THE vital second spot on the A-League ladder is the Western Sydney Wanderers' to lose.
After their 1-1 draw with runaway leaders Brisbane Roar on Saturday night at Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, the Wanderers are equal second on the ladder on 39 points with the Central Coast Mariners, but ahead on goal difference.
So all the Wanderers have to do to end up second is beat Melbourne Heart this weekend.
In the last round before the finals, the Wanderers will travel to Melbourne to clash with Heart at AAMI Park this Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 5.30pm, and three points will ensure the Wanderers will keep that second spot and earn a week's rest.
A loss could mean a number of permutations, including dropping to as low as fourth or fifth and going into the finals having to play in a sudden-death clash.
But the Wanderers are fighters, as they showed at Parramatta against the Roar, and it is this quality which will almost certainly see them overcome Heart, whose season is over.
The Wanderers conceded a goal in the first half, but bravely fought back to get the draw; with a little luck they could have got the three points, but could also have got none if the fates had completely favoured the Queenslanders.
Now it's on to Melbourne for the Wanderers, at least knowing that their fate is in their own hands.