In this penultimate edition of the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League Power Rankings, the Western Sydney Wanderers wrapped up the Premiership Plate to rise to the top this week. Central Coast and Melbourne Victory also finished strong. We are now heading into the Finals Series, with the top six teams in contention for the A-League ring.
Before we head into the postseason, let’s take a look at this week’s A-League Power Rankings.
1. Western Sydney Wanderers
Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers are at the top of this week’s Power Rankings after shutting out the Newcastle Jets 3-0 at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle. Mark Bridge scored a brace in the sixth and 33rd minutes of play while Rocky Visconte added an insurance goal in the 80th minute. Western Sydney finish the regular season with a record of 18-3-6 (57 points) and continue their campaign on Apr. 12 at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney against an opponent to be determined.
2. Central Coast Mariners
Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners also ended their regular season on a high, blowing past Melbourne Heart 2-1 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford. Daniel McBreen opened up the scoring in the 35th minute and Mitchell Duke brought home the match-winner in the 63rd minute of play. Central Coast end the regular season with a record of 16-6-5 (54 points) and return to action on Apr. 14 against an opponent to be determined at home.
3. Melbourne Victory
Also with a big victory, fittingly, was Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory, who scored a 3-2 decision over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Marco Rojas (10′), Marcos Flores (56′) and Archie Thompson (83′) were all in on goal for the Victory, who improve to 13-5-9 and will host the Perth Glory in an Elimination Final on Apr. 5 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. The Victory end the regular season with a record of 13-5-9 (44 points).
4. Brisbane Roar
Mike Mulvey’s Brisbane Roar head into the Finals Series with load of momentum after throttling Sydney FC 3-1 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Goals from Besart Berisha (30′), Steven Lustica (51′) and Peter Franjic (79′) paced the Roar, who take on Adelaide United in their Elimination Final at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide on Apr. 7. Brisbane end the regular season with a record of 10-5-12 (35 points).
5. Perth Glory
Alistair Edwards’s Perth Glory settled for a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United at nib Stadium in Perth, but it was enough for them to advance to the Finals Series by way of superior goal differential. Adrian Zahra scored in the 58th minute for the Glory, who end the regular season with a record of 9-5-13 (32 points) and who will face Melbourne Victory in their Elimination Final on Apr. 5 at Etihad Stadium.
6. Adelaide United
A 90th-minute goal from Jake Barker-Daish gave Michael Valkanis’s Adelaide United a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at nib Stadium. The Reds will host the Brisbane Road in an Elimination final on Apr. 7 at Hindmarsh Stadium.
7. Sydney FC
Frank Farina’s Sydney FC eventually paid the price for a horrible start to the season as they were eliminated from the top six by Brisbane Roar, 3-1, at Suncorp Stadium. Alessandro Del Piero scored in the 84th minute for Sydney, who end the 2012-13 campaign with a record of 9-5-13 (32 points).
8. Newcastle Jets
There will be recriminations and second-guessing after Gary Van Egmond’s Newcastle Jets fell to the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-0 at Hunter Stadium. With the defeat, the Jets fall to 8-7-12 (31 points) for the season.
9. Wellington Phoenix
Chris Greenacre’s Wellington Phoenix ended their season with a 3-2 defeat to Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium. The Nix didn’t go down without a fight, getting goals from Stein Huysegems (64′) and Jeremy Brockie (66′). Wellington end their season with a record of 7-6-14 (27 points).
10. Melbourne Heart
John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart got a goal from Richard Garcia in the 73rd minute of play but ended their season with a 2-1 defeat to Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium. The Heart end their season with a record of 8-13-6 (27 points).