R5 Review: Old Firm Derby lights up A-League season

by Jeremy Ruane

with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

The Hyundai A-League’s “Old Firm”, Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, lit up the competition in fifth round action on November 9 with a pulsating five-goal thriller at the Allianz Stadium.

Ten-man Sydney’s 3-2 triumph was exactly what the doctor ordered for a league which has, to be blunt, been a little on the sterile side so far this season, with fourteen of the twenty-three games played prior to this fixture ending either 1-0 or in stalemate.

The latest of those 1-0 affairs kicked off this fifth round of action, at AAMI Park on Friday evening. Shannon Cole’s goal just shy of the half-hour mark earned unbeaten Western Sydney Wanderers another three points at the expense of bottom-placed Melbourne Heart, who were twice denied by the crossbar in a game in which the visitors also hit the woodwork in front of 8,070 fans.

Fast forward to Saturday evening’s triple header, the first game of which was a largely forgettable affair between Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory in front of 9,671 fans at Christchurch’s AMI Stadium.

Andrew Durante gave the home team a fourth minute lead which was cancelled out just shy of the half-hour mark by Ryo Nagai … and that was that – at least Friday evening’s game saw the woodwork rattled!

The second game on Saturday saw Newcastle Jets notch a 2-1 triumph at ten-man Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium to record their first win of the campaign, watched by 10,244 fans.

The visitors were good value for their victory, and but for a couple of goal-line clearances and the usual cluster of quality saves from United’s Eugene Galekovic could well have been ahead long before Kew Jaliens broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time.

Adam Taggart doubled it seven minutes into the second spell to put Newcastle on easy street, but Adelaide set up a grandstand finish through Fabio Ferreira twenty minutes later.

The wind was taken from the home team’s sails in the dying minutes, however, Nigel Boogaard’s straight red card reducing them to ten men at a crucial stage of a game which Newcastle duly saw out to climb up the table.

So to the last game in the triple-header, and without question, the game of the season thus far. There will be plenty who will be wishing they’d been among the 18,784 who witnessed a stunning first forty-five minutes, which featured all five goals plus a red card.

Richard Garcia afforded Sydney the ideal start when opening the scoring in the third minute, an advantage which the home team doubled twelve minutes later, despite the scorer knowing little about it!

A corner was headed out by Melbourne’s Jason Geria straight into the face of Sebastian Ryall, off whom the ball ricocheted into the net as the stunned defender slumped to the ground.

While he was receiving treatment, the visitors stormed straight downfield from the kick-off and halved the deficit through Archie Thompson. Ten minutes later, James Troisi levelled the scores with his fifth goal of the season, two minutes after Sydney’s Marc Warren had been shown the red card by referee Peter Green, who had his hands full throughout proceedings.

The ten men fought back well, and six minutes before half-time took the lead once more, this time through birthday boy Alessandro Del Piero, whose match-winning spot-kick clinched the points on a day the Italian star blew out 39 candles.

Melbourne huffed and puffed throughout the second spell, and threatened to blow the house of the ten men down on numerous occasions, but the ten men held on to finish an epic encounter on the right side of the scoreline.

On Sunday, a last-gasp thunderbolt from Kwame Yeboah earned Brisbane Roar a 1-0 win at Central Coast Mariners, ending the Bluetongue Stadium outfit’s unbeaten start to the season while maintaining the Queensland combination’s position atop the table after five rounds of action.

A tight encounter only came to life in the last fifteen minutes, with Joshua Rose’s post-rattler thrilling the 8,303 fans present, only for substitute Yeboah’s belter to send the natives into despair sixty seconds later.

Next weekend’s round of action is truncated, with Wellington’s match at Central Coast being postponed due to New Zealand’s FIFA World Cup qualifying commitments.

Melbourne Heart welcome Sydney to AAMI Park on Friday evening, while on Saturday afternoon, Perth entertain Adelaide at NIB Stadium. Later that night, Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory draw swords at Pirtek Stadium, while on Sunday, Newcastle and Brisbane square off at Hunter Stadium.

Jeremy Ruane, 10 November 2013

Match details:
Melbourne Heart FC 0 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (S. Cole (27)); HT 0-1
Adelaide United FC 1 (F. Ferreira (71)) – Newcastle Jets FC 2 (K. Jaliens (40), A. Taggart (52)); HT 0-1
Sydney FC 3 (R. Garcia (3), S. Ryall (15), A. Del Piero (39 pen)) – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (A. Thompson (17), J. Troisi (27)); HT 3-2
Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (A. Durante (4)) – Perth Glory FC 1 (R. Nagai (29)); HT 1-1
Central Coast Mariners FC 0 – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (K. Yeboah (89)); HT 0-0

P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 5 4 0 1 10 2 +8 12
Western Sydney W 5 4 2 0 7 3 +4 11
Melbourne Victory 5 2 2 1 8 7 +1 8
Perth Glory 5 2 2 1 4 4 0 8
Central Coast Mariners 5 1 3 1 6 6 0 6
Newcastle Jets 5 1 3 1 4 5 -1 6
Sydney FC 5 2 0 3 5 9 -4 6
Adelaide United 5 1 1 3 7 8 -1 4
Wellington Phoenix 5 0 3 2 5 7 -2 3
Melbourne Heart 5 0 2 3 2 7 -5 2

Foxtel National Youth League
Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Forbes 53) – Sydney FC 2 (Tomelic 5, Petkovski 56)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Shannon D’Cunha 92m) – Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Shannon Brady 23m, Jai Ingham 34m, 84m)
Adelaide United FC 1 (Cowburn 7m og) – Newcastle Jets FC 0
AIS 5 (Anthony Kalik 11′ (pen), Matthew Schmidt 18′, Ben Warland 29′. Marc Marino 63′, 93′) – Perth Glory FC 2 (Jordan Pudler (og) 69′, Darcy Cosgrove 76′)

Westfield Womens League
Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Hannah Beard 5’, Tara Andrews 37’) – Perth Glory FC 5 (Kate Gill 1’, Collette McCallum 10, Christina Julien 65’, Rosie Sutton 80’, Marianna Tabain 90’)
Brisbane Roar FC 0 – Canberra United FC 3 (Lori Lindsey 8’, Michelle Heyman 38’/49’)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Catherine Cannuli 92’) – Adelaide United FC 1 (Alexandra Gummer 31’)
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Emma Checker 4’) – Sydney FC 5 (Leena Khamis 17’, Nicole Bolger 21’/73’, Jodie Taylor 59’, Emma Kete 89’)