After our Central Coast Mariners put in one of the best team performances of the season to upset premiers Brisbane Roar at Suncorp on Saturday night, they finished the regular season in third position - earning a home final and a qualifying match for next years Asian Champions League.
Phil Moss' side were ruthless in defence, where solid structure and clearly defined roles in the back third nullified Brisbane's best attacking assets, whilst in offence the Mariners exploited the pace of Bernie Ibini, Nick Fitzgerald and Storm Roux to be a constant threat on the counter and be thoroughly deserving of the 2-0 victory. As a result of this match, and others over the weekend - this is how the A-League Ladder finished up:
1. Brisbane Roar
2. Western Sydney Wanderers
3. Central Coast Mariners
4. Melbourne Victory
5. Sydney FC
6. Adelaide United
7. Newcastle Jets
8. Perth Glory
9. Wellington Phoenix
10. Melbourne Heart
Brisbane Roar and WSW earned a week off after finishing in the top two, so the first week of the finals will see Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC on Friday night, whilst Adelaide will travel to the home of the champions in Gosford on Saturday.
Now, this is where it gets tricky. Brisbane Roar, as a result of finishing the regular season in first place, will host the lowest ranked winner of week one - which could be any of Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide, on the following Sunday. WSW on the other hand will play the highest ranked winner - which could be Central Coast, Melbourne or Sydney, next Saturday.
From there, the winners of those fixtures then go on to play in the Grand Final, and within three weeks we have an A-League champion.
Have Your Say: How do you rate each teams chances in the finals, and which teams do you think will contest the A-League Grand Final of 2013/14?