Double injury blow sours Sydney’s bright finals start as history repeats for Sky Blues star

Sydney FC duo Luke Brattan and Joe Lolley will head into the Isuzu UTE A-League Semi-Finals under an injury cloud after collecting knocks in the Sky Blues’ 4-0 win over Macarthur FC in Saturday night’s Elimination Final at Allianz Stadium.

Lolley suffered a hamstring injury in the process of scoring an eye-catching goal in the second half of his side’s big win over the 10-man Bulls.

His substitution just five minutes after half-time preceded a crunching challenge from Jake Hollman on Brattan late in the game which resulted in the Sydney captain trudging off the field under the support of a club doctor and teammate Jaiden Kucharski.

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Post-game, Sydney head coach Ufuk Talay was asked for an update on his two key players who now look set to face a race against time to be fit for the first of two Semi-Final legs against either Wellington Phoenix or Central Coast Mariners next weekend.

“Joe felt his hammy on that extraordinary goal he scored,” Talay said.

“It was his standing foot that he felt. Again, can’t say anything until we get it looked at.

“Bratts is probably one (who) goes down, gets a lot of knocks and continues but he must be hurt, that’s why he come off. His ankle, his doctor was looking at him but we won’t know until the next 24-48 hours where they stand.”

For Lolley, the injury is a case of déjà vu for the Englishman.

In 2022-23, Lolley suffered a hamstring injury in the final round of the regular season. He was named on the bench for Sydney’s Elimination Final against Western Sydney Wanderers and after coming on as a substitute late in the game, lasted just 11 minutes as he was withdrawn from action once again.

Lolley then went on to make two bench cameos against Melbourne City in the two Semi-Final legs; after injuring his hamstring against Macarthur on Saturday night, Lolley said this time around felt “the exact same” to what occurred on the cusp of last season’s Finals Series.

“First and foremost, great to get through,” he told Paramount+ post-game. “Frustrating personally, I know it’s not the best. Fingers crossed the scan comes back good.

“To be fair, the moment I hit the shot I couldn’t fully enjoy the goal, because I knew as soon as I hit it. I’ll get a scan, sort it out.

“It’s the exact same injury as last year so fingers crossed I can recover and contribute to the last Semi Finals and Final.”