Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic. Ashley Feder

Vukovic saving the day time and again for Sky Blues

FOOTBALL is a results-driven business and that is why goalscorers will get most of the headlines.

But on a weekend where Besart Berisha equalled Archie Thompson's A-League record of 90 goals by scoring the winner in the cracking Melbourne derby, I thought it was time to pay tribute to the boys at the other end - the goalkeepers - and one in particular, Sydney FC's Danny Vukovic.

At face value the Sky Blues' 4-1 defeat of Perth Glory at nib Stadium looks like a walk in the park.

But those who saw the game know different and one of the biggest reasons why the A-League leaders remained unbeaten was Vukovic - ironically a former Glory star.

The shot-stopper was in top form, making a number of crucial saves as the Glory took it to the visitors in the first half.

But it was Vukovic's effort to keep out a Rostyn Griffiths header that got football fans talking.

Griffiths looked odds-on to score as he rose above the pack to head powerfully towards goal back in the direction of where the cross came from.

The ball was heading into the back of the net before Vukovic somehow twisted his body and stretched out his right hand and deflect it away from goal.

It is Vukovic's form that has helped Sydney FC to go 11 games unbeaten in the A-League and take a seven-point lead at the top of the ladder.

Graham Arnold's men have only conceded five goals in those 11 games and while the back four of Sebastian Ryall, Rhyan Grant, Alex Wilkinson and Michael Zullo deserve a lot of credit for that strong defensive record, Vukovic has been the real catalyst - a fact not lost on the Sky Blues coach.

"Danny Vukovic for me is the best goalkeeper in the country,” Arnold said.

"We've only conceded five goals all season and he's had a major role to play in that.

"It's always good to have a goalkeeper that saves you points, but also that the players in front have a huge amount of belief and confidence in that they know it will take a good goal to get past him.”

The old adage that offence wins you games but defence wins championships could bear fruit for Arnold and his team at the moment and just goes to show what a good goalkeeper can do for your side.

It's good to see that the likes of Vukovic are getting the praise they deserve and who knows, the Sydney keeper's heroics could yet lead to the Sky Blues going through the league season undefeated.

There's a long way to go but if Vukovic keeps up his stunning form, you never know.



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