Defence didn't do the trick for Sydney tonight. Plus their two most feisty players, Milligan and McFlynn both copper their 4th yellows. Plus Alvin Ceccoli's 33rd minute injury puts a question mark over his next game.
Adelaide 1 Sydney 0
Ref Matthew Breeze
Man of the match Daniel Beltrame (again a goal keeper)
So its Melb 45, Adelaide 30 - both in the finals. Sydney 28, Roar 28 and Newcastle 26 (with a game in hand). So unless Newcastle snags worse than two draws (which is possible given their last game is against Melbourne and which case we will know by Friday night), Queensland must beat Sydney to finish in the top 4.
The Sydney-side interest in the Adelaide v Sydney game was the absence of Sasho Petrovski (to the Japanese 2nd division) and the wait to the 77th minute for David Zdrilic. Zdrillic got a match saving save from Daniel Beltrame. Again Sydney played Terry's defensive game, and again we saw the problem. If the other team snags a goal - then that is it.
And for Adelaide we got an early look at their new Brazilian, Diego Walsh (68th Minute entry). Playing on mainly the left as an attacking mid-fielder, Diego won the goal by heading back towards goal and Fernando's legs, a ball that was heading out within feet of the left goal post. Fernando didn't know much, but Bolton knew less. And game to Adelaide.
However, the interesting point here is that the squad space for Diego seems to have been made by the cutting of Qu. Qu is said to have sustained a season ending injury. I remember Kossie commenting when Qu was sent off for head butting Chad Gibson what an expensive player Qu was and how much more was expected of him. Qu pleaded racism against Chad Gibson as extenuating circumstances - to which Chad rightly fired-up given his cultural background and family experiences of racism. We saw Qu once or twice more then he was gone. It highlights how much more ruthless Adelaide is as a club than the Roar. Qu recommended Zhang (pronounced Jang) to the Roar. But what the Roar didn't know at the time was that Zhang had a court case over his head for a maliciously car crash involving the team mate who replaced him. Actually I saw nothing that showed this possible side. The Roar also found Zhang to unsuitably fit. Frank Farina (at the time not the Roar's coach) wrote about this and pointed out the need to ask why a player wants to play. Zhang got a bit of airplay at the start of Frank's tenure but now sits in the stands. As it turns out it may be a pity the Roar was not able to find a replacement like Adelaide's Diego.
Anyway, barring a mishap for Newcastle at Perth. The top four will be determined by Queensland Roar v Sydney at Lang Park. Queensland will be without 2 of their best players, and Sydney without between 2 and 4 of their best (depending on how you rate Petrovski and I rate him highly and the progress of Alvin's injury). Foxtel and the Courier-Mail are predicting a huge crowd, maybe 30,000. Well that would be a turn-up given the Roar's home record and lack of matches up here - the last was a 0-3 lost to Newcastle on a tired old Thursday night.