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Trinidad's Yorke inspires Sydney FC to league title

Monday, March 6, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP): Trinidad's Dwight Yorke shrugged off the effects of a trans-continental midweek flight to spearhead Sydney FC to Australia's inaugural A-League football title here Sunday.

The Trinidad and Tobago skipper set up the 62nd-minute winner for Steve Corica as Sydney FC defeated Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the grand final before a competition record crowd of 41,689.

Yorke scored both goals in Trinidad and Tobago's 2-0 win over Iceland in London last Tuesday before flying back to play the starring role for Sydney FC.

Former Manchester United star Yorke was named man-of-the-match for his performance Sunday. He arrived back in Sydney little more than 48 hours before the kick-off, getting rid of the jet lag from his 20-hour flight with two light recovery sessions on Friday and Saturday.

"The Mariners probably didn't deserve to lose, they played very well in the first half, but it's all about taking your chances," Yorke said.

"As the game went on I knew I had to stamp my authority on the game, and in the end I was able to do that.

"The team showed a lot of character today. We needed to stand up and be counted in the second half, and we came up with the game winner."

Yorke toyed with Mariners duo Andrew Clark and captain Noel Spencer in the penalty area before laying the ball back for Corica's strike from 15 metres to beat diving goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

The Mariners pushed hard for the equaliser in the final 30 minutes. But buoyed by the support of more than 30,000 blue-clad fans, Sydney held on to claim the title, which was also a triumph for their coach and German World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski.

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