First things first. The Wellington Phoenix was outplayed by Sydney FC on Saturday night, and Sydney deservedly won the right to meet Melbourne in the Grand Final. There; we've said it.
But Sydney FC's second goal was an outrage, and should NEVER have been awarded; watch the video below from about the 4:20 mark:
The replays are telling. Watch from about the 4:45 mark, and especially the end-on close up at 5:00. This was NOT an unintentional hand-ball. Chris Payne swung his arm at the ball, and connected. The video camera does not lie.
The reactions of the players are telling too. The four Phoenix players closest to the action immediately and spontaneously appealed to referee Peter Green and his assistant. Payne's handball was obvious to them; not so to the officials though.
Full marks too to the Aussie commentators who said that "Sydney have a lead they do not deserve". And our estimation of former Australian and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich rose markedly; he pulled no punches in his half-time summation, and used the word "cheat".
And there will be no surprises as to whom we will be supporting in the A-League Grand Final this weekend!