The Isuzu UTE A-League’s expanded finals series will kick off on Saturday May 14 and feature a midweek semifinal first legs, as a season of rising drama heads towards its crescendo.
With three teams vying for the Premier’s Plate going into the final round, the tightness of the competition will continue into the finals from next weekend.
Due to COVID-induced fixture changes, the final round of the regular season will continue until Tuesday May 10, with the elimination finals set for the following weekend once positions on the ladder have been set.
On Saturday May 14, the team that finishes third – one of Melbourne City, Melbourne Victory or Western United – will host the sixth-placed team at AAMI Park. The next day, the team that finishes fourth will host the side finishing fifth, with the winners of the two elimination finals advancing to the semifinals to complete the first round of the finals.
To condense the drama, the first legs of the semifinals – expanded to a home and away format this year – will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday May 17 and 18 (unless Wellington qualify in which case the semifinals will be a doubleheader on Wednesday May 18).
The second legs will follow on Saturday May 21 and Sunday May 22, both at AAMI Park, with the winners advancing to the A-League Grand Final on Saturday May 28*.
“The Grand Final has always been set for the last weekend in May due to the international window straight after, and so we will play the first leg of the semifinals midweek – creating a rapid-fire series of games, as fans are used to in Europe,” said A-Leagues Commissioner Greg O’Rourke.
“This year we have seen another tranche of exciting young talent step up, and these players will add another layer of excitement going into the finals.
“There is a genuine feeling that every team in the top six can beat any of the others, pointing to another gripping finals series for fans of all of them.”
2022 ISUZU UTE A-LEAGUE FINALS STRUCTURE
Saturday 14 May: Third v Sixth at AAMI Park
Sunday 15 May: Fourth v Fifth
Semi Finals First Legs
Teams 1 and 2 enter the finals. Team 1 will play the lowest ranked winner.
Tuesday 17 May: (Winner of Third v Sixth) v 1/2
Wednesday 18 May: (Winner of Fourth v Fifth) v 1/2
(If Wellington qualify, it will be a Wednesday double header)
Semi Final Second Legs
Teams 1 and 2 play their home legs second. Semi finals winners determined by aggregate scoreline over two matches. Away Goals Rule does not apply.
Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May
Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final: Saturday 28 May
The Grand Final may be on Sunday May 29 if hosted by Wellington.