R3 Review: Top three beaten as A-League condenses

A-League Season 2013/2014 – Round 3 Review

by Jeremy Ruane

with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

That the Hyundai A-League is set to be a tight contest in the 2013-14 season was underlined on the final weekend in October by defeats for the top three teams in the competition.

 Table-toppers Brisbane Roar suffered their first defeat of the season when a James Troisi tight-angled goal eleven minutes into the second half of a closely contested affair at Etihad Stadium earned Melbourne Victory a 1-0 triumph in front of 21,693 spectators.

Many of them were on hand to wish Melbourne coach Ange Postecoglou all the best in his new job, so it was fitting that he should depart on a winning note -Melbourne’s first in eight games – following his appointment as the new Socceroos coach.

 On Saturday evening, second-placed Adelaide United also succumbed to a 1-0 defeat, Central Coast Mariners’ Bluetongue Stadium triumph materialising thanks to Nick Fitzgerald’s counter-attacking strike just two minutes into a chance-laden contest watched by 9,109 fans.

 A fair few more watched the Sydney derby which took place at Allianz Stadium immediately afterwards – a record 40,388, no less. And they say Western Sydney Wanderers claim local bragging rights thanks to a 2-0 win over Sydney FC.

 Iacopo La Rocca and Shinji Ono, with a sumptuous free-kick, settled the contest inside the first 26 minutes, with Youssouf Hersi being denied a goal by the offside flag in between times.

 Nikola Petkovic’s crossbar rattler five minutes before half-time was the closest the home team came to getting back into a contest which tested the patience of referee Strebre Delovski on numerous occasions – he dished out nine yellow cards throughout proceedings.

 Napier’s McLean Park became the latest venue to host A-League football on Sunday as Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets battled out a scoreless draw in front of 9,020 fans.

Wellington’s Carlos Hernandez and Newcastle’s Ruben Zadkovich both hit the crossbar in a match dominated by the respective defences, with the visitors failing to find the net for the third successive match.

The round concluded with Perth Glory’s 1-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at NIB Stadium, where 13,856 fans saw Jamie MacLaren net the only goal of the game six minutes into the second spell.

The visitors were denied a last-gasp equaliser when Danny Vukovic denied David Williams in splendid fashion, as the home team held on to notch the fourth win of a low-scoring round of A-League action.

Western Sydney and Adelaide kick off next weekend’s action at Pirtek Stadium on Friday evening, while Melbourne Victory welcome Wellington to Etihad Stadium in Monday night encounter which closes out the fourth round.

In between times, Perth and Sydney draw swords at NIB Stadium in the first match on Saturday night, the second being the New South Wales derby at Hunter Stadium between Newcastle and Central Coast. And on Sunday, Brisbane host Melbourne Heart at Suncorp Stadium.

Details:

Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Nick Fitzgerald 2′) – Adelaide United FC 0; HT 1-0

Melbourne Victory FC 1 (James Troisi 56′) – Brisbane Roar FC 0; HT 0-0

Sydney FC 0, Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Iacopo La Rocca 12′, Sinji Ono 26′); HT 0-2

Wellington Phoenix FC 0 – Newcastle Jets FC 0

Perth Glory FC 1 (Jamie MacLaren 51′) – Melbourne Heart 0; HT 0-0

Table:

 P W D L F A GD Pts

Brisbane Roar 3 2 0 1 6 2 +4 6

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5

Central Coast Mariners 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5

Melbourne Victory 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5

Adelaide United 3 1 1 1 5 4 +1 4

Perth Glory 3 1 1 1 2 3 -1 4

Sydney FC 3 1 0 2 2 6 -4 3

Melbourne Heart 3 0 2 1 2 2 -1 2

Wellington Phoenix 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2

Newcastle Jets 3 0 2 1 0 2 -2 2

By Jeremy Ruane

Round 1 – National Youth League (Season 6):

Brisbane Roar (3) Walker 53′, Hore 71′, Ingham 74′ – Melbourne Victory (3) Nabbout 2′, 68′, Karvelis 25′; Goodwin Park, Brisbane.
Perth Glory (0) – Melbourne Heart (1) Kaya 33′ ; Intiga Stadium, Perth
Australian Institute of Sport (2) Gersbach 24′, Antoniou 72′ – Newcastle Jets (0); AIS Athletics Track, Canberra
Central Coast Mariners (0) – Adelaide United (0); Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah.
Sydney FC (1) Naumoff 92′ – Western Sydney Wanderers (0); Cromer Park, Sydney