1. The pitch.
Clearly Bluetongue stadium maintenance program is under-funded. Tonight it was dangerous and led Josh Mc to be substituted before half time. Seo came on to play his best so far this year. Will the pitch be deemed playable for the Asian Champions League? If not where will they be played?
2. The Crowd
Where were they? Only 9,000 is small even for Central Coast. The fans seem to have deserted their team. Shame.
The Mariners played a strong, dominant first half. But their once great strike-force had nothing in the final third. A goal down at half time, the Mariners were pushed back on the defensive in the second half. They looked dangerous from set pieces, but their defence looks brittle.
4. Danny Tiatto
What the? Danny doesn't seem to be able to handle the pressure of big games. His strength is when the Roar go a goal down. Tonight he looked dangerous, to the Roar. On the edge all night it was no surprise to see him get his second yellow. His first was a two footer in the first half that could have been a red. But his second was a case of not being given the benefit of the doubt, he had the ball, MacAlister ran into him - anyone else, in fact a few times tonight, and it is play on. The Danny decides to have a go at the ref. He ($500) and the Roar ($1,000) have just been fined for that. So will he get to play again this season?
While 3 Roar players were carded, I don't think any Mariners were. Not even Petrovski when he took out McKay's legs from behind. And Nic Mrjda's swinging arm went un-detected even through he split Andy Packers lip. Why wasn't O'Grady carded when he gave away the penalty?
6. The Promotion
The build up to these FFA funded finals has been deafeningly quite.
7. Craig Moore.
Terrific tonight. He is the only A-League player playing for the Socceroos next week in Japan. Pim said he didn't want other A-Leaguers exposed for their finals. So it is just Craig hopping off the play and onto round two against the Mariners.
8. Mitch Nichols
Dangerous and on fire. Warming to his play maker role and scoring and setting up goals. Amazingly left Matt Simon in the shade. (Header from a corner goal plus tripped by O'Grady for the penalty).
9. The ACL
How disappointed must the FFA be that it is Newcastle and CCM representing Australia in the Asian Champions League.