It took two insane final-round games featuring a total 16 goals to confirm Brisbane will host Western Sydney and Melbourne City will welcome Perth in week one of the A-League finals series.
The Roar and City retained their top-four spots to earn home elimination finals at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night and AAMI Park on Sunday night respectively.
In a juicy twist, wins for the Wanderers and City would set up Sydney and Melbourne derbies for the semi-finals.
Premiers Sydney FC and second-placed Melbourne Victory were already guaranteed a week off before hosting their semi-finals in a fortnight.
But jostling among third to six extended until the end of an exciting final regular-season round.
The Roar snuck into third courtesy of a comeback from two goals down to pip Wellington 4-3.
“The character of the boys to come from 3-1 down … they wanted a win and they don’t know how to lie down,” Roar coach John Aloisi said.
“They showed again they can come back from difficult situations, which gives us confidence going into finals.
“Whoever we play at home, we’re good enough to beat them.
If that was thrilling, the Glory’s 5-4 victory over City directly after was madness.
Kenny Lowe’s side came within a goal of the four-goal win needed to snake fourth spot when they went up 4-1 with 10 minutes to play.
But City responded late, raining down on their western rivals to hold on and set up a tantalising replay of last season’s elimination final at the same venue, won 2-0 by City.
“At one point it looked as though there was a distinct possibility it could have happened,” Lowe said.
“But it’s a unique one-off game … next week could be nil-nil and go to penalties.”
It was the equal highest-scoring game in A-League history, while the seven second-half goals are the most ever seen in the latter period.
The outrageous affair was described by brace-scorer Tim Cahill as a “mess”, but City coach Michael Valkanis declared his side had only “lost the battle, not the war”.
Meanwhile, the sixth-placed Wanderers will attempt to kill off the Roar in enemy territory nearly a year after their epic 5-4 extra-time semi-final win at Pirtek Stadium.
A-LEAGUE FINALS: WEEK ONE
Friday, April 21 – Brisbane (3rd) v Western Sydney (6th) at Suncorp Stadium – 7:50pm (AEST)
Sunday, April 23 – Melbourne City (4th) v Perth (5th) at AAMI Park – 7:00pm (AEST)
A-LEAGUE FINALS: WEEK TWO
Sydney FC (1st) v lowest-ranked qualifier, details TBC
Melbourne Victory (2nd) v highest-placed qualifier, details TBC