2008 A-League Grand Final

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2008 A-League Grand Final
A-League logo
Event 2007–08 A-League
Date 24 February 2008
Venue Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Man of the Match Andrew Durante, Newcastle Jets
Referee Mark Shield
Attendance 36,354

The 2008 A-League Grand Final took place at Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia on 24 February 2008. It was the first A-League Grand Final played at a neutral home ground, due to Bluetongue Stadium being deemed by FFA to not have a sufficient capacity to hold the centrepiece of the A-League season. This move created a stir of controversy and was protested by the Central Coast Mariners, who won the right to host the match, but to no avail.

Route to the finals[edit]

  Semi Finals Preliminary Final Grand Final
    L1 L2    
    27 Jan & 10 Feb                        
1 Central Coast Mariners 0 3     24 February
2 Newcastle Jets 2 0     17 February         Central Coast Mariners 0
      Newcastle Jets (aet) 3     Newcastle Jets 1
  25 Jan & 8 Feb     Queensland Roar 2  
3 Sydney FC 0 0
4 Queensland Roar 0 2  



Newcastle Jets celebrating after their Grand Final victory.

The first half of the game ended in a draw with neither sides scoring a goal, though each had good scoring opportunities. Gary van Egmond made a risky change to his sides starting formation, playing with a back three. In the 64th minute Mark Bridge scored the only goal after Tony Vidmar slipped, giving the ball to Bridge in the last quarter.

The game ended in controversy after Central Coast earned a corner late into extra time in the second half. As the ball was crossed into Newcastle's penalty area, it appeared to hit Newcastle player James Holland on the right arm, before it was cleared away. Mariners players immediately demanded a penalty, yet referee Mark Shield decided not to award one. The Mariners players, enraged, continued to scream at Shield, pressuring him for a penalty. Mariners keeper Danny Vukovic as a result of this frustration, hit Shields' arm away when the referee was penalizing one of Vukovic's teammates with a yellowcard. Shield then immediately awarded Vukovic with a red card. Vukovic would later be charged with striking a match official by the FFA, and was subsequently banned for 9 months, 3 of those months suspended. Due to this, Vukovic missed a significant portion of the next A-League season as well as the Olympic Games.


24 February 2008
17:00 AEDT
Central Coast Mariners 0–1 Newcastle Jets
Report Bridge Goal 64'
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 36,354
Referee: Mark Shield
Central Coast Mariners
Newcastle Jets
GK 20 Australia Danny Vukovic Red card 90+4'
MF 7 Australia John Hutchinson
MF 12 Australia Greg Owens Substituted off 69'
DF 13 Australia Tony Vidmar Substituted off 75'
DF 16 Australia Nigel Boogaard YC 90'
DF 18 Australia Alex Wilkinson (c)
MF 19 Australia Adam Kwasnik Substituted off 69'
FW 22 Australia Sasho Petrovski
MF 23 Australia Mile Jedinak YC 12'
FW 25 Australia John Aloisi YC 90+5'
DF 26 Australia Alvin Ceccoli
GK 1 Australia Matthew Trott
FW 2 Australia Matt Simon Substituted in 75'
MF 6 Germany André Gumprecht Substituted in 69'
MF 10 Australia Tom Pondeljak Substituted in 69'
DF 15 Australia Andrew Clark
Scotland Lawrie McKinna

Joe Marston Medal: Australia Andrew Durante

Assistant Referees:
Ben Wilson
Nathan Gibson
Fourth Official:
Matthew Breeze

Central Coast V Newcastle.svg
GK 1 Australia Ante Čović
DF 2 Australia Adam Griffiths YC 11'
DF 3 Australia Jade North (c)
MF 5 Australia Stuart Musialik
DF 6 Australia Andrew Durante
MF 8 Australia Matt Thompson Substituted off 76'
FW 9 Australia Joel Griffiths YC 37'
DF 11 Australia Tarek Elrich
DF 13 Australia Adam D'Apuzzo
FW 19 Australia Mark Bridge Goal 64' Substituted off 73'
MF 28 South Korea Song Jin-Hyung Substituted off 90+3'
GK 20 Australia Ben Kennedy
MF 10 Brazil Denni Substituted in 90+3'
MF 18 Australia Noel Spencer
MF 22 Australia Jason Hoffman Substituted in 76'
MF 25 Australia James Holland Substituted in 73'
Australia Gary van Egmond
2008 Champions
Newcastle Jets
First Title


Central Coast Newcastle
Attempts at goal 13 6
Attempts on target 1 3
Attempts off target 12 3
Attempts – Woodwork 0 0
Keeper saves 1 1
Ball possession 42% 58%
Corners 1 6
Fouls committed 18 15
Offsides 1 4
Yellow cards 3 2
Red cards 1 0

See also[edit]

External links[edit]