That move sealed the Joe Marston Medal for Grant, who was named man of the match for his impressive performance and title-winning strike.
A rare goal scorer, Grant has a knack of hitting the back of the net in finals having scored in 2017 against Melbourne Victory and successfully converting his penalty against Perth Glory last year. Grant predicted he would continue that again in Sunday’s grand final, telling his coach Steve Corica that he felt he was going to score against Melbourne City.
“Tonight I said to Bimbi before the game, I said it felt like I was going to score,” Grant said.
“We were just having a joke but in the back of my mind I felt I would have been a chance. I tend to get a few chances every now and then and felt tonight I would get a little bit lucky and it fell that way.”
The Sky Blues had to overcame a sluggish start to the match and were lucky not to have conceded early.
A Harrison Delbridge goal for Melbourne City was controversially ruled out by the VAR for a player being offside but not contacting the ball, deemed to have blocked Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s line of sight.
That let-off for Sydney FC kicked them into gear, according to Corica, who admits his side were outplayed up until that point.
“I thought they played really well, especially for 15-20 minutes, they shocked us a little bit [and] they were on top,” he said.
“I thought the goal helped us a little bit – the disallowed goal, it woke us up a little bit and I think from then on in, we controlled the game. I think definitely in the second half and in extra time, we had the better of the chances.”
Sports news, results and expert commentary delivered straight to your inbox each weekday. Sign up here.
Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.