Keep Marc Janko gunning for a contract extension at Sydney FC and he’ll continue his goal-scoring blitz.
That’s what coach Graham Arnold is hoping for after the marquee striker set records tumbling on Sunday in a game the coach admitted was heart-stopping.
Janko scored a hat-trick to hand the Sky Blues a 5-4 victory over Brisbane at Allianz Stadium in the process breaking Besart Berisha’s league record for scoring in consecutive matches, finding the back of the net in a seventh straight appearance.
He also went two better than Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero’s club record of 14 goals in a season to extended his lead in the race for the golden boot where he sits four clear of Wellington’s Nathan Burns on 16 strikes.
But at 4-1 the Sky Blues allowed the Roar back into the game, in a match that featured three penalties and five goals in the last 15 minutes.
“I must have a strong heart,” Arnold said.
“It’s been tested of late.”
The Austrian skipper, who set Sydney back $1.4 million for his services this season, has expressed a desire to stay on for their next campaign but is yet to pen a deal.
“There’s no use signing him yet, because you keep him off contract and he keeps scoring goals,” Arnold joked.
It wasn’t all about Janko on Sunday however, with Sydney also equalling a club record of nine games unbeaten to rise to second on the ladder.
Arnold praised Janko’s team spirit and said the 31-year-old was never interested in personal glory.
“He’s bought into everything that we’re doing here,” Arnold said.
“Never at any time did Marc think about any individual records today.
“I got him to make a speech to the players before the game, it was all about supporting your teammates and working hard together.”
Henrique got the Roar off to a flying start, putting the visitors ahead in the fifth minute with Matthew Jurman netting the equaliser against his former club just two minutes later.
Janko then had his chance make history, converting his first penalty to put Sydney ahead in the 38th minute.
He gave the hosts the lead in the 52nd, the marquee striker completing his treble from the spot in the 76th minute.
Roar were given their own spot-kick just three minutes later with substitute Andrija Kaludjerovic converting in the 80th minute to claw them back to 4-2.
Steven Lustica found the back of the net to draw the Roar closer in the 84th before Sydney skipper Alex Brosque responded five minutes later.
Roar were to have the last word with Dimitri Petratos netting against his former side in the final minute to ensure the 5-4 result.
“It was a crazy game,” Roar coach Frans Thijssen said.
“If you score four goals you expect to go home with points.
“In the end we leave with nothing so that’s disappointing.”