Brisbane stick it to Sydney, Glory sneak in under the radar while the Wanderers went about creating history with a minimum of fuss.
Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC: Can Sydney overcome the odds? Roar-s performance at Suncorp showed just why the odds were against Sydney; Brisbane were smarter, sharper and always a threat, while the visitors toiled but failed to craft any significant openings.
That-s not to say Sydney were bad - they just couldn-t match the Roar-s movement off the ball and attacking intent. Instead, Frank Farina-s side were reminiscent of the Socceroos- midweek performance, failing to spark when they knew how much was on the line. They even had their own Tim Cahill in Alessandro Del Piero but even the Italian couldn-t bring his teammates into the game enough to trouble the home side.
What is interesting, however, is just how far Mike Mulvey has turned Brisbane around since taking over. As well as finding a system that works for his squad, he-s adapted Ange Postecoglou-s pass-and-move philosophy and brought some confidence back to the still reigning premiers. It would seem unfair should Roar come from this position to seriously challenge for the grand final - but on this form, they might just be able to.
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers: Can the Jets change the season?
A resounding 'no' was the answer here because Newcastle, from the moment Mark Bridge ghosted in unmanned at the far post in the opening few minutes to open the scoring the Jets fell apart.
The Wanderers have proved this season that fairytales do indeed come true and put an emphatic exclamation point on their season when they bundled the Jets out of the Playoff race.
Tony Popovic was over the moon and lauded his players before reminding them there is still more to do, how much more? Two more wins is all he asks and a chance for the Plate/Championship double.
On the bright side for the Jets, at least their fans came out in numbers to see them play their final game of the season.
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Heart: Will it matter? In the grand scheme of things, no. With the Wanderers getting to grips with the premier-s plate on Friday night, you could forgive this fixture for lacking a little tension. But there were moments of note - like Daniel McBreen scoring his 17th goal of the season and securing an unlikely Golden Boot for the veteran striker. And Melbourne Heart actually playing like they wanted to, for a change.
Of course we didn-t get the usual fluid Mariners, with Arnie resting plenty of his senior players with one eye on the AFC Champions League, but they still had enough to end Heart-s season on a sour note. Oli Bozanic has hardly had a look-in all season but proved he has a future at the club next season, when the Mariners will surely challenge again - although Arnie might want to find some fresher legs to lead the line.
For Heart, it was all too little, too late. Unlucky to go behind with a controversial penalty but you couldn-t say the loss wasn-t deserved. Melbourne-s second club have a lot of rebuilding to do in the off-season, although of late it hasn-t looked like many believed they were playing for their futures.
Perth Glory v Adelaide United: Can Glory take their chance? From the start you could see that Glory wanted this. They didn-t quite have the clearly defined strategy to do it with ease but they played some good football and they showed the same level of desire and the kernels of Alistair Edwards-s football philosophy that has turned their season around. In fact, it was that hunger that probably just saw Glory over the line - that, and some regulation quality from Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic.
Edwards certainly deserves the Glory gig - any coach who can turn that kind of season around and give them a shot at the finals obviously has something - and again, we-ve seen enough to suggest that Glory could flourish under him with a full preseason.
Similarly, Michael Valkanis has maintained a level of consistency and quality at Adelaide. John Kosmina walked out and it seems like absolutely nothing changed. Both of these coaches have taken their chances at the big job - and both sets of fans should be thankful that they did.
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory: Will Ange-s rant hit home? Postecoglou might just tear his side a ‘new one- after their late escape against the Phoenix. One week after reading them the riot act, it seemed like the returns of Rojas, Milligan and Thompson would help them no end, and certainly the goals scored by Archie and Rojas were what got them out of jail, so kudos to them.
What the manager won-t have been impressed by was their cat nap in the middle of the second half. Up 2-0 and seemingly cruising the Victory fell asleep and allowed Stein Huysegems and Jeremy Brockie to score back-to-back goals in the 66th and 67th minutes to level things at the Cake-Tin, and it was only a Wellington defensive lapse from a set piece that allowed Thompson to get the winning goal.
Here-s the truth, Wellington were the better side and showed more urgency, but as usual this season, luck deserted them and they ended the season with the unwanted piece of kitchenware that would have been wrapped up and sent to them if Gold Coast United still existed (we hear it-s covered in sauce in Clive Palmer-s kitchen).
As for the Victory they were once being named as contenders, but right now they as just as big a pretender as Adelaide United.