ALM - Final Round (26) Discussion - 2023/24

Friday 26 April

Brisbane Roar vs Adelaide United
Suncorp Stadium

Saturday 27 April

Newcastle Jets vs Central Coast Mariners
Turton Road

Wellington Phoenix vs Macarthur FC
Sky Stadium / Cake Tin

Australia’s Shame vs Westie Stigma Whingerers

Sunday 28 April

Toddler Race Final!
Sydney Football Stadium

Melbourne City vs Western United

Wednesday 1 May - final ALM catch up game

Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United
Industree Group Stadium

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Final round starts tonight. Tomorrow afternoon looks like they’ve massaged start times, iirc they were slightly staggered but now Welly kick-off at the same time as the F3 derby, the plate may well be decided but Mariners do of course have the one extra game to play on Wednesday evening. Love that Nestor’s time in the ALM will finish with him going head to head against Farrell.


I wonder what this weeks ridiculous red card will be.

There’s a bit of interest in the first game, in that i’m guessing league position determines positioning in the Australia Cup. Brisbane needs a draw for round of 32 i think, and Adelaide needs a win to avoid having to go to playoffs.

I think i might be right there.

Here’s the scene:

It’s 1-1 in the 66th minute between Sydney and Perth. Perth’s early lead through Adam Taggart has been cancelled out by an absolute missile from Luke Brattan, only 10 minutes earlier. A missile that normally goes high and wide, has literally torn the netting from the goalposts. There’s a thick wad of green (it was the only color available) electrical tape now holding the net in place. #peakaleague starts trending on X/Twitter. The delay while officials hunted for tape to fix the goals took 15 minutes. The bars have shut in the stands, the fans are getting restless, as are the players.

After the lengthy delay, play is resumed. Having performed poorly in the opening 45 minutes, a performance not unsimilar to the mediocre showing at Leumeah 7 days previously, Sydney are on the ascendancy. Some slick passing, and strong counter attacking football, combined with the Leipzig press is putting Perth’s defence into all sorts of bother. Alan Stajic is silent, contemplative on the sidelines. Ufuk Talay must have done coke in the bathrooms at half time, he’s done so many kilometers of his technical area his FitBit can’t keep up.

Sydney get’s the ball just outside our own 18-yard box. A nice series of quick set passes leaves Perth scrambling as the ball hurries it’s way Cove-bound. Caceras gets the ball in the center circle, beats two Perth midfielders with some silky sexy stepovers, lays it off to Brattan, who finds Lolley with about as much clear room around him as the First Fleet explorers must have thought when they landed on the shores of Sydney Cove all those years ago. It’s ripe for a Joe Lolley special, he takes off down the wing like a fighter jets being launched by catapault off the deck of an aircraft carrier. “He’s had a vodka Redbull at half time”, fans think to themselves, he’s that energetic. He looks up, and see’s Fabio penetrating the box, making a bee line for the penalty spot. Riley Warland is backpeddling harder than Marko Rudan apologizing about throwing his players under the bus, Lolley goes for the classic cut inside, it’s textbook, it’s choreographed, everyone including blind Freddy and Stevie Wonder can see what’s going to happenm, Lolley goes to chip the ball into the box when suddenly there’s a blur of white and purple, and a wild Aleksandar Šušnjar appears, he’s frothing at the mouth, his face contorted into an ugly snarl of fury and determination, and he goes into slide tackle Lolley as Lolley’s leg is at it’s pinnacle of kicking height.

In his lung-busting effort to shut Lolley down, Šušnjar has mistimed the tackle more horribly than a Scott Morrison post-Sharks match Maccas run. Double footed, studs up all body, no ball. The momentum of the tackle sends Lolley up into the air, before he comes crashing down in a heap of arms, legs and grass divots. He starts writhing around on the ground, grabbing his legs. This is no B-Grade acting performance or Middle Eastern time wasting display. This is a shocking tackle, akin to Kevin Muscat V Adrian Zahra.

Immediately the other 9 Sydney players on the field of play (Redmayne’s doing stretches on his 18-yard box) all rush in like pitbulls on a postie. Šušnjar is shirt fronted by Brattan, there’s pushing and shoving “it’s getting really ugly and we may actually see punches thrown here” describes Simon Hill from his airconditioned room in the Channel 10 studios in Pyrmont. All the players are at somebody’s throat. Lolley’s still on the ground writhing like a shot snake, as the Sydney physio’s and trainers sprint onto the field.

Referee Kurt Ams is blowing his whistle and waving his arms like mad to try and get the players to calm down, but he can’t be heard over the booing coming from the Cove. Minutes pass, and things calm down somewhat. Ams’ consults with his assistant referees. There’s some nodding and shaking of the head, but their hands cover their mouths so you can’t hear what’s said.

Finally Ams walks back over, shoving Luke Brattan and several Perth players away. The trainers are concerned at Joe Lolleys leg, the TV cameras zoom in, and his legs basically gone purple. There’s real fear of a bad break.

Kurt Ams walks up to Šušnjar, reaches into his pocket, and shows him a slice of cheese.

The crowd falls silent, there’s stunned disbelief amongst the 16,862 strong crowd that such a tackle only warranted a yellow card. Had such a challenge been attempted outside the confines of a football pitch, the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions would be angling for a maximum sentencing of 10-15 years for violent assault, once the NSW Police had locked him squarely away, bail refused in the Metropolitan Remand & Reception Centre at Silverwater Prison. The crowd roars its disbelief, and a cacophony of booing rings out around the stadium. The poor innocent NIMBY’s who occupy the multi million dollar terraces on Moore Park Road are ringing the Police, 2GB and Sky News about the absolute terrible howl of noise emitting from the stadium across the road. Everyone in the stadium is bellowing insults at the referee, mothers who would normally cover their childrens ears to avoid nasty words entering their brains are screaming feral noises towards the pitch. The entire Sydney team surrounds Kurt Ams in furious disbelief as stretcher bearers jog onto the field, Lolley needing the assistance of 4 men to get him off the field.

Ufuk Talay is absolutely apocalyptic. The fourth official summons a couple of Police officers standing in the tunnel for saftey.

Suddenly Ams holds his right arm up, his left hand pressed to his ear. He’s receiving words from the VAR and moments later, he gives the all-too-familiar box signal and jogs towards the HP moniter on the sideline. The crowd, players, and NIMBYs on Moore Park Road all breath a sigh of relief. Finally, the VAR will actually give a sensible decisioni here.

Kurt Ams spends several minutes peering at the screen. However, anger, which turned to relief, manifests itself into shock as the replays which are being broadcast on P+ and throughout the stadium, aren’t of the tackle itself, it’s of Lolley moments after hitting the turf, as he rolls around. There’s confusion around the stadium. Many utter “The fuck they looking at?”

The replay zooms in on Lolleys face, and through his roar of pain, it doesn’t take a lip-reading genious to work out what he’s saying: “You Fucking Cunt!”. It’s clear as daylight, and completely understandable - and acceptable even - given the horrific challenge he’s just experienced.

Kurt Ams has seen enough. He jogs back onto the field, and jogs up to Susnar, he removes the yellow card from his pocket, and indicates the yellow has been revoked. Sixteen thousand fans await Ams to Produce the shiny red card. Susnars face is resigned to the decision.

But then Ams turns on his heel, he doesn’t issue the red card, instead he jogs over to Joe Lolley who has just been placed on the stretcher, he’s face twisted in agony and pain. He’s got the green whistle in hand, and he’s sucking on it like he’s a high school student with a vape. he approached Lolley, produces the red card and thrusts in in his face as he’s stretchered off.

2 weeks of rioting follow in Moore Park.

A few days later, Lolley fronts the match review panel via live stream from his hospital bed, having undergone surgery for his broken leg. The match review panel uphold the decision, implementing the full sentence of a 3-week sideline, because Joe Lolley swore so violently, it was deemed unprofessional sporting behaviour.


I’m not reading all that but you get a like anyways.


If Adelaide can win today, and if they could somehow get a win against Central Coast in the rescheduled fixture, they could end up finishing above Western Surburbs which would be fun.

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Army gal did a cracking job of the anthems

This is turning into a game. 3-4 with 10 to go.

Anyone else getting echo on the commentary for the F3 derby?

And Nix up 2-0.
If it stays that way an SFC win tomorrow will deliver a home final against Macarthur.

A draw or loss could be away against Macarthur or the Shame.

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Seems alright for me.

Have mostly been watching the phoenix game, great crowd over there, probably between 15-20k.

Now with them 2-0 up I’ve switched over to the CCM game.

If Wellington win then with a win tomorrow we’ll be in 4th and get a home elimination final which should be fun.

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This is basically a Mariners home game

Title winning goal by Surgical Steele?

Hope it’s a massive crown in Gosford on Wednesday - even if they slip up here and need a win that’ll still be really fun to watch.

I mean it’s kind of true? So not sure if trolling? (Archie)

From Wellington’s facebook

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Cracking header, that’s all she wrote up, in Newcastle. Mariners just need a draw at home against a rubbish Adelaide side

Apparently Irankunda out suspended on yellows as well for Adelaide. Something magical from Ibisuki is probably Wellington’s best hope now.

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Honestly while I don’t think CCM have been all that amazing this season, they’ve been consistently decent and have deserved the premiership (assuming they go on to win it). I think Wellington have at times been quite negative to watch (with timewasting and such in second halves).

Now onto the next game, wouldn’t mind a draw from this one, which would be enough to knock out Wests from finals contention.

Also apparently very strong rumours coming through that the Jets sale has been done. I know we’ve been hearing that for a while but again but these seem like much stronger rumours.