2010/11 was the A-League’s sixth season and included a second extension in the length of season. After 21 games in the first four years, the A-League jumped to 27 in 2009/10 and then a 30-game season for 2010/11. The additional games allowed Brisbane Roar to accumulate the A-League’s highest ever point total for a regular season champion, amassing 65 points and finishing eight points clear of second place Central Coast Mariners. In fact, the Roar lost just a single game, a 3-0 to Melbourne Victory in Week 6.
Sergio van Dijk won the Golden Boot with 16 goals, including a hat-trick in Adelaide United’s 8-1 destruction of North Queensland Fury in Week 24. Thomas Broich led the league in assists with 12 for Brisbane, contributing to the most prolific offensive output in league history. The league’s best attendance came at Melbourne Victory and the three Melbourne derbies (as Melbourne Heart were introduced in 2010/11) were the three most highly attended matches throughout the regular season. Adelaide’s Marcos Flores won the Johnny Warren Medal as league player of the year as voted on by players, 18-year old Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Matthew Ryan won Young Player of the Year, while seven of the eleven All-Star Team members came from the Roar.
In the Finals, Brisbane advanced to the Grand Final through a 4-2 aggregate victory over Central Coast. Adelaide and Gold Coast United played in the semi-final round with winning 3-2. From there, Central Coast outlasted Gold Coast in the Preliminary Final to schedule a rematch with the Roar in the Grand Final. Through full-time, neither side scored, yet four goals were scored in extra-time. Central Coast scored the first two from Adam Kwasnik (96′) and Oliver Bozanic (103′), seemingly winning the title. But a 117th minute goal from Henrique gave Brisbane life. In the game’s dying moments, Erik Paartalu headed in for the Roar to stunningly force penalties. From there, Brisbane converted all four of their attempts while Central Coast had two saved by Michael Theoklitos, leaving the Roar as champions of the A-League and holders of the Gold Medal Trophy.
Despite substantial growth within the Australian and Kiwi sporting markets, the A-League did lose one of its member clubs. North Queensland Fury were wound up at season’s end, reducing the league back to ten teams. Other clubs struggled to attract supporters to their grounds even as 50,000 packed Suncorp Stadium for the Grand Final. The 2011/12 season is an important one and has both positive ground to build from and negatives to overcome.
|Rules for classification:1st points; 2nd goal difference; 3rd goals scored.
||Teams qualified for finals.