A-League: HAL 8 (2012 - 2013 Season)
Round 5 Review
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'Sydney Slaughter Highlights Goal-Laden Round'

Big-spending Sydney FC found themselves on the wrong end of a right royal thumping in the feature fifth round match of the Hyundai A-League, interstate rivals Central Coast Mariners coming from behind to crush them 7-2 at Bluetongue Stadium on the first weekend in November.

It was an incredible victory for the home team, who found themselves trailing to an eighth minute goal from Panamanian international Yairo Yau as Sydney initially made light of the injury-enforced absence of star man Alessandro Del Piero.

But after Tomas Rogic levelled the scores eight minutes later, the 15,686 fans present were treated to a devastating display of finishing by Central Coast, who took the lead just shy of the half-hour when Sebastian Ryall put through his own net as he sought to keep out a Daniel McBreen effort.

The striker wasn’t to be denied, however, getting himself on the scoresheet six minutes before half-time from the penalty spot to leave Sydney well behind the eight ball heading into the second spell.

The visitors had to score first, and did through Ali Abbas nine minutes after resuming. But that served as a red rag to a bull for the Michael McGlinchey-inspired Mariners, the All Whites’ midfielder’s magnificent solo thrust restoring his team’s two-goal cushion while Sydney were still celebrating Abbas’ strike.

It was the first of four Central Coast goals in the next twelve minutes. Rogic netted his second goal of the game before McBreen struck twice in two minutes half-way through the second spell to complete his hat-trick and the scoring in this record-equalling A-League encounter, with the tally of goals netted in a single fixture - nine - far exceeding the expectations of those present, not to mention those watching on.

Meanwhile, having discovered a liking for victory, Western Sydney Wanderers’ desire to continue on their winning ways saw them overcome Melbourne Heart 2-1 in front of 8,075 fans at Parramatta Stadium, a result which condemned the beaten team to the last rung on the league ladder.

Mark Bridge’s accomplished finish put the home team in front just shy of the half-hour mark, and they doubled their lead early in the second half when Melbourne’s Patrick Gerhardt had the misfortune to put through his own net.

The visitors were back in the contest before the hour, however, Josep Tadic’s sweetly struck volley cannoning into the net off the far post to give Melbourne a sniff of at least a point, and they nearly had it moments later when Richard Garcia’s close-range effort cannoned to safety off an upright.

It was as close as they got to restoring parity, however, meaning John Aloisi’s team has now lost their last three encounters, a run of form they will be eager to snap sooner rather than later.

Melbourne are in good company at the wrong end of the table, however. Reigning champions Brisbane Roar are sharing the cellar with the Victorian team after league leaders Adelaide United eclipsed them 1-0 at Suncorp Stadium before 12,856 bemused fans.

Dario Vidosic’s third minute free-kick was ultimately the difference between the teams on the scoreboard, although his Adelaide team-mate, goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, was primarily responsible for keeping Brisbane scoreless for the third time already this season.

He produced a string of saves to keep the title-holders at bay in a match which saw the visitors denied a second goal just after half-time, Sergio Van Dijk’s effort being ruled out by a nearby team-mate’s infringement.

That point lifted Adelaide two points clear of Central Coast at the top of the table, with Perth Glory joining Newcastle Jets in third after scoring a 3-2 win over a team which shared the lead with the South Australian side going into the round.

Tiago Calvano got the co-leaders off to a flying start when turning home Josh Mitchell’s fifth minute header, but Perth were back on level terms in the tenth minute courtesy a sumptuous twenty yard grasscutter from Stephen McGarry.

A chance-laden encounter at NIB Stadium saw the home team take the lead through Nick Ward seven minutes before half-time, but the 9,293 fans on hand, who saw the offside flag rule out a Scott Jamieson goal which would have extended Perth’s lead just on half-time, were silenced twenty minutes from time when Mitchell levelled the scores once more at the expense of his former club.

Perth weren’t to be denied, however, and drew level with Newcastle on the table thanks to Chris Howard’s close-range winner six minutes from time, a strike which leaves both teams a point behind Central Coast and a further two points adrift of Adelaide as the race for the play-off spots starts to take shape.

3-2 was also the outcome at Etihad Stadium on Guy Fawkes Night, as Melbourne Victory got their act together in a big way at the expense of Wellington Phoenix, who were flattered by the scoreline, as the 20,683 fans present can well testify.

It was only thanks to two Jeremy Brockie goals - the first a stunning first-time shot on the run and the second a free-kick - that the visitors got as close as they did to their conquerors on the scoreboard, because they were a distinct second best to Melbourne throughout the evening.

The home team’s stars tore into their opponents with a vengeance from the first whistle, and it came as a surprise that it took Melbourne 23 minutes to make the breakthrough, with Marco Rojas taking great delight in scoring against his old club on the occasion of his 21st birthday.

The visitors continued to find themselves under the cosh throughout the first spell, and Melbourne’s pressure was duly rewarded seven minutes before half-time thanks to a breathtaking goal from Marcos Flores, who worked a double one-two with Guilherme Finkler before bending his shot around Mark Paston with the outside of his right foot - a technically magnificent strike.

Rojas put Melbourne three goals to the good early in the second half after being set up by Archie Thompson, who squandered a glorious chance to add a fourth goal soon after, after which the home team visibly eased off the throttle and allowed Wellington back into a contest in which they were a distinct second best throughout proceedings until the final twenty minutes.

The two teams propping up the table draw swords in the opening sixth round encounter on Friday evening, with Melbourne Heart hosting Brisbane at AAMI Park.

Twenty-four hours later, A-League football is the only game in town in Sydney, with Parramatta Stadium playing host to the clash of Western Sydney and Newcastle before Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory resume their rivalry at Allianz Stadium.

Wellington welcome Central Coast to Westpac Stadium on Sunday afternoon, while the final game of the round sees Adelaide and Perth locking horns at Hindmarsh Stadium immediately after that match.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 5:

Brisbane Roar 0, Adelaide United 1 (D. Vidosic (3)) HT 0-1
Central Coast Mariners FC 7 (T. Rogic (16, 62), “oggie” (29), D. McBreen (39 pen, 65, 67), M. McGlinchey (55)) - Sydney FC 2 (Y. Yau (8), A. Abbas (54)); HT 3-1
Melbourne Victory FC 3 (M. Rojas (23, 48), M. Flores (38)) - Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (J. Brockie (81, 90)); HT 2-0
Perth Glory FC 3 (S. McGarry (10), N. Ward (37), C. Howard (84)) - Newcastle Jets FC 2 (T. Calvano (5), J. Mitchell (70)); HT 2-1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (M. Bridge (28), “oggie” (51)) - Melbourne Heart FC 1 (J. Tadic (57)) HT 1-0

Details: Youth-League, Round 3:

Central Coast Mariner FC 4 (Oliver Bozanic 3, Adam Kwasnik 25, 56, Aaron Calver 45og) - Sydney FC 2 (Peter Trinatis 26, 72p)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Elrich 68, McGing 76) - Adelaide United FC 2 (Kostopoulos 19, 36)
Melbourne Heart FC 2 (Walker 1, Cartanos 93) - Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Do 22)
AIS 1 (Appiah 45'+2) - Victory FC 7 (Davies 16, 19, Markelis 36, Cernak 50, O'Dea 55, Jeggo 71, Nabbout 72)

Details: Womens League, Round 3:

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Trudy Camilleri 43’, 61’) - Perth Glory FC 0
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Rebekah Stott 45’) - Newcastle Jets FC 0
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Lana Harch 44’) - Sydney FC 3 (Sam Kerr 47’, Emma Kete 58’, Ellyse Perry 62’)
Canberra United FC 3 (Caitlin Cooper 72’, Ellie Brush 78’, Sam Wood 84’) - Adelaide United FC 1 (Racheal Quigley 38’)

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ


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