Who is hot and who is not in the A-League? The teams were ranked in the following order, with Sydney FC not considered as they were the team with the bye.
Audacious attacker Al Hassan Toure inspired Adelaide United to a 4-0 rout of Melbourne City to win the FFA Cup.
The teenager scored the first goal and helped set-up the second in Wednesday night’s final at Adelaide’s Coopers Stadium.
Toure’s teammates Ben Halloran, Nikola Mileusnic and Riley McGree also scored as Adelaide captured consecutive cups – and a third title in just the sixth edition of the tournament.
Toure, a Guinea-born forward who migrated to Australia with parents as a five-year-old, was the game-breaker. The 19-year-old, draped in the flag of his parents’ native Liberia, collected the Mark Viduka medal as best-afield.
“I was nervous at the start but the senior players helped me with my confidence… they were encouraging me and it was good that I was able to score,” Toure said.
Toure produced two moments of magic before receiving a standing ovation from the 14,920-strong crowd when substituted 20 minutes from fulltime.
Toure, who only made his senior debut for Adelaide in August, netted his fifth goal of the cup campaign – he also scored on A-League debut 12 days ago.
Toure pounced on an insightful lifted through ball from teammate Ryan Strain in the 25th minute.
Strain, a metre inside his own half, played the strongly-built forward into space and Toure instinctively blasted a right-footed shot which surprised City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.
Toure was on such a wide, tight angle that Bouzanis was anticipating a cross – instead, the youngster launched and beat the keeper at his near post.
The goal turned the tide of the final, which until then had been flowing City’s way.
The visitors quickly settled and, just seven minutes in, red-hot striker Jamie Maclaren missed the mark with a close-range header.
Maclaren and his lively teammate Lachlan Wales had further shots before Toure triggered Adelaide’s scoring landslide.
“We started very very well, it was good, but we conceded a goal when we make a big mistake,” City coach Erick Mombaerts said.
“And after that it was more difficult, we have to play high up on the pitch and they (Adelaide) played well on the counter attack.”
Toure was also instrumental in Halloran’s 49th minute goal.
After winning a show of strength with imposing City defender Harrison Delbridge just inside halfway, he produced a visionary pass which played McGree into space.
McGree charged towards goal and, with a deft cut-back, found Halloran who had no trouble beating Bouzanis from seven metres.
McGree and Halloran also featured in Adelaide’s third goal in the 60th minute.
The former passed wide to the latter, who aimed a low cross into the danger zone which slid past a pack including Bouzanis and Mileusnic tapped-in at the back post.
Just 15 minutes later, McGree swivelled and scored with a left-footer from ten metres out to tip Adelaide’s celebrations into overdrive.