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Wanderers finish 2nd in A-League behind Brisbane
Wanderers finish 2nd in A-League, get Asian Champions League berth and 1st-round bye with Roar
Associated Press
2014-04-13 06:22 AM

SYDNEY (AP) -- Western Sydney Wanderers beat Melbourne Heart 3-2 to clinch second place in the A-League and a bye in the first round of the playoffs and an Asian Champions League berth next season.

The Wanderers and first-place Brisbane Roar will get next weekend off while the other four teams -- three of which have been confirmed -- will start the finals series.

Central Coast beat the Roar 2-0 to finish in third, equal on points with the Wanderers but behind on goal difference. The Melbourne Victory's 4-1 win over Wellington moved them into fourth place.

Sydney FC need a win, draw or loss by one goal on Sunday against Perth for the sixth and final playoff spot to hold off Newcastle, which beat fifth-place Adelaide 2-0.

The Western Sydney win spoiled Hearts captain Harry Kewell's final match before retiring. The former Socceroo, Liverpool and Leeds forward announced two weeks ago that injuries over the past five years have forced him to quit.

The Sydney-born Kewell hadn't played for three weeks with a rib injury.

"I was always going to go out there," Kewell said. "With all the stuff that I've played through the whole career it wasn't going to stop me for my last game. I'm disappointed we didn't come off with the win."

Goals from Joel Griffiths and Adam Taggart put the Jets equal on points with Sydney FC after their win over Adelaide.

It is the third year in a row that a playoff berth has come down to the final round for Newcastle, which faces the possibility of missing them for a fourth consecutive season.

Sydney FC could be playing its final regular-season home match with former Juventus star Alessandro Del Piero.

Del Piero, who has played for two seasons in Sydney as the A-League's marquee attraction, has not signed a contract for next season. Some Australian media have reported the 2006 World Cup winner with Italy, who turns 40 in November, has not been offered one.

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