A-League: HAL 8 (2012 - 2013 Season)
Round 6 Review
12/11/2012
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'Lively Sixth Round Of A-League Action Ensues'

Come-from-behind victories and terrific performances were the stand-out features of sixth round action in the Hyundai A-League on the weekend, with reigning champions Brisbane Roar playing anything like champions as they slumped to a 4-1 loss at Melbourne Heart.

The battle of the cellar-dwellers turned into a rout for the home side, the 5,466 fans who braved the inclement weather at AAMI Park being treated to three goals in eleven second half minutes as Melbourne turned Patrick Gerhardt’s twentieth minute opener into something decidedly more emphatic.

Brisbane were denied a goal just before half-time by yet more poor officiating, Mitch Nichols’ pullback for Henrique deemed wrongly to have crossed the by-line by the referee’s assistant.

Their hopes of getting back on level terms were dashed just after the hour mark when Richard Garcia doubled Melbourne’s advantage, before Josep Tadic - from the penalty spot - and David Williams clinched victory for the home team, the latter dashing clear before picking his spot past bewildered goalkeeper Michael Theo.

Henrique pulled a goal back for Brisbane eight minutes from time, but it was of scant consolation for the title-holders, who have got a fair bit of work to do if they wish to avoid the “from champs to chumps” headlines which are bound to materialise if this sort of display is repeated.

Newcastle Jets scored a come-from-behind 2-1 win at Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday evening, with all the goals at Parramatta Stadium coming in the first half. Joey Gibbs delighted the locals among the 9,011-strong crowd when opening the scoring on the quarter-hour, but Ryan Griffiths headed home the equaliser just shy of the half-hour.

Emile Heskey pounced to score what proved to be the winner via an upright eight minutes before half-time, with the visitors surviving a second half onslaught from the league’s youngest team as they sought to get back on level terms against opponents who finished the game with ten men, substitute Jacob Pepper being sent off in the dying minutes for Newcastle.

The Novocastrians weren’t the only team to turn things around on Saturday night, as Melbourne Victory scored three goals in the last twelve minutes to score a 3-2 win at Sydney FC, who were two goals up and cruising in front of 21,531 fans at Allianz Stadium.

Yairo Yau afforded the home team the ideal start when netting after fourteen minutes, after which there was, amongst other things, a clash of heads between Sebastian Ryall and Adrian Leijer - thankfully, both returned to the fray, albeit bandaged - while Ivan Necevski pulled off a stunning save just before half-time to deny Mark Milligan and keep the home team in front.

Sydney doubled their lead three minutes into the second half when Pascal Bosschart turned home Alessandro Del Piero’s corner, and there appeared to be no way back for the visitors. But the withdrawal of the Italian star half-way through the second spell proved to be a tactical misjudgement by Sydney coach Ian Crook, and Melbourne swiftly took full advantage.

After a couple of close calls for Sydney, Melbourne substitute Andrew Nabbout got them back in the contest eleven minutes from time, a goal which prompted the visitors to lay siege to Sydney’s goal.

When Archie Thompson headed home their equaliser with four minutes remaining, the home team were on the ropes, and Melbourne wasted little time in going for all three points, Nabbout netting the stoppage time winner which silenced “The Cove” and left Melbourne celebrating a victory which, until Del Piero’s departure, never looked likely.

It also left Sydney in search of yet another coach. Ian Crook tendered his resignation on Sunday, citing health issues arising from the pressure of the job as his prime concern. Steve Corica takes over the reins in the interim, but the search now commences for a seventh “Sky Blues” gaffer. (Tip - Rafael Benitez is available).

The least entertaining match of the round was played in front of just 6,528 fans at Westpac Stadium, where Central Coast Mariners’ Daniel McBreen scored the only goal of the game half-way through the second half to hand Wellington Phoenix their third successive defeat, on this occasion a rare one at home.

As for the closest game of the round, 9,212 fans witnessed a 1-1 draw between Adelaide United and Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium, a result which leaves the home team trailing the Mariners on goal difference at the top of the table.

In a game of few opportunities, those that were taken materialised in a six-minute spell either side of the half-time interval. Billy Mehmet fired Perth in front two minutes before the break, but Dario Vidosic needed just four second half minutes to restore parity for United.

In round seven action, Brisbane and Sydney kick things off at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, while both Melbourne teams are in action twenty-four hours later. Heart head to Hindmarsh Stadium to take on Adelaide, while Victory entertain Central Coast Mariners at Etihad Stadium.

Sunday’s fare sees Newcastle and Wellington drawing swords at Hunter Stadium, while Perth and Western Sydney round off the action when clashing at NIB Stadium.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 6:

Adelaide United FC 1 (D. Vidosic (49)) - Perth Glory FC 1 (B. Mehmet (43)); HT 0-1
Melbourne Heart FC 4 (P. Gerhardt (20), R. Garcia (63), J. Tadic (71 pen), D. Williams (74)) - Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Henrique (82)); HT 1-0 Sydney FC 2 (Y. Yau (14), P. Bosschart (48)) - Melbourne Victory FC 3 (A. Nabbout (79, 90), A. Thompson (86)); HT 1-0 Wellington Phoenix FC 0 - Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (D. McBreen (68)); HT 0-0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (J. Gibbs (15)) - Newcastle Jets FC 2 (R. Griffiths (28), E. Heskey (37)); HT 1-2

Details: Youth-League, Round 4:

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Barac 37', Appiah-Kubi 90') - Melbourne Victory 1 (Markelis 47')
Brisbane Roar FC 4 (Liftin, Dong-Hyun, Proia, Dougall (pen) - AIS 2 (Gersbach, Gallaway- pen)
Adelaide United FC 1 (Mabil 74') - Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Bragg 33', Peterson 48')
Sydney FC 1 (Calver 80') - Newcastle Jets FC 3 (Bridges 3', 47', Ribero 75')
Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Joshua Groenewald 33) - Perth Glory FC 4 (Ndumba Makeche 17', 90', Harry Obrien 74, Adrian Zahra 90')

Details: Womens League, Round 4:

Newcastle Jets FC 1 (Tori Huster 72') - Perth Glory FC 6 (Lisa De Vanna 5', Collette McCallum 21', Kate Gill 58', 62', 90'+3, Marianne Tabain 68')
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Teigen Allen 23') - Canberra United FC 1 (Caitlin Munoz 73')
Adelaide United FC 0 - Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Amy Chapman 9', Elise Kellond-Knight 63')
Sydney FC 1 (Kennedy 41') - Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Stephanie Catley 8', Laura Spiranovic 81')

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

 

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