Perth Glory 2 Sydney FC 3: Premiers' Plate retained as Bobo breaks Fornaroli's record
Sydney FC survived a late Perth Glory fightback to win 3-2 in the A-League on Thursday and become the first team to retain the Premiers' Plate, as Graham Arnold's side close in on a second successive premiership-championship double.
Sydney took the lead in the 12th minute at nib Stadium, Brandon O'Neill's clever, well-weighted pass over the top of the Perth defence releasing Bobo in on goal.
His initial shot was saved by Liam Reddy, but Adrian Mierzejewski was on hand to smash home the rebound from close range.
Sydney doubled their lead shortly before the half-hour mark, when Dino Djulbic brought down Matt Simon inside the area, Bobo sending Reddy the wrong way to score from the penalty spot.
And the visitors pulled further clear in the 39th minute, Mierzejewski turning provider for Bobo to slot through the legs of Reddy and net his 24th strike of the campaign, breaking Bruno Fornaroli's record for the most goals scored by a single player in an A-League regular season.
Substitute Adam Taggart raced clear of the Sydney defence to beat Andrew Redmayne and pull one back with 18 minutes to go.
And he bagged a stunning second in the 89th minute, exchanging a clever one-two with Andy Keogh outside the area before curling a brilliant first-time finish beyond the reach of Redmayne and into the top corner of the net.
The goals and an improved second-half performance arrived too late for Glory to complete the comeback, though.
The victory moves Sydney 11 points clear of Newcastle Jets, affording an insurmountable lead to Arnold's side with their rivals only having three games of the regular season still to come, and guarantees them top spot going into the finals.
Perth meanwhile remain eighth, one point off the last finals berth in sixth, and with Western Sydney Wanderers able to tighten their grip on that spot by beating Melbourne Victory away from home on Saturday.