Melbourne set for A-League eliminators
Posted on 04/25/20 7:46 PM
Victory kept alive hopes of finishing above Melbourne City with two late goals against Wellington.Melbourne is set to host the A League’s elimination finals with three teams vying for sixth spot heading into the last round.
The final order outside the top two still has to be settled. City and Victory will fight it out for third and fourth positions, both of which secure a home eliminator.
Third-placed City are two points ahead of Victory, who also have a marginally inferior goal difference and a more daunting final-round away fixture.
City, who beat Central Coast 1-0 at the weekend, are away to last-placed Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, but might already have sewn up third spot by then.
Victory, who scored two late goals to beat Phoenix 2-1 on Sunday, must win at premiers Sydney on Friday to retain any hopes of finishing third.
Sydney’s lead has blown out to 14 points following their third straight win and second-placed Newcastle’s third consecutive loss.
Newcastle’s late-season slump continued with a 2-0 home loss to finals aspirants Perth, while Sydney eased to a 3-0 home win over Adelaide on another record-setting night for the Sky Blues.
Brazilian striker Bobo scored twice to set a new league record of 26 goals in a season, Sydney equalled Melbourne City’s record of 63 goals in a season, with one round to go, and they became the first team to reach 60 points in successive seasons.
“If you (want to) win or play a draw against Sydney, every player must play 100 per cent his best performance,” Adelaide coach Marco Kurz said.
The loss ended any hope Adelaide had of finishing fourth but they will hang onto fifth unless they suffer a three-goal loss away to sixth-placed Western Sydney next Sunday.
Any win over Adelaide will secure at least sixth spot for Wanderers.
But, if they lose or draw, they could be overtaken for sixth by either Brisbane or Perth, who are both one point behind, but play the day before at nib Stadium.
If that match ends in a draw and Wanderers lose, all three teams will finish level on points, with goal difference to determine who finishes sixth.
Western Sydney jumped over Brisbane into sixth with a 3-0 home win over the Roar, in which Spanish striker Oriel Riera netted twice.
The other issue to be settled next week is the destination of the dreaded wooden spoon.
Wellington are last heading into the regular-season finale, two points behind Central Coast who host Newcastle on Saturday.