A-League: HAL 8 (2012 - 2013 Season)
Round 11 Review
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'No Changes In Top Four Of A-League'

There were no changes in the top four placings in the Hyundai A-League on the penultimate weekend before Christmas, with the formbook largely adhered to on a weekend when the top two teams extended their advantage over the remaining contenders.

League leaders Central Coast Mariners maintained their position atop the table when winning the opening game of the round on Friday evening, a couple of Clint Bolton mistakes seeing the home team prevail 2-0 over Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium.

There was only one team in it in the first half, with the visitors a distinct second-best as the 6,921-strong crowd roared on the table-toppers. They were rewarded for their cheers four minutes into the second half when Pedj Bojic let fly from thirty yards with a shot which Bolton allowed to squirm through his hands and into the net behind him.

Twenty minutes later, the ‘keeper was deceived by a Bojic free-kick which curled round the wall and into the net to kill off the game as a contest, much to the disappointment of the beaten team, who were very much second-best throughout this contest.

Second-placed Adelaide United remained line astern, a point off the top, after overcoming Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Hindmarsh Stadium, where 8,657 fans saw Marcel Carrusca strike twice in five minutes half-way through the first half.

Immediately afterwards, Wellington had a perfectly good Stein Huysegems goal ruled out by an offside flag raised in error, and the visitors were made to pay for that blunder in first half stoppage time, when Fabio Ferreira fired home Adelaide’s third goal of the game.

The home team largely kept the visitors at arm’s length throughout the second spell, but a Dani Sanchez goal ten minutes from time offered Wellington hope. They should have reduced the deficit further still in stoppage time, but Tyler Boyd’s penalty was brilliantly saved by Eugene Galekovic, whose swift recovery enabled him to block the rebound to safety also.

Melbourne Victory and title-holders Brisbane Roar produced the most entertaining match in the round when drawing 1-1 in front of 17,128 fans at AAMI Park.

The home team dominated the early stages, but found themselves trailing to a well-taken Ben Halloran strike in the 24th minute, the Brisbane man pouncing on Diogo Ferreira’s defensive error.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the exchanges after taking the lead, but were pegged back four minutes into the second half by Mark Milligan’s equaliser, after which Melbourne went all out for victory.

But they came up against a one-man army in Michael Theo, who thwarted his former club with a string of fine saves to earn his side a welcome point, although it came at a price, with Besart Berisha and Mitch Nichols both suffering injuries which brought a premature end to their involvement in the match.

Western Sydney Wanderers maintained their slot in the top four after prevailing 2-0 over cross-town rivals Sydney FC in a derby watched by 26,176 fans at Allianz Stadium, where defensive lapses by the bottom-placed team were capitalised on in each half by Youssouf Hersi and Michael Beauchamp.

Perth Glory moved into fifth spot by handing Newcastle Jets a 3-0 drubbing at NIB Stadium, the result capping off a bad week for the visitors, whose parent company endured a visit from the taxman during the week, with inevitable doubts about Newcastle’s long-term future resurfacing as a result.

Travis Dodd was the star turn for the home team, pouncing on a defensive error to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time, before heading home from close range to double their lead four minutes into the second half.

James Virgili should have opened the scoring for Newcastle in the fifth minute when through with just Danny Vukovic to beat, after which Perth dominated proceedings, and would have taken the lead far sooner but for the exploits of Matthew Nash at the other end of the park.

Shane Smeltz wrapped up the scoring from the penalty spot fifteen minutes from time for the home team, who surged up the table thanks to this welcome win, achieved in front of 6,967 fans.

Next weekend’s action is condensed into two days, as it’s the final round before Christmas. Western Sydney welcome Adelaide to Parramatta Stadium on Friday evening, a match followed by the clash of Brisbane and Perth at Suncorp Stadium.

Saturday’s fare kicks off at Westpac Stadium, with Wellington hosting league leaders Central Coast in the first of three matches taking place that night. Next up is the New South Wales derby between Newcastle and Sydney at Hunter Stadium, while the round concludes at AAMI Park with the Melbourne derby.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 11:

Adelaide United FC 3 (M. Carrusca (19, 24), F. Ferreira (45)) - Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (D. Sanchez (81)); HT 3-0
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (P. Bojic (49, 69)) - Melbourne Heart FC 0; HT 0-0
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (M. Milligan (49)) - Brisbane Roar FC 1 (B. Halloran (24)); HT 0-1
Sydney FC 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Y. Hersi (24), M. Beauchamp (77)); HT 0-1
Perth Glory FC 3 (T. Dodd (45, 49), S. Smeltz (75 pen)) - Newcastle Jets FC 0; HT 1-0

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

Details: Youth-League, Round 9:

Sydney FC 2 (Uroveski 51, Naumoff 74) - AIS 2 (Norris 45, Galloway 62)
Melbourne Heart FC 3 (Mauk 42, Groenewald 60, 78) - Central Coast Mariners FC 0
Perth Glory FC 5 (Nagai 4, Makarounas 43, Makeche 45, O'Neill 46, Kalau 74) - Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Barac 78)
Adelaide United FC 3 (Mabil 27, 30, 40) - Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Jesic pen 10, Bradbery 15)
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Julius Davies 90'+1) - Brisbane Roar FC 6 (James Meyer 50, Kwame Yeboah 53pen, 57, Kenneth Dougall 71pen, Proia 86, Theodore 90)

Details: Womens League, Round 9:

Canberra United FC 1 (Jennifer Bisset 50’) - Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Amy Jackson 31’, Jessica Fishlock 94’)
Sydney FC 5 (Simon 41, Kete 43, Billson 62, Foord 81, Kerr 90) - Perth Glory 7 (De Vanna 13, 72, 87, Luik 56, D'Ovidio 60, 61, Gill 87)
Adelaide United FC 2 (Kristy Moore 67’, Ruth Wallace 70’) - Newcastle Jets FC 0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Louise Fors 68’) - Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Tameka Butt 21’, Emily Gielnik 27’)


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