A-League: HAL 7 (2011 - 2012 Season)
Week 17 Review
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'Wellington And Perth Win Big As Mother Nature Calls'

Mother Nature put the skids on Hyundai A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners this week, with their visit to Gold Coast United on Friday evening called off in the interests of spectator safety.

So attention turned to the leaders’ pursuants’ efforts to eat into the eleven-point advantage the table-toppers held going into this nineteenth round of action. Reigning champions Brisbane Roar failed to do so, however, slumping to a 1-0 loss at Suncorp Stadium where 9,293 fans saw Newcastle Jets’ Jobe Wheelhouse score the game’s only goal half-way through the first half.

It was another one of those days for Brisbane - dominance of possession, but nothing to show for it - and after this result, the minor premiership must surely be heading to the southern side of the Queensland - New South Wales border.

The feature match of the round saw the third- and fourth-placed teams clashing at Westpac Stadium, but Wellington Phoenix made no race of the contest in front of a bumper 13,601-strong crowd as they belted Melbourne Heart 3-1 to climb to a best-ever second spot on the standings.

This is nosebleed territory for the Wellingtonians, but you’ve never have known it from their performance, which was afforded the perfect start when Paul Ifill slipped home the opener in the third minute.

Wearing an intimidating all-black for a charitable cause, the home team looked to impose their will on the scoreboard again before half-time, but instead found themselves heading to the dressing rooms on level terms thanks to Alex Terra’s well-taken equaliser eleven minutes before the break.

But the game was over as a contest within eighteen minutes of the second half starting, Chris Greenacre bravely heading home Leo Bertos’ near post cross before Ifill calmly notched his second of the game after rounding Clint Bolton just after the hour mark.

Daniel hit the post with a wicked free-kick eight minutes from time which Tim Brown bundled home, but the goal was ruled out by the offside flag on a day the only blemish for the home team was the sight of Bertos being carried from the field with a leg injury fifteen minutes from time.

Perth Glory took full advantage of Melbourne’s loss later on Sunday night as they maintained their own unbeaten run - now seven games - by mauling Adelaide United 3-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The 9,063 fans present groaned with despair as Bruce Djite twice squandered chances to open the scoring inside the opening ten minutes, his first effort hitting the post. The home team, playing the final game of what has been a demanding week for them, were made to pay for that miss, Shane Smeltz unhinging Adelaide’s defence with a well-taken opener on the quarter hour.

Six minutes later, Steven McGarry doubled Perth’s lead, and try as they might, Adelaide couldn’t retrieve the deficit, which blew out even further eight minutes from time as Liam Miller confirmed a Perth victory which lifts them into fourth place, two points behind second-placed Wellington.

That the clash of Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC didn’t merit top billing says much for how both clubs have slipped off the pace this season, despite the plethora of big-name players both teams boast.

Their clash at AAMI Park was a typically closely fought battle between these rivals, with the visitors snatching a 2-2 draw in stoppage time, much to the chagrin of the natives in the 20,053-strong Australia Day crowd, who saw Melbourne bottle a 2-0 half-time lead, which came about courtesy first half stoppage time strikes from Isaka Cernak and Fabio.

Sydney had enjoyed the better of the exchanges prior to this double blow, but pulled a goal back eleven minutes into the second half through Bruno Cazarine, a strike which, coupled with Melbourne’s seeming contentment to sit on their lead, played into the hands of the visitors, who drew level in stoppage time thanks to Sebastian Ryall.

That result did neither team any favours in the race for the play-offs, although Melbourne have a game in hand on their arch-rivals - they will play that match against Gold Coast at the Aurora Stadium in Launceston this Wednesday.

The penultimate match in the “community round” of fixtures saw Newcastle and Adelaide United battle out a 1-1 draw at Bathurst’s Carrington Park, where a lively encounter ensued in front of 2,363 fans on a wet Wednesday evening.

Despite the best efforts of both teams to pursue victory in trying wet conditions, the scoring in the match was confined to a sixteen-minute spell in the second half. Sergio Van Dijk gave Adelaide the lead just shy of the hour mark, but Jobe Wheelhouse restored parity for their fellow strugglers seventeen minutes from time.

Following the aforementioned midweek fixture, what is effectively twentieth round action in the A-League kicks off on Friday night with Adelaide hosting Wellington at Hindmarsh Stadium. Twenty-four hours later at Bluetongue Stadium, the top-two tussle between Central Coast and Brisbane could go a long way to deciding the minor premiership winners.

Later that evening, it’s the Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, with Heart occupying the home dressing room, while Sunday’s fare sees Sydney and Newcastle locking horns at the Sydney Football Stadium. And on Monday evening at NIB Stadium, Perth and Gold Coast wrap up the round on New Zealand’s national day, Waitangi Day.

Details: Hyundai A-League, weekend 17:

Newcastle Jets FC 1 (Jobe Wheelhouse (73)) - Adelaide United FC 1 (Sergio van Dijk (57)); HT 0-0
Adelaide United FC 0 - Perth Glory FC 3 (Shane Smeltz (14), Steve McGarry (21), Liam Miller (82)); HT 0-2
Gold Coast United FC v. Central Coast Mariners FC - postponed due to flooding
Brisbane Roar FC 0 - Newcastle Jets FC 1 (Jobe Wheelhouse (23)); HT 0-1
Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Isaka Cernak (45), Fabio (45)) - Sydney FC 2 (Bruno Cazarine (56), Seb Ryall (90)); HT 2-0
Wellington Phoenix FC 3 (Pauk Ifill (3, 63), Chris Greenacre (53)) - Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Alex Terra (34)); HT 1-1

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

Details: National Youth-League, Round 13:

20 Jan - 5:15pm - Newcastle Jets FC 1 - Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 0 - Ausgrid Stadium, Broadmeadow
20 Jan - 6:30pm - Central Coast Mariners FC 3 - Adelaide United FC 0 - Pluim Park, Lisarow

21 Jan - 3:00pm - Sydney FC 1 - Gold Coast United FC 3 - WIN Jubilee, Kogarah
21 Jan - 5:00pm - Perth Glory FC 0 - Melbourne Victory FC 0 - 6PR Stadium, Inglewood
22 Jan - 4:00pm - Melbourne Heart FC 1 - Brisbane Roar FC 5 - John Cain Memorial Park, Thornbury

Details: Westfield womens W-League, Final:

Canberra United are Westfield W-League Champions for the first time after a 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar.

An action-packed and high quality match proved a fitting finale to the season with Canberra completing an unbeaten season in front of a capacity crowd at their Belconnen home ground. Michelle Heyman crowned a remarkable season with a double to take her season tally to 15 goals.

The prolific striker opened the scoring with Ashleigh Sykes soon doubling the lead Heyman as Canberra threatened to run riot against the defending champions. However, Roar super sub Emily Gielnik scored within seconds of entering the field on 21 minutes with the match settling into a high tempo.

Heyman restored the two-goal advantage just past the hour mark, only for Tameka Butt to then score from the penalty spot with the Matildas attacker having now scored in all four Westfield W-League grand finals. Canberra’s win meant they went through all 12 matches without defeat while Jitka Klimkova became the first female to coach a team to the Westfield W-League crown.

Westfield W-League 2011/12 Grand Final Review

Canberra United 3 (Michelle Heyman 10’, 55’, Ashleigh Sykes 17’) - Brisbane Roar 2 (Emily Gielnik 21’, Tameka Butt 63’ pen)

Saturday 28 January - McKellar Park, Canberra - Local kick-off: 3pm - Crowd: 2,512 (SOLD OUT)

Referee: Kate Jacewicz / Alison Flynn / Sarah Ho / Casey Riebelt

Canberra United: Lydia WILLIAMS, Caitlin COOPER, Ellie BRUSH, Hayley RASO (Emma Kete 69’), Grace GILL (Caitlin MUNOZ 76’) , Michelle HEYMAN, Nicole SYKES, Ashleigh SYKES, Sally SHIPARD, Taryn HEMMINGS, Jennifer BISSET

Substitutes not used: Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, Snez VELJANOVSKA, Aroon CLANSEY (gk)

Yellow cards: Sally Shipard 37’; Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: Casey DUMONT (gk), Laura ALLEWAY (Olga CEBRIAN-GARCIA 84’), Clare POLKINGHORNE (Ellen Beaumont 71’), Brooke SPENCE, Joanne BURGESS (Emily GIELNIK 21’), Kim CARROLL, Catherine CANNULI, Lana HARCH, Aivi LUIK, Tameka BUTT, Vedrana POPOVIC

Substitutes not used: Hoshimi KISHI, Rebecca PRICE

Yellow cards: Emily Gielnik 50’, Laura Alleway 60’; Red cards: Nil


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