Saturday, January 05, 2008

First 3 finals places confirmed: Roar, CCM and Sydney

Wellington 0 v Sydney 2
Newcastle 2 v Adelaide 1

Ufuk Talay is the luckiest player in the A-League. Last week he broke Dean Heffernan's leg with a reckless and late lunge of his foot and only got a yellow, then scored a penalty in stoppage time. And this week he got a yellow on 26 minutes, and did two more very late tackles but stayed on the field. Then he set up Sydney's first goal. He should have his boots off and thinking about when he'll get another game, instead he is off to Socceroo camp. I thought that the FFA were trying to cut this sought of play out?

Wellington had enough chances to win against Sydney. They had the better of the first half. But they were not able to put one away. And Sydney played like they were not going to let them score - everyone in the box and behind the ball.

Adelaide also had their chances. If Bruce Djite had had a slightly better game and Fabian Barbiero had had Ufuk Talay's luck, and Barbiero's second challenge was a straight accident he was playing to kick the ball, and not got sent off - the game would have been Adelaide's.

Newcastle has put the Roar, Central Coast and Sydney beyond the reach of 5th place and therefore into the finals. 30 points is the magic number. So Newcastle (29) must draw against Central Coast or Perth to just get there. If Newcastle loose both these games, Adelaide (2 to go) and Melbourne (3 to go) have a chance if they win all their matches and get the right goal difference. At this rate, I'd back Newcastle.

To finish this round we have:
Roar v Melb
Perth v CCM

Next week its:
Melbourne v Wellies
CCM v Jets
Roar v Sydney
Perth v Adelaide

Then its:
Jets v Perth
CCM v Wellies
Sydney v Melb
Adel v Roar

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