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Football

​Why were there only 8000 people watching the greatest Sydney FC team of all time last night?

It was crickets at the Sydney Football Stadium last night despite Sydney FC throwing down the best performance yet in their record-breaking undefeated season.

by Jed Smith
10 February 2017, 5:55am

Sydney sports fans are a fickle bunch. Either their team isn't doing well, in which case they don't turn up. Or they're doing too well, in which case they also don't turn up.

There's no other reason for why a paltry 8000 fans could be found luxuriating in the 45 000 seat echo chamber that was the Sydney Football Stadium last night as they took on the third-last Wellington Phoenix (You can't blame it on the heatwave, either. That didn't begin until the following day).

The turn out was half Sydney's crowd average this year of 16 944 and less than a quarter of their highest crowd this season, 40 143, for the derby with the Western Sydney Wanderers in round 15. All at time when the squad is quickly approaching immortality having gone all 19 games this season without loss.

What the so-called Sydney FC faithful missed was one of the great performances in the A-League season thus far. Sydney exquisitely dismantled their opponents 3-1 and now find themselves 12 points ahead of their nearest rival the second-placed, Melbourne Victory.

Defender Rhyan Grant was particularly sublime, opening the scoring inside three minutes with a header that he ran 50 meters to meet. He then seized on a rapid exchange of pinpoint passes to deliver a peach of a ball to Bobo for the second. The versatile defender's performance will further push his name into calculations for a national squad call-up as the all important World Cup Qualifiers loom with Iraq and United Arab Emirates this March.

His cause will be further benefitted by the injury to strike midfielder, Tom Rogic for Celtic overnight (Grant can also cover midfield). Speaking to Vice Sports earlier in the season, Grant put Sydney FC's record-breaking form down to humility and mateship amongst the playing group.

"It's definitely the mateship we've got at the minute. Everyone is getting a long really well. Even today there are four of us down at the beach having a swim. So on and off the pitch we get along really well. I think that's key to any good team having good mates and battle for your mate next to ya," he said.

They will face traditional foes, the sixth placed Western Sydney Wanderers, at the gargantuan 85 000 seat ANZ Stadium next week, which could be really embarrassing if the fans don't turn up.