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A-League finalists still undecided

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    The race for the final two A-League finals vacancies was whittled down to four after Melbourne Heart bowed out with a flat 2-0 loss to Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

    And the premier’s plate is still up for grabs after Central Coast downed Adelaide United 2-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday night.

    A spirited Roar (32 points) jumped from eighth to fifth on a congested ladder with one regular season round left, but the Heart (27 points) bowed out of the top six hunt with a whimper.

    Sixth-placed Sydney FC are on 32 points with Brisbane, but have an inferior goal difference of minus eight.

    In a promoter’s dream, the Roar will learn their finals fate after they host fellow finals hopeful Sydney on Thursday night.

    But Heart coach John Aloisi thought the omens were good for the two-time A-League defending champions.

    “They will cause problems. They are hitting form at the right time,” he said of the Roar.

    “If Brisbane do make it I think they can give it a real shake, because it doesn’t matter where you finish.”

    Roar coach Mike Mulvey said his playoff equation was simple.

    “We have set out to win. If we do that we won’t have to worry about anything else,” he said.

    Adding to the finals intrigue, seventh-placed Perth Glory (31 points) and eighth-placed Newcastle Jets (31 points) remain in the mix for the final two playoff berths.

    Perth finish their regular season at home against Adelaide United while the Jets host ladder leaders Western Sydney Wanderers.

    The bubble didn’t exactly burst for the Wanderers but the newcomers missed out on sealing the premier’s plate with a game in hand when their 10-game winning streak ended in a 1-1 draw against Sydney on Saturday night.

    The Wanderers can lose top spot if Central Coast beat Melbourne Heart and the A-League newcomers lose to Newcastle next weekend.

    “The message we’ve given the players is that we’ve gone a step closer,” coach Tony Popovic said.

    The Wanderers only concern is marquee signing Shinji Ono (groin), who left the field early in the second half.

    Melbourne Victory (41 points) and Adelaide United (40 points) aren’t sweating on a finals spot – both will host home elimination finals.

    But Victory coach Ange Postecoglou wasn’t pleased with his side’s 3-2 loss to Perth Glory on Saturday night.

    “We were poor in every way, shape and form and got rightly punished for an unacceptable performance,” he said.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • March 25th 2013 @ 12:28pm
      Ian said | March 25th 2013 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      the amount of scenarios that can arise from this week’s fixtures is astounding.

      1v2 can change. 3v4 can change. 5 v 6 can change.

      only certainty as a roar fan is whoever wins roar v sydney is guaranteed a finals spot.

      and its all only 3 days away!

      WSW have a couple of significant injuries, perth is playing well also. what a 4 days of football lined up.

    • March 25th 2013 @ 2:31pm
      pete4 said | March 25th 2013 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

      The Brisbane v Sydney match is a mini Grand final really. Massive weekend coming as anything can happen from here!

      • March 26th 2013 @ 12:09pm
        Nathan of Perth said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        If Glory wins then the loser of Brisbane Sydney is gone. It’s a fascinating dynamic. Will be interesting to see if Glory can cope with the pressure this time.

        • Roar Guru

          March 26th 2013 @ 12:29pm
          Cameron Kellett said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

          Who would you prefer to win Nathan? Brisbane or Sydney?

          • March 26th 2013 @ 12:35pm
            Nathan of Perth said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

            Ha! Hard to say, we’re 2-0-1 over you and 1-1-1 with Sydney. I suppose Sydney getting in has benefits for the league over all, but the possibility for another crack at Brisbane would be fascinating.

            • Roar Guru

              March 26th 2013 @ 12:45pm
              Cameron Kellett said | March 26th 2013 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

              Brisbane 5th
              Glory 6th

              Both knock everyone out then GF REPLAY!?

              • March 26th 2013 @ 1:26pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

                Draw with Sydney and Perth win and it could be Perth 5th, Brisbane 6th =D

                Gangway people, we have unfinished business!

              • Roar Guru

                March 26th 2013 @ 1:32pm
                Cameron Kellett said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

                I’m fully with you there Nathan.

              • March 26th 2013 @ 1:35pm
                Ian said | March 26th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

                that’s the thing – i was discussing this morning.

                IF brisbane make it ,and i said if perth win they are in the finals regardless of other results, they can’t play each other in the two weeks of finals then you can have 5th v 6th in the GF and whoever was 5th actually hosts the GF.
                they are big IFs, but you never know what pressure does to teams.

              • March 26th 2013 @ 2:01pm
                Nathan of Perth said | March 26th 2013 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

                As the Mariners continue to prove in their sudden-death performances, and at PKs.

              • Roar Guru

                March 26th 2013 @ 2:16pm
                Cameron Kellett said | March 26th 2013 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                Form will play its part in the finals I believe.

                Mariners are out of their slump but choke in finals.
                Wanderers are injury and suspension riddled.
                Victory and Adelaide are playing bad at the moment.

                The only three teams I see giving it a shake are Roar, Sydney and Perth.

                I believe the winner will come from Brisbane or Sydney. If its a draw then I hope Newcastle lose and as for Perth well I think they’ll win.

                It will be a good finals series.

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