Sydney FC seal title in nerve-jangling draw: E-League Round 9 wrap
Sydney FC have won the inaugural E-League Premiership after a dramatic draw in Round 9 saw them finish ahead of Melbourne City on goal difference.
Mouad Zwed of Melbourne Victory almost forced the title to rivals City, but Samer Elbadar did enough across a tense two legs to seal the honour for the Sky Blues.
Elsewhere, the fight for ideal final placings saw a one-sided result in the F3 Derby, while the competition was treated to an El Tornado for the second straight week.
Each of the 10 teams now switch attention to the E-League 2018 Finals Series to be held on 26 April, when individual PS4 and Xbox champions will be anointed.
Wellington Phoenix 3-4 Melbourne City
- Melbourne City held up their end of the bargain, sneaking past Wellington Phoenix to keep the pressure on Sydney FC.
Xbox: Justin 'Justmanutd12' Josevski 2-1 Josh 'Joshingwood' Wood
Needing three points to be any chance of finishing inside the top six - and thus an automatic Quarter Final Round berth - Wellington made a strong start as Justin Josevski notched a 2-1 win over Josh Wood.
Wood was filling in for Marcus Gomes on Xbox and his unfamiliarity on the console showed early as he was punished for a scrambled defence.
A crazy piece of defending from Phoenix let Wood back into the match on the hour, but Josevski soon retook the lead to bank a handy first-leg advantage.
PS4: Christian 'Fweshest' Bartolilo 1-3 Josh 'Joshingwood' Wood
Under pressure to keep City's title hopes alive, Wood pulled out a much-needed 3-1 win against Christian Bartolilo to overturn the aggregate scoreline.
The City competitor immediately looked back at home on PS4 and had a slice of luck for his first inside four minutes.
Bartolilo threatened to end City's challenge by spearing in a low driven finish just prior to the half-hour, only for a cool-headed Wood to hurriedly strike back.
And a decisive third followed after half-time, Wood firing home at the second attempt to crucially complete the turnaround.
Sydney FC 5-5 Melbourne Victory
- It was mission accomplished for Samer Elbadar as he navigated a massive fright from Mouad Zwed to get the result Sydney FC craved.
Xbox: Samer 'Samer96_' Elbadar 3-2 Mouad 'MuadZwed' Zwed
Elbadar looked set for a reasonably comfortable night after besting Zwed 3-2 on Xbox.
He set the early pace by grabbing a commanding two-goal buffer less than 10 minutes into their first encounter.
However, Zwed curled in a fine finish and buried a strong header either side of half-time to leave the tie on a knife's edge, even though Elbadar was able to get his nose in front with a counter-attack goal that proved vital in the wider context.
PS4: Samer 'Samer96_' Elbadar 2-3 Mouad 'MuadZwed' Zwed
Zwed went close to creating E-League shockwaves when he rallied back from two goals down to beat Elbadar 3-2 and so nearly cost Sydney FC the Premiership.
Again cruising at 2-0 after lashing in two-left footed finishes, Elbadar was brought to the brink of disaster when he shipped three goals in the final half-hour.
The last was a mad scramble that gave Zwed the PS4 victory and an overall draw, with Elbadar nervously welcoming the all-important aggregate point.
Western Sydney Wanderers 6-3 Adelaide United
- Rick Tran's exceptional PS4 performance guided Western Sydney Wanderers to a win that kept them in fourth ahead of Adelaide United.
Xbox: Joseph 'OhNoAGoat' Nassar 2-3 Jamie 'FUTWIZ Jamie' O'Doherty
What shaped as one of the matches of the night didn't disappoint as Jamie O'Doherty traded blows with Joseph Nassar before holding on in a 3-2 thriller.
Two of the competition's most fiery players produced an explosive start, O'Doherty piling on three goals in the space of 20 minutes after Roly Bonevacia had netted the first.
Nassar carefully constructed a second after the interval but it wasn't enough to knock O'Doherty off an impressive result.
PS4: Rick 'RDBOULETTT' Tran 4-0 Zachary 'vDreamz-Shooter' May-Burgess
Dealt a first-leg deficit to chase, Rick Tran did that and then some on the way to outclassing Zachary May-Burgess 4-0.
It was all square on aggregate when Tran somehow worked space for the opener after 15 minutes and he truly turned the tie around by curling home a wonderful finish on the hour.
May-Burgess was powerless to stop his opponent as another two late goals capped off an ominous showing from one of the league's darkhorses.
Perth Glory 7-5 Brisbane Roar
- Perth Glory narrowly overcame Brisbane Roar across an entertaining two legs highlighted by arguably the goal of the season.
Xbox: David 'HighFly357' Cook 4-3 James 'Cripsy' Williams
David Cook produced one of his most impressive E-League performances to come out on top against James Williams in a 4-3 blockbuster.
The Glory man netted three fine goals - the latter via a sublime curling cross - in a scintillating first 15 minutes, before Cripsy incredibly struck twice in the following five minutes.
Cook wasn't done there, though, as he bundled in a fourth - the game's sixth - at the midway point of a chaotic half.
Cripsy set up a tense finale by reducing the deficit once more with just over 10 minutes to play, although it was too late to revive Roar's first-leg chances.
PS4: Peter 'saisanas' Saisanas 3-2 Dino 'ol_Mate_' Flocco
A ridiculous 90th-minute El Tornado from Peter Saisanas made the difference in a 3-2 defeat of Dino Flocco as Perth wrapped up a narrow aggregate success.
The sublime skill move denied Flocco what would have been a creditable draw after he battled well to equalise 15 minutes prior.
He had also cancelled out an earlier Saisanas lead, but the quality of the winner deservedly confirmed Glory's overall victory.
Central Coast Mariners 8-2 Newcastle Jets
- Central Coast Mariners definitively proved their F3 Derby dominance by crushing Newcastle Jets across two legs.
Xbox: Matthew 'StrawHat Camels' Camilleri 4-1 Dane 'Bossierhickory8' Crow
Matthew Camilleri got the damage underway with a clinical 4-1 dismantling of Dane Crow.
The accomplished display was built on a trio of well-worked goals in the first-half.
Having seen Camels tuck away a fourth soon after the break, Crow did recover to claim a hard-earned consolation through Cristiano Ronaldo as the match wore on.
PS4: Kiran 'KyrenFIFA' Gupta 4-1 Bohdan 'BLfifa' Ling
Kiran Gupta picked up where his team-mate left off by mirroring the 4-1 scoreline against Bohdan Ling.
Ling did well to keep the deadlock intact until well after half-time, but Gupta was off and running once Andrew Hoole bagged the first.
Three more over the next 20 minutes followed, with Ling only able to cling to a lone goal from his unique favourite Marc Overmars.