Mon, Apr 16, 11:37am by Staff Writer
The final weekend of the 2017-18 Hyundai A-League season produced plenty of drama and highlights with places in the top six still up for grabs for the upcoming finals series.
The Brisbane Roar earned an improbable 3-2 win against Perth at nib Stadium to momentarily claim sixth position.
The Glory scored first through Adam Taggart, but the Roar struck back almost immediately through Henrique and goals followed for Thomas Kristensen and another by Henrique early in the second half extended the Roar’s lead to 3-1.
Perth had no answers for Brisbane’s attacking flair, as they end a disappointing season in eighth position, three points outside the top six.
After last week being $91 shots to win the championship, Brisbane are now $26 at Sportsbet.
There was more drama to unfold on the final weekend, as Western Sydney needed a win against Adelaide to assure their finals position and bump Brisbane down to seventh position.
An early Oriel Riera goal looked to have the Wanderers on the right track, before Adelaide struck with goals to Baba Diawara and Daniel Adlung to lead 2-1 just before half-time.
The Wanderers weren’t done there though and a Marcelo Carrusca goal just before the half knotted the scores at 2-all at the break.
A Wanderers red card mid way through the second-half didn’t help their cause, as Adelaide peppered the Western Sydney goal before finally breaking through with Ryan Kitto netting in the 80th minute.
Western Sydney then threw everything at the Reds to no avail, with the red-and-black army missing the finals, somewhat deservedly after a subpar season.
Adelaide now face arch rival Melbourne Victory next Sunday in the second elimination final at AAMI Park and are $19 to win the A-League.
Another instalment of the ‘Big Blue’ derby on Friday night between reigning champions Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory provided little joy for the Melburnians.
An early goal to Bobo was all that separated the sides and despite nearly 60 per cent possession, Victory was unable to find a crucial breakthrough.
Melbourne Victory are $8 to win the A-League and will fancy their chances of beating Adelaide on Sunday.
Sydney FC have been championship favourites all season, with their current price of $1.66 being available for a number of weeks now.
Newcastle put a number of poor weeks behind them to record the biggest win in the clubs history, an 8-2 thumping of coastal rivals Central Coast.
A concern for Newcastle in recent weeks has been their lack of scoring prowess, but they made up for it in this match.
Three early goals to Josh Champness, Roy O’Donovan and Riley McGree had the home fans stunned in Gosford.
A late first half goal To Connor Pain restored some respectability for the hosts, who this week announced former Roar coach Mike Mulvey as Paul Okon’s replacement.
The pain didn’t stop in the second half for Mariners fans, as the Jets added five more goals to run out big winners.
Newcastle remain second favourites to win the A-League at $4.20 at Sportsbet and have a first round bye next weekend.
The Mariners have the unfortunate honour of being the 2017-18 wooden spoon ‘winners’, finishing with 20 points, one point less than Wellington Phoenix.
Melbourne City dominated possession against Wellington in Auckland, but failed to capitalise, losing to the hosts 2-1.
It was a concerning result for City, who now face Brisbane Roar on Friday night in an elimination final.
City are an $8 chance to win the A-League, but have shown little consistency all season to give punters much reason to back them.
Wellington ends a disappointing season on a high and avoids the dreaded wooden spoon.
A-League Championship Odds – Sportsbet
Sydney FC $1.66
Melbourne Victory $8
Melbourne City $8
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