A-League: HAL 8 (2012 - 2013 Season)
Round 14 Review
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'Home Wins Abound As New Year Begins'

The New Year round of Hyundai A-League action was dominated by those playing on home turf, with all five matches played over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day being won by the host clubs.

Central Coast Mariners concluded 2012 on a winning note, edging ten-man Perth Glory 1-0 in front of 14,591 fans at Bluetongue Stadium, who witnessed a tight affair which was decided by substitute Bernie Ibini-Isei’s effort half-way through the second half.

Adam Kwasnik had the ball in the net twenty minutes prior for the home team, but the offside flag put paid to his celebrations, while Perth, who failed to get a shot on target in the entire match, were reduced to ten men fourteen minutes from time when Bas Van den Brink was sent off for committing his second bookable offence.

Second-placed Adelaide United returned to winning ways in front of 10,934 fans at Hindmarsh Stadium, where Sydney FC were condemned to a 3-0 defeat, which could have been doubled had the woodwork not come to the visitors’ rescue three times in the second half.

Dario Vidosic, twice, and Bruce Djite were denied goals by a combination of post and crossbar, but the former’s first half interventions had already effectively determined the destiny of the points, Vidosic following up his eighteenth minute opener with a penalty eleven minutes later.

Iain Ramsay added a third goal just after the hour mark for Adelaide on a night Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetkovic was kept busy by a rampant home team which was eager to end its two-match losing streak in style.

Sydney’s defeat saw them return to the bottom of the standings, a result of Melbourne Heart holding onto a 2-1 victory over Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park, where 5,641 fans - including West Indies’ cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards - saw all three goals scored in the opening half-hour.

Golgol Mebrahtu maintained his recent scoring streak when firing the home side in front after six minutes, but Newcastle levelled the scores from the penalty spot twelve minutes later through Ryan Griffiths.

In a temperamental encounter, parity lasted just nine minutes, with another penalty - this time taken by Melbourne’s Josip Tadic - responsible for bringing about the final scoreline, and a frank exchange of views between Newcastle coach Gary Van Egmond and the match officials as the teams departed the pitch at half-time.

Two splendidly conceived and executed Shinji Ono goals - the first three minutes before half-time, the second eleven minutes from the end - delighted the 13,659 fans who watched Western Sydney Wanderers overcome Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Parramatta Stadium.

The visitors lost Guilherme Finkler to a suspected ACL injury inside the first ten minutes of a contest which was lit up by Ono’s breathtaking skill and execution in the shadows of the half-time whistle.

Melbourne came back well, however, substitute Spase Dilevski levelling the scores eighteen minutes from time, only for Ono to curl home a sumptuous winner seven minutes later.

2-1 was also the outcome at Suncorp Stadium, where Brisbane Roar held off the challenge of Wellington Phoenix in front of 11,359 fans, who saw both teams have a man sent off and the visitors conclude the contest with just nine men on the park, Leo Bertos succumbing to concussion after Wellington had used all their substitutes.

A rip-roaring contest was ignited by a belter from Besart Berisha on the quarter-hour, but Wellington struck back in style eight minutes before half-time, Jeremy Brockie blasting home a thirty-yarder into the top far corner to take over at the top of the Golden Boot charts.

In a match which saw some outstanding saves, particularly by Mark Paston, Ben Halloran restored Brisbane’s lead on the hour, just before Tyler Boyd was sent off for committing his second bookable offence.

He was followed down the tunnel five minutes from time by Brisbane’s James Donachie for exactly the same reason, but the reigning champions kept their game-chasing rivals at bay to move into the top six for the first time this season.

Normal service resumes this weekend with fifteenth round action spread across Saturday and Sunday. Newcastle and Adelaide kick things off at Hunter Stadium, before Melbourne Victory and Wellington do battle at AAMI Park in the second of three Saturday night encounters.

Perth and Sydney wrap things up at NIB Stadium before Sunday’s action sees Melbourne Heart and Brisbane clashing at AAMI Park, prior to another New South Wales derby, with Parramatta Stadium hosting Western Sydney and Central Coast.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 14:

Adelaide United FC 3 (D. Vidosic (18, 29 pen), I. Ramsay (61)) - Sydney FC 0; HT 2-0
Brisbane Roar FC 2 (B. Berisha (14), B. Halloran (59)) - Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (J. Brockie (37); HT 1-1
Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (B. Ibini-Isei (68)) - Perth Glory FC 0; HT 0-0
Melbourne Heart FC 2 (G. Mebrahtu (6), J. Tadic (27 pen)) - Newcastle Jets FC 1 (R. Griffiths (18 pen)); HT 2-1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (S. Ono (42, 79)) - Melbourne Victory FC 1 (S. Dilevski (72)); HT 1-0

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

Details: Youth-League, Round 11:

To be held next weekend

Details: Womens League, Round 11:

To be held next weekend


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