Melbourne Premiers despite Adelaide win

Adelaide has a major fight on its hands to qualify for next year's Asian Champions League despite a hard-fought 1-0 win against Central Coast at Gosford on Sunday night.

Adelaide has a major fight on its hands to qualify for next year's Asian Champions League despite a hard-fought 1-0 win against Central Coast at Gosford on Sunday night.

Replacement striker Cristiano netted in the 81st minute to secure the victory for Adelaide at Bluetongue Stadium.

But the win was not enough to see Adelaide score an automatic place in the next Asian Champions League.

Adelaide needed to win by two clear goals to secure the Premiership but the 1-0 victory means it handed the title to Melbourne.

The top two sides will play in the Major Semi-Final over two legs for a spot in the Grand Final.

Fourth-placed Central Coast will take on Queensland in the Minor Semi-Final, also over two legs.

Adelaide came within a whisker of winning the Champions League last year but will now have to either win the Grand Final or lose to the Victory in the Championship decider to get another crack at Asia's best.

Adelaide was by far the better team on the night but a mixture of poor finishing and bad luck kept the Mariners on level terms until Cristiano's late strike in what was a frustrating night for Aurelio Vidmar's men.

The Mariners started strongly with Socceroo squad member Matt Simon having a low shot well saved in only the second minute.

From then on Adelaide dominated and should have went to the break at least two goals up.

Travis Dodd, Paul Agostino, Kristian Sarkies and Lucas Pantelis all had great goalscoring chances.

Adelaide hit the woodwork twice and were also denied by some desperate defending and quality goalkeeping from Danny Vukovic.

The Mariners came into the match in the second half as replacement striker Nik Mrdja had two good chances while Simon also had a handful of shots on goal.

Adelaide kept pushing forward in a bid to score a second goal and came close, keeping Vukovic busy in a frantic final 10 minutes.