In A-League of its Own: Preliminary Final Edition

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Perth Glory is into their first ever A-League Grand Final after overcoming Central Coast Mariners in the Preliminary Final at the weekend. Played in front of a disappointing crowd of just over 7000, the Mariners went into the game strong favourites after Perth had travelled across the country after their previous victory over Wellington. The game began as an arm-wrestle, with neither team gaining an immediate advantage but 33 minutes in, Adam Kwasnik capitalised on a horrendous error by Travis Dodd to open the scoring. Dodd looked set to clear a corner, but watched as the ball trickled through his legs and into the path of Kwasnik, who blasted the ball in from close range. But Perth weren’t in mourning for long because soon after, Shane Smeltz latched onto the end of a brilliant team move to equal the scores.

After half-time, Steve Pantelidis gave away a penalty when he was judged to have had a fistful of Adam Kwasnik’s shirt when a cross came in from the right. The resulting penalty was missed by Patrick Zwaanswijk, as his shot thundered into the crossbar. With 20 minutes remaining, Mike McGlinchey took an indirect free-kick from 35 yards out, but what should easily have been claimed by Perth keeper Danny Vukovic was fumbled into the crossbar and out for a corner. The score was still locked at 1-1 at the end of the 90 minutes, and the stalemate continued throughout extra time which lead subsequently to a penalty shootout. Shane Smeltz, Danny McBreen, Billy Mehmet,  Alex Wilkinson, Liam Miller, Matt Ryan and Dean Heffernan all scored the first 7 penalties to have the shootout sitting at 4-3, before Mike McGlinchey blazed his over the bar to hand a golden opportunity to Perth. Skipper Jacob Burns was the lucky one who managed to score the winning penalty as he slid it calmly past keeper Matt Ryan. The Grand Final will be played this Sunday at 4.00 p.m. at Suncorp Stadium. My tip is for the Brisbane Roar to win 3-1 in regular time.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.


  1. Graham Arnold is in my ‘sore losers’ file. His Mariners didn’t put away their plentiful chances to win, and got punished in the end. That is where the responsibility lies. They played better but choked under pressure. Arnold blames the referees and grizzles about one-off finals demeaning the ‘real championship’.
    Get a life, and players with the belief to match their ability. I hope Clive Palmer offers him a coaching job. They deserve each other.

  2. Just like last year the GF is played out with rumours circulating about Ange’s future.
    Also, great news for young Curtis Good, who is off to Premier League’s Newcastle for a trial.

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