Sydney celebrate top spot
Slovak midfielder Karol Kisel scored with a long-range volley in the 34th minute and former Socceroo striker John Aloisi ran from half way to score with a spectacular left-foot strike four minutes after half-time to seal victory.
Sydney, coached by Czech Vitezslav Lavicka, finished on top after the 27 home and away rounds for the first time in the five seasons of the A-League. Watched by a season's biggest 25,407 supporters, Sydney ended the league campaign on 48 points, one more than defending champions Melbourne and four more than Gold Coast United in third.
It gives Sydney, the inaugural A-League champions in 2005/06, a boost heading into their opening match of the play-offs against the Victory in Melbourne on Thursday. The winner of that match progresses straight to the Grand Final on March 20.
"It's a great feeling. Sydney FC have never won a minor premiership before," Aloisi said. "Now we want to go on and win the final."
Gold Coast will host Newcastle in Saturday's elimination play-off despite losing 2-1 to North Queensland with former English Premier League midfielder Terry Cooke heading Fury's winner seven minutes from time. Fury's win prevented them finishing with the wooden spoon and Robbie Fowler's team climbed to seventh place in their inaugural season, just two points outside the top-six play-offs.
Newcastle Jets slumped to their fourth consecutive defeat with a 2-1 loss to Adelaide United, who despite the win still finished last in the 10-team competition. Mathew Leckie sealed the match in the 74th minute, adding to Fabian Barbiero's eighth-minute goal after Iraqi international Ali Abbas had equalised for the Jets four minutes before half-time.
Fourth-placed Wellington Phoenix will be at home to Perth in next Sunday's sudden-death play-off after beating Central Coast Mariners 3-0. Perth Glory downed Brisbane 2-0 at home to finish the season in fourth place.