End of season dead rubbers

Don’t get me wrong – this game delivered plenty of entertainment and many talking points. Several goals, a red card, two penalties, and a Matt Simon free kick is right in the A-League sweet spot.

This fixture, however, combative as it may have been, was plagued by the overarching feeling that none of it really matters – that it was all academic. The lack of stakes at play for teams already out of the finals race means the A-League regular season tends to peter out in its last few weeks, right when the competition should be coming to a climactic finish.

Promotion and relegation cannot come soon enough.