Tom’s Weekly Outlook on the A-league
After a long season, we are finally at the Grand Final, and after Brisbane emphatically destroyed every team in the competition, it came down to Central Coast and Gold Coast to decide who would take on the title favourites. Central Coast hosted Gold Coast on a beautiful Saturday night in Gosford, in a game which many thought would be the “second place playoff”. Both teams knew coming into the match that if they did happen to make it into the Grand Final, they would have a very tough task in front of them, but a doable one at the same time. After just 3 minutes, Central Coast stated their attacking intentions, when a low cross nearly found a stretching Danny McBreen. The rest of the first half was surprisingly lacklustre, with a Bruce Djite chance for Gold Coast and Patricio Perez chance for the Mariners the only two in the half. With around half an hour remaining, it seemed as though the Mariners begun to realise that they’d better hurry up and score, and the game subsequently opened up. Patrick Zwaanswijk hit the crossbar from a set-piece, but just after that, Adam Kwasnik pounced on a loose ball in the area and nailed it from 15 yards out, giving the Mariners the lead. Soon after that, it was Gold Coast who were having the shots, but Matt Ryan made a remarkable double-save with his right palm to keep the score at 1-0. That was it, and that means it is now Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast for the title next Sunday at 5.00 p.m. EDT from Suncorp Stadium. My prediction for the big one, Brisbane 2-0.
Also during on the weekend, there was the FFA awards night, where Adelaide’s Marcos Flores picked up the Johnny Warren medal for player of the year. A typically humble Flores said afterwards that it was a complete surprise to him, yeah right! The young player of the year went to Mariners keeper Matt Ryan, who strangely didn’t take home the goalkeeper of the year award, which went to the Roar’s Michael Theoklitos, who has now won that award 3 times (twice with the Victory).