Shinji Ono’s spectacular goal was the highlight of a 2-0 win for Western Sydney, that takes them into the Grand Final.
Wellington hasn’t ever been seen as a proponent of ‘modern’, attacking football, but with two consecutive finals appearance, this didn’t seem to be a huge problem.
It feels like it’s been said repeatedly, but there’s no getting away from the main story: in the space of half a year, the Western Sydney Wanderers was born, Tony Popovic has built a cohesive and integrated squad with a clearly identifiable system and a realistic chance of success in the finals, meaning thousands of fans have flocked to Parramatta to see what all the fuss is about.
The last few years have been nothing short of disaster for Newcastle – there has been an identity crisis both on and off the pitch, most notably with their change in jersey colour, and more importantly, there has been an attempted change in style under Gary van Egmond.
In terms of starting XI, this is one of the more difficult sides to predict, with a number of versatile players meaning spots are always up for grabs.
Ange Postecoglou’s arrival at the Melbourne Victory – at least until the storm of marquees – was the most promising development of the off-season.
After two wildly successful seasons, watching their side drastically underachieve must be a strange feeling for Brisbane Roar fans.
The perennial cliché about the Central Coast is that it always ‘slips under the radar’ – but it’s hard not to describe the Mariners in any other way.
“Before last weekend we had been first or second in the league and were recognised as a good football team.
Having lost Guilherme Finkler for the season, how Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou set up his side for their clash against Wellington Phoenix was always going to be the key feature of the pre-match build-up.