The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Week 1 of the A-League Finals


Adelaide United were made to play away from Hindmarsh, were up against a side that had won for fun in Adelaide in recent times and took a huge risk playing their injury prone star Marcelo Carrusca but came up trumps in an entertaining game on Friday night that dislodged at least one of the monkeys off their back.

Perhaps being nicknamed the Reds and it being May 1 (aka International Workers Day) meant they were destined to win under the Josep Gombau manifesto that is now in to its third year. Gombau and his men were the victims of oppression forced by the bourgeoisie (the FFA) to play at Adelaide Oval to make more money through getting a bigger attendance of the long suffering proletariat to the game.

United managed to knockout the champions Brisbane Roar in what was a modern day displacing of the old powers of feudalism thanks to a quite stunning early free kick from Craig Goodwin and then sublime finish from the young serf Awer Mabil after sustained pressure for revolution and change to the scoreline that was locked at 1-1 after the materialistic three time ruler of the working class Thomas Broich equalised after a mistake in the means of production at the back by Dylan McGowan.

The fill-in Roar keeper Jamie Young, who long been derided as a specter that had haunted Brisbane defensively all season, made a string of brilliant saves to try and stop the revolution but in the end the workers of Hindmarsh heeded the call to unite and form a stateless and classless society to defeat the champs, take their message to Sydney and gear up for a semi final against the team of Tsar Frank Lowy II(Sydney FC) next weekend.

After the failure of United in the finals the past couple of seasons this was welcome relief for their supporters. Can they go on with it and be acknowledged as a power within itself is the next question. Can they again go to the Sydney Football Stadium and cause change, or – much like communism itself – are their tactics and squad only going to work in theory?

– Sweet unpredictable Melbourne City. After two awful performances in the final two games of the regular season they popped up again to shock with a more than deserved win in Wellington against the Phoenix. City had lost meekly to crisis club Perth Glory and then not even bothered to show up against United but yet they took advantage of an insipid Phoenix side (see Bad) and made them pay with Kennedy having the fast reflexes to put them in the lead with the constantly dangerous Harry Novillo getting the second thanks in part to Phoenix keeper Glen Moss.

Perhaps it was just time again for City to do something that would excite and baffle their fans or perhaps the reward of a semi final against Melbourne Victory was just too good to refuse. Either way they are in the last 4 and still have a chance at the title even if it seems every man and his dog can make the finals (see Ugly). Friday evening at the Docklands and big brothers Victory will be intriguing to say the least.


– While City’s win deserved merit some of the win was down to the stagefright suffered by their opponents Wellington Phoenix. A month ago it was agreed on by many that Phoenix could take out top spot with a heap of home games to finish off the season after impressive victories away to sides like eventual table toppers Victory. Instead they lost three out of the four home games and lost to City in Melbourne to finish in fourth after Glory were kicked out. It didn’t matter though with a home game against a side who had they had belted 5-1 at the same venue earlier in the season to come that should have had them confident but apparently not. Phoenix were flat and had no urgency whatsoever mainly dominated by City’s potent midfield led by Aaron Mooy. The meekness of the performance even had some on social media wringing hands and unbelievably questioning the job Ernie Merrick was doing.

The crowd was also very disappointing with only just over 10,000 in attendance, in what was a similar look with seas of empty yellow seats, like the AFL game at the same venue some 8 days before. It didn’t help with the game being at 7pm on a Sunday night when most Phoenix games are always earlier in the day but it was a bitterly disappointing end to a season where it may have looked like Glory and Phoenix would change the order of things in the A-League


– There isn’t that much that could really be seen as ugly on the weekend apart from the apathetic kiwi crowd and first half of that same final, but the Top 6 again seems to reward mediocrity. While Roar only made it in due to Perth Glory’s creative accounting they scarcely deserved to be there after a wretched season. Even City, who are now in the semis, managed to lose more games than they won this season. There has shown to be a minor jump in crowds for finals in the A-League with the exception of Grand Finals so it isn’t that much of a cash-in for the FFA. Perhaps sacrificing that extra final or two and just have a top four rewarding the best sides would give the league a bit more respectability and meaning to the winner of the Grand Final.


About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.


  1. Peter Fuller says

    Agree Dennis that it is absurd to have a final series involving more than half of the participants. It’s especially bizarre that superior performance over 27 matches counts for nothing in a one-off contest.
    This is perhaps especially true of soccer more so than other codes of football (or other sports), where the quirky single result is more likely to occur.
    However, I’m hoping that Melbourne City make the most of their (imo) undeserved good fortune, and upset Victory on Friday. Partisanship trumps logic and the good of the game.

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    Even as a Glory fan I was hoping Brisbane would win the whole thing to show how much of a mockery it was to have them in the finals. Should be a sell out come Friday which will be a monumental effort. Not sure how I’ll watch that and the Cats.
    . Sydney FC, of course, have only sold 20k or so so far with their usual fickle support.

  3. Peter Fuller says

    Well perhaps Adelaide and City both fluke it this weekend and play off. A Grand Final between 3rd and 5th (really 6th) would make a similar derisive point as Brisbane going on – which in truth could easily have happened.

Leave a Comment