Bruno Fornaroli became the fastest player to score 50 A-League goals but it was Sydney FC who took the spoils with a 3-1 victory over Perth Glory in Saturday night's grand final rematch.
Sydney hit the lead in the 12th minute at HBF Park courtesy of an Adam Le Fondre penalty, but Glory were back on even terms in the 44th minute when Fornaroli produced a sweet right-foot strike.
Fornaroli's 50th goal came in just his 76th game, beating the previous record of 79 matches set by both Shane Smeltz and Besart Berisha.
But that joy was short-lived, with second-half goals to Kosta Barbarouses and Milos Ninkovic guiding Sydney to their fifth win of the season. The result left the Sky Blues nicely nestled in second spot. In contrast, Glory are languishing in sixth place with just one victory to show from six games, and are now nine points adrift of Sydney.
Glory skipper Diego Castro gave away the silliest of penalties early when he tugged on the shirt of Ninkovic. Ninkovic milked the tug for everything it was worth by theatrically crashing to the turf, and Glory players reacted angrily to the ease in which the Sydney star crumpled. But the fact of the matter was a pull of the shirt was clear to see, and the VAR quickly upheld the decision.
Glory's equaliser made for pleasant viewing. Neil Kilkenny sent a long ball to the edge of the box where Joel Chianese rose high to head the ball across the face of goal to Fornaroli.
The Uruguayan star struck the ball before it even touched the ground to send the 8741 crowd into raptures. Perth had chances early in the second half to snatch the lead, but it was Sydney who scored against the run of play after catching Glory's defence napping.
Barbarouses beat the offside trap by the barest of margins before sprinting 25m to slot a 58th-minute goal. VAR confirmed the goal after a lengthy analysis. Then seven minutes later, Glory's scrambling defence was exposed again, allowing Ninkovic to get on the scoresheet.
Fornaroli thought he had his second goal in the 83rd minute when he chested the ball to himself before striking a sweet volley, but the VAR showed he was marginally offside.
"I thought all the decisions were right," Sydney coach Steve Corica said of the VAR decisions. "There's not too much to complain about. Their one was offside, our one was onside, it's very simple."
Glory coach Tony Popovic felt the game would have had a different look if the line-ball VAR decisions didn't go against his side.
"I'm interested in how they work their lines out, that would be good to see," Popovic said. "Two line balls didn't go for us. The first one is really close, they take the lead. Then with 10 minutes to go, Bruno scores a wonderful goal, and at 3-2 you'd feel we'd certainly get another chance or two to equalise."