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

'Top Two Opening Up Gap On Rest In A-League'

Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners are opening up a bit of a break on the chasing pack in the Hyundai A-League after both scored contrasting 2-1 victories in eighth round action on the last weekend in November.

League leaders Adelaide scored their sixth win in eight games when bagging a 2-1 win at Sydney FC thanks to Dario Vidosic’s winner two minutes from the end of a match in which the visitors had a Marcelo Carrussca goal wrongly disallowed for offside before Fabio Ferreira opened the scoring at Allianz Stadium.

The 13,317 fans present urged the Alessandro Del Piero-inspired cellar-dwellers on in their pursuit of parity, and finally gained reward just before the hour mark when Yairo Yau levelled the scores.

The game seemed destined to end in a draw until Nigel Boogaard battered a shot against Sydney’s crossbar two minutes from time. Vidosic was on hand to tuck home the rebound and maintain Adelaide’s advantage atop the table.

The 7,125 fans who made it along to AAMI Park in Saturday evening’s early encounter saw an absolute treat of a match unfold, with Melbourne Heart storming to a two-goal lead inside the first six minutes, only for Newcastle Jets to eventually hold them to a 3-3 draw.

Richard Garcia fired the home team in front just 33 seconds into the match after swooping on an awful back-pass from Scott Neville, and things got even better for the natives soon after when Josip Tadic potted a penalty to leave Newcastle with a mountain to climb.

But scale it they did, although they needed a brilliant Matthew Nash save to prevent Simon Colosimo from extending Melbourne’s advantage just before the break. But half-time substitute Craig Goodwin soon had Newcastle back in the contest, and when Ruben Zadkovich levelled matters just after the hour, it was all on for young and old.

Garcia restored the home team’s lead when netting eighteen minutes from time, but they couldn’t hold out their fast-finishing rivals, for whom Ryan Griffiths rattled home a penalty just minutes before the final whistle ended a pulsating encounter.

Later that evening, 9,614 fans saw ten-man Melbourne Victory make light of their numerical inferiority as they overcame Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at Parramatta Stadium.

Sam Gallacher was controversially dismissed just sixteen minutes into the match, but the home team failed to exploit their advantage, Shinji Ono hitting the crossbar after Mark Bridges had seen Nathan Coe somehow keep out his close-range header.

Melbourne took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Michael Beauchamp had the misfortune to put through his own net, and doubled their advantage against the run of play on the hour when Archie Thompson made the most of a Marco Rojas pass to make the game safe for the visitors, who staved off a strong challenge from Western Sydney in the minutes which remained in a futile effort to get back on level terms.

Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix wrapped up a busy Saturday night’s action by battling out a defence-dominated 1-1 draw at NIB Stadium, where 7,982 fans saw Josh Risdon rattle the post from twenty-five yards eight minutes into the second spell.

The fullback, who was the game’s most impressive performer, sparked the move which brought about Perth’s goal nine minutes later, Shane Smeltz the ultimate beneficiary as he fired home his first goal of the campaign against his old club.

Wellington didn’t lie down, however, with Jeremy Brockie levelling the scores seventeen minutes from time to earn a point for the Kiwi side, who return home from this two-match tour of Australia with four points to show for their efforts.

The final match of the round pitted Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar together, and it was the home team who emerged triumphant at Bluetongue Stadium, 2-1 the score in Sunday’s lone fixture.

Bernie Ibini gave the Mariners the ideal start when netting in the fourth minute, while Tomas Rogic hit the post fifteen minutes later as the 9,084 fans on hand in the warm conditions urged their charges on.

Brisbane had other ideas, however, and Massimo Murdocca emphasised the fact when levelling the scores following a short corner just after the half-hour. Besart Berisha then sent the temperatures soaring with another less memorable addition to his A-League annals - if only he were as adept at channelling his aggression as he is at scoring goals …

He didn’t net in this match, though, with the honour of netting the winner going the way of Rogic nine minutes from time, his volleyed finish due reward for Michael McGlinchey’s industry following an Oliver Bozanic free-kick.

Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory get the ninth round of action under way on Friday when they clash at AAMI Park, while Saturday’s fare sees Brisbane and Newcastle drawing swords at Suncorp Stadium after the top two teams have done battle.

Central Coast entertain Adelaide at Bluetongue Stadium in the game of the round, which concludes on Sunday with Wellington and Western Sydney locking horns at Westpac Stadium, followed by a battle between the last two teams on the league table - Allianz Stadium hosts the match between Sydney and Melbourne Heart.

Details: Hyundai A-League, Round 8:

Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (B. Ibini (4), T. Rogic (81)) - Brisbane Roar FC 1 (M. Murdocca (32)); HT 1-1
Melbourne Heart FC 3 (R. Garcia (1, 72), J. Tadic (6 pen)) - Newcastle Jets FC 3 (C. Goodwin (56), R. Zadkovich (63), R. Griffiths (87 pen)); HT 2-0
FC Perth Glory FC 1 (S. Smeltz (62)) - Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (J. Brockie (73)); HT 0-0
Sydney FC 1 (Y. Yau (57)) - Adelaide United FC 2 (F. Ferreira (21), D. Vidosic (88)); HT 0-1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0 - Melbourne Victory FC 2 (“oggie” Beauchamp (44), A. Thompson (60)); HT 0-1

By Jeremy Raune, from NZ

Details: Youth-League, Round 6:

Perth Glory FC 0 - Melbourne Victory FC 3 (Buceto 42, 50, Luc Jeggo 66)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Appiah-Kubi 78, Barac 90+1) - AIS 1 (Barresi 26)
Melbourne Heart FC 3 (Retre 6, Batsis 22, Z.Walker 80) - Newcastle Jets FC 0
Central Coast Mariners FC 0 - Brisbane Roar FC 1 (James Meyer 82')

Details: Womens League, Round 6:

Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Amy Chapman 19’, 89’, Ashley Spina 95’) - Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Laura Spiranovic 72’, Jessica McDonald 92’)
Adelaide United FC 0 - Sydney FC 4 (Renee Rollason 4’, Emma Kete 11’, Chloe Logarzo 58’, 77’)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (Sarah Walsh 23’, 53’ Candace Sciberras 93’) - Newcastle Jets 0
Canberra United FC v Perth Glory FC - Postponed until Wednesday 5 December 2012 due to Canberra’s participation in the International Women’s Club Championship


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