Ranking the Best and Worst of the A-League Grand Finals


The Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory will do battle in the 13th A-League Grand Final on Saturday night.

The A-League Grand Final has produced plenty of memorable moments for both the winners and the losers and we have ranked all 12 previous deciders!

12. Season 10: Melbourne Victory 3-0 Sydney FC at AAMI Park, Sunday 17 May 2015

While Victory fans will happily tell you how great this game was, in truth it was not a pleasant sight for neutrals as only one team showed up.

Melbourne took control of this game through Besart Berisha (you will see his name a bit here) and never let up.

11. Season 1: Sydney FC 1-0 Central Coast Mariners at Sydney Football Stadium, Sunday 5 March 2006

The first Grand Final in competition history was won by the competition’s big hitters thanks to a lone goal from Steve Corica, set up by Dwight Yorke.

10. Season 8: Central Coast 2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium, Sunday 21 April 2013

The game which got the monkey off Graham Arnold’s back, though by this stage it was more of a gorilla. T

he Wanderers stunned many in their first season going from non-existent to Premiers and Grand Finalists in the space of 12 months.

This day though was all about the Mariners as they won thanks to two goals from their veterans.

9. Season 11: Adelaide United 3-1 Western Sydney Wanderers at Adelaide Oval, Sunday 1 May 2016

No stage would have been better suited for Adelaide to win their first A-League Championship than the Adelaide Oval.

The game itself was highlighted by a stunning free kick by Isaias to make it 2-0.

The Wanderers got one back but were caught out late by an Adelaide counter attack to seal the result.

8. Season 4: Melbourne Victory 1-0 Adelaide United at Telstra Dome, Saturday 28 February 2009

Plenty of feeling in this game, reuniting the two sides that met two years prior in the Grand Final saw red cards dished out to both sides.

Much like two years ago, Adelaide were reduced to 10 men early after Cristiano was dismissed before Danny Alsopp received his marching orders late in the second half.

It also featured possibly the ugliest winning goal in Grand Final history.

7. Season 3: Newcastle Jets 1-0 Central Coast Mariners at Sydney Football Stadium, Sunday 24 February 2008

A madcap ending to what was the lone local derby Grand Final and the only one to be played at a neutral venue.

The game was moved to the SFS instead of being played in Gosford and Mark Bridge took advantage of a slip by Tony Vidmar and went on a run to score the game’s lone goal.

What many remember from this game however was Danny Vukovic getting sent off in stoppage time protesting a hand ball.

6. Season 7: Brisbane Roar 2-1 Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium, Sunday 22 April 2012

The other highly controversial ending to a Grand Final in the decade plus of the A-League.

Perth held a 1-0 lead with 10 minutes remaining despite not having a single shot on target in what was by and large a relatively dour game.

Berisha got on the end of a Broich cross and nodded Brisbane level before Dean Heffernan picked up a second yellow card early in stoppage time.

The drama continued.

Liam Miller clipped Besart Berisha’s foot as he was preparing to shoot, Berisha went down and a penalty was awarded to Brisbane.

After celebrating madly, he realised he still needed to score the penalty and dribbled it over the line to seal Brisbane’s second straight Championship.

5. Season 2: Melbourne Victory 6-0 Adelaide United at Telstra Dome, Sunday 18 February 2007

This was not a tense game by any stretch of the imagination, Melbourne took advantage of a Ross Aloisi red card to run rampant over Adelaide who were completely overmatched.

Did you know Archie Thompson scored five in this game by the way?

4. Season 5: Sydney FC (4) 1-1 (3) Melbourne Victory at Telstra Dome, Saturday 20 March 2010

If you are not a fan of Kevin Muscat, you will hear the sound of his penalty hitting the post and smile.

This was the first Grand Final to be decided by penalties as Sydney and Melbourne played out a tense arm wrestle for 120 minutes.

What made this game enjoyable was the fact both teams had their chances to win it and the result was in doubt for most of the game.

3. Season 12: Sydney FC (4) 1-1 (2) Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium, Sunday 7 May 2017

Maybe not the best game in terms of a showcase of skills but the rivalry between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory was on full show, giving it the feel of a proper decider.

The intensity and passion on display in the first half with several flare ups between players that nearly boiled over.

Besart Berisha opened the scoring before David Carney levelled, and the game went to a shootout where Danny Vukovic stood up and Milos Ninkovic capped his remarkable season with the winning penalty.

2. Season 9: Brisbane Roar 2-1 (AET) Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium, Sunday 4 May 2014

Easily the best grand final in terms of atmosphere with an orange clad crowd filling Suncorp Stadium save for one pocket of red and black fans dominating the noise of the ground.

Western Sydney disrupted the Roar’s attack however the game turned on a second half injury to Nikolai Topor-Stanley which gave the Roar midfield the ascendancy.

From there Berisha (of course) scored to send it to extra time and Henrique would score another title winner for the Roar.

1. Season 6: Brisbane Roar (4) 2-2 (2) Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium, Sunday 13 May 2011

Without a doubt, this will go down as the best game of club football in Australia, the Roar and Mariners traded blows in a heavyweight bout for 90 minutes without a breakthrough.

It looked like the Mariners had sealed the title with two goals in the first half of extra time, as they began to run down the clock with seven minutes left, but the Roar refused to go away.

First Henrique struck with four minutes remaining, before Erik Paartaluu sent the remaining crowd into raptures with his headed goal on the last kick of extra time.

Michael Theo was the hero in the shootout, saving two of the Mariners four penalties, which allowed Henrique to step up and claim Brisbane’s first A-League Championship.

Tips, recommendations and commentary are for entertainment only. We provide no warranty about accuracy or completeness. You should make your own assessment before placing a bet.