A-League

A-League Roundup: Adelaide United Defy Odds, Win Premiers Plate

United players celebrate the win Craig Goodwin during the round 27 A-League match between the Melbourne City FC and Adelaide United at AAMI Park on April 8, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. April 08, 2016| Credit: Daniel Pockett
A-League Roundup: Adelaide United Defy Odds, Win Premiers Plate

Months ago, we here at the Stoppage Time wrote off Guillermo Amor’s Adelaide United after they opened their 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season on a slump. However, they slowly turned the tide around and have wrapped an unbelievable regular season by winning the Premiership Plate with a 2-0 victory over John van’t Schip’s Melbourne City at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in Round 27.

Isaias (4′) and Bruce Djite (47′) scored for the Reds, who would officially clinch the plate one day later. If Amor is to leave the club, it will not be on poor job performance but rather on a more lucrative offer from overseas. Seguir el dinero, Sr. Amor.

Moving right along, other teams were looking to finalize their Finals Series standings, while others wanted to finish on a high. A wild shootout at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales saw Scott Miller’s Newcastle Jets smash Tony Walmsley’s Central Coast Mariners 4-2. Morten Nordstrand scored a brace in the first and 54th minutes. Other goalscorers included Enver Alivodic (18′) and Mateo Poljak (79′). Fabio Ferreira (51′) and Roy O’Donovan (76′) scored for Central Coast.

Meanwhile, over at AAMI Park, Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory were dominated in just about every aspect of the game by John Aloisi’s Brisbane Roar. Every aspect…except the scoreline. Thanks to a heroic display by Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas, Brisbane were held to a scoreless draw by the Victory and in the process, handed the Plate over to Adelaide.

Thanks to Adelaide United’s victory on Friday, all Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers could play for was a top two finish. They got it against Ernie Merrick’s Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. A brace from the red-hot Brendon Santalab in the 31st and 44th minutes sunk the Nix, 2-0. The match was a farewell for Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat, as they would give way to Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses next season.

Finally, Kenny Lowe’s Perth Glory were aiming for a home final but were undone by Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC, who played their best game of the year too little, too late. Sydney defeated Perth Glory 4-0 but had to play down to 10 men after Filip Holosko, who scored i the 36th minute of play, was sent off in the 78th minute. Other goalscorers include David Carney (31′), Ali Abbas (85′) and Milos Ninkovic (91′).

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Adelaide United 27 14 7 6 45 28 +17 49 Qualification to Champions League group stage and Finals series
2 Western Sydney Wanderers 27 14 6 7 44 33 +11 48 Qualification to Champions League qualifying play-off and Finals series
3 Brisbane Roar 27 14 6 7 49 40 +9 48 Qualification to Finals series
4 Melbourne City 27 13 5 9 63 44 +19 44
5 Perth Glory 27 13 4 10 49 42 +7 43
6 Melbourne Victory 27 11 8 8 40 33 +7 41
7 Sydney FC 27 8 10 9 36 36 0 34
8 Newcastle Jets 27 8 6 13 28 41 −13 30
9 Wellington Phoenix 27 7 4 16 34 54 −20 25
10 Central Coast Mariners 27 3 4 20 33 70 −37 13
Updated to match(es) played on 10 April 2016. Source: A-League
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.

Here are two sets of 10 Bold Predictions for the Elimination Finals.

Elimination Final No. 1: Brisbane Roar vs. Melbourne Victory

  • At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least four cards will be issued.
  • Jamie Maclaren will score for Brisbane Roar.
  • Henrique will score for Brisbane Roar.
  • Lawrence Thomas will make at least five saves.
  • Matt McKay will score for Brisbane Roar.
  • Fahid Ben Khalfallah will score for Melbourne Victory.
  • Jamie Young will make under five saves.
  • A penalty will be called.
  • A goal will be scored in the last 1-0 minutes and stoppage time.

Brisbane Roar 3, Melbourne Victory 1

Elimination Final No. 2: Melbourne City vs. Perth Glory

  • Thomas Sorensen will make at least four saves.
  • Ante Covic will make at least five saves.
  • Bruno Fornaroli will score for Melbourne City.
  • Diego Castro will score for Perth Glory.
  • Andy Keogh will score for Perth Glory.
  • Aaron Mooy will score for Melbourne City.
  • Harry Novillo will score for Melbourne City.
  • At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least four cards will be issued.
  • This match will not go to penalties.

Melbourne City 3, Perth Glory 2

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@joryansalazar

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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