A-League: HAL 8 (2012 - 2013 Season)
Round 7 Review
Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

'Adelaide On Top As Those Around Them Stumble'

Adelaide United enjoy outright leadership of the Hyundai A-League once again following the conclusion of seventh round action on November 18, during which they were the only one of the top five teams to collect three points.

Jeronimo Neumann’s deflected strike just shy of the hour mark proved to be the only goal of the game at Hindmarsh Stadium, as Adelaide prevailed 1-0 over Melbourne Heart in a closely contested affair, watched by 8,816 fans.

The win was enough to return Adelaide to the top of the table as sole table-toppers, a result of previous co-leaders Central Coast Mariners drawing 2-2 at Melbourne Victory in a match which saw both teams reduced to ten men before the final whistle.

Daniel McBreen fired the visitors in front in sublime fashion just four minutes into a fascinating contest watched by 19,462 fans, the vast majority of whom were thrilled when Andrew Nabbout headed Melbourne level six minutes later.

McBreen restored Central Coast’s lead twelve minutes later with his seventh goal of the campaign, but five minutes before half-time Mark Milligan restored parity with another headed goal.

The second half was just five minutes old when Patrick Zwaanswijk committed his second bookable offence to reduce the visitors to ten men, but after Marco Rojas had seen his goal-bound shot cleared off the line by Trent Sainsbury, Marcos Flores restored parity in the playing numbers when he, too, fell foul of referee Strebre Delovski for the second time in the match moments before the final whistle.

Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC kicked off the round with a must-win encounter for both teams at Suncorp Stadium. And the 22,970 fans present saw the reigning champs bounce back to winning ways in a cracking encounter which saw all six goals scored in 27 minutes.

The title-holders prevailed 4-2, with Thomas Broich’s long-range free-kick entering the net untouched on the half-hour, much to the despair of Sydney ‘keeper Ivan Necevski, who had reason to pick the ball out of his net again three minutes later, Erik Paartalu scoring at the second attempt.

The man many of those present had come to see didn’t disappoint, Alessandro Del Piero unleashing a cracking strike past Michael Theo three minutes before half-time to drag manager-less Sydney back into the contest.

But on the stroke of half-time, Ben Halloran restored Brisbane’s two-goal advantage to leave the visitors with the proverbial mountain to climb in the second spell. Cue Del Piero, four minutes into the second half, with a stunning solo run supplemented by a slick one-two and a delicious feint which allowed him to all but walk the ball into the net. 3-2 - game on again!

Eight minutes later, the door was slammed firmly shut on Sydney’s points-winning prospects when Besart Berisha scored a superb goal to clinch victory for Brisbane, last season’s Golden Boot brilliantly dribbling through a succession of challenges before battering home a belter to wrap up the scoring with over thirty minutes still to play.

That result lifted Brisbane off the bottom of the table, a standing towards which Sydney are fast plummeting, this being their third successive defeat, during which they’ve conceded fourteen goals. And with six players being booked in this latest outing … all in all, not a pretty picture for the league’s highest profile entry.

Sunday’s fare saw Sydney slump to the bottom of the standings, a result of overnight cellar dwellers Wellington Phoenix walloping an under-strength Newcastle Jets combination 3-0 in front of 13,116 bemused fans at Hunter Stadium.

The first half was heading towards concluding in stalemate until Jeremy Brockie broke the deadlock with a minute to go before the half-time whistle. That goal gave the visitors the impetus they needed to take charge of the contest, which was marred when an accidental collision between Brockie and Newcastle’s Mark Birighitti twenty minutes from time left the goalkeeper nursing a fractured cheekbone.

Matthew Nash took over twixt the sticks, and had to fish the ball out of his net twice in five minutes inside the last ten, as Brockie’s bullet was followed up by Paul Ifill from the penalty spot, Benjamin Totori, who squandered a few chances of his own for Wellington, having been brought down inside the area.

Meanwhile, Western Sydney Wanderers upset Perth Glory 1-0 at NIB Stadium, despite fielding just ten men for over half the match. Iacopo La Rocca headed the visitors in front on the quarter hour, but they found themselves numerically challenged seven minutes before half-time when Youssouf Hersi was sent off for retaliating to Scott Jamieson’s challenge, for which the Perth man was booked.

There was only one team in the contest after that, but try as they might, Perth couldn’t satisfy the wishes of the local faithful, Steven McGarry going closest when twice hitting the woodwork in the second spell.

Next weekend’s action kicks off with a Friday night encounter between Sydney and Adelaide at Allianz Stadium. Saturday sees three games taking place, with Melbourne Heart and Newcastle getting the action under way at AAMI Park.

Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory draw swords at Parramatta Stadium immediately after, while Perth welcome Wellington to NIB Stadium for the penultimate game of the round, which concludes on Sunday with the clash of Central Coast and Brisbane at Bluetongue Stadium.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 7:

Adelaide United FC 1 (J. Neumann (58)) - Melbourne Heart FC 0; HT 0-0
Brisbane Roar FC 4 (T. Broich (30), E. Paartalu (33), B. Halloran (45), B. Berisha (57)) - Sydney FC 2 (A. Del Piero (42, 49)); HT 3-1
Melbourne Victory FC 2 (A. Nabbout (10), M. Milligan (40)) - Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (D. McBreen (4, 22)); HT 2-2
Newcastle Jets FC 0 - Wellington Phoenix FC 3 (J. Brockie (44, 82), P. Ifill (87 pen)); HT 0-1
Perth Glory FC 0 - Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (I. La Rocca (15)); HT 0-1

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

Details: Youth-League, Round 5:

Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Cristaldo 9, Pain 81) - Sydney FC 3 (Urosevski 11, Petratos 45, Dotti 52)
Adelaide United FC 1 (Mabil 74) - Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Cartanos 67)
Perth Glory FC 0 - Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Patrick Dixon 48)
Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Meyer 16, Yeboah 22) - Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Appiah-Kubi 44, Haliti 45)

Details: Womens League, Round 5:

Perth Glory FC 3 (Rosie Sutton 18’, 76’, 85’) - Sydney FC 1 (Chloe Logarzo 19’)
Melbourne Victory FC 3 (Jessica Fishlock 28’, Jessica McDonald 44’, Barilla 70’) - Canberra United FC 0
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Amy Chapman 49’) - Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Catherine Cannuli 7’, 56’)
Newcastle Jets FC 4 (Tara Andrews 8’, Angela Salem 38’ pen, Kate Hensman 51’, Tori Huster 64) - Adelaide United FC 0


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