sydney FC, midfielder O'Neill preserved his high standards as he made nine passes into the final third and carved out a scoring chance.
The 25-year-old's passing accuracy of 81 per cent helped the eventual winners secure a firm foothold from start to finish.
Jason Davidson (Perth Glory)
Though a wing-back for Perth – and a highly effective one – Davidson's influence going forward is such that we've shoehorned him into a left-midfield role in this Opta XI.
He created a game-high four scoring chances – no other player totalled more than one – and won possession more times (14) than any other player.
Diego Castro (Perth Glory)
The only player in the match who successfully escaped a suffocating battle for long enough to post any shots on target.
In addition to those two efforts, Castro also created one scoring chance and contested 21 duels.
Alex Brosque (Sydney FC)
The retiring Sydney FC skipper left nothing on the pitch in his final Hyundai A-League appearance.
Brosque bowed out a winner thanks in no small part to a stat sheet that featured three touches in the opposition box, seven of 13 duels won and a passing accuracy of 95 per cent.
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