R6 Review: Shock loss for Brisbane leaves Wests on top

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 6 Review

by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets at a sodden Hunter Stadium on Sunday evening to hand Western Sydney Wanderers the top rung on the ladder after six rounds of action.

All appeared on course for another three points for the Queenslanders when Luke Brattan opened the scoring six minutes before half-time in a tight contest made even more so by the slushy under-foot conditions.

But they found themselves on level terms six minutes into the second spell when Adam Taggart dragged Newcastle level with a gorgeous chipped effort, to the delight of the 7,692 fans who braved the elements.

Fourteen minutes later, Nathan Burns spurned a glorious chance to fire the home team in front when smashing his penalty against the crossbar, but Newcastle had to wait just nine minutes before they did take the lead, Taggart thumping home his second of the game to leave the home team on the brink of third place on the table.

Cue a lively finale in which Kew Jaliens committed his second bookable offence, leaving Newcastle to conclude the match with ten men on the park. But the numerically challenged side held on to score a shock come-from-behind win over a Brisbane team which, until this match, had never lost an A-League game when they had been leading at half-time.

The rain-drenched conditions also contributed to Saturday night’s clash at Pirtek Stadium, where 15,854 fans gathered to see Mark Bridge’s 82nd minute goal clinch a 1-0 win for Western Sydney over Melbourne Victory.

Archie Thompson spurned numerous opportunities to put the visitors in front during the first half in particular, but Western Sydney’s resolute defensive effort, epitomised once again by Nicolai Topor-Stanley’s doggedness, earned its rewards late in the match, Labinot Haliti’s driven cross being steered home on the far post by Bridge to send last season’s premiership winners back to the top of the table.

Earlier in the day, headed second half goals from Adelaide United’s Osama Malik and Perth Glory’s Chris Harold saw the spoils shared in stifling heat at NIB Stadium, where 8,574 fans – and the players – endured 33C heat throughout a mid-afternoon kick-off.

After an even first half, Adelaide looked to supplement Malik’s strike with a crossbar-shaker from Sergio Cirio before Harold levelled the scores on the day William Gallas made his eagerly awaited debut for the home team – guarantee it’s some considerable time since he last played in heat like this!

Sydney FC opened the round with a solid 2-0 victory at bottom-placed Melbourne Heart, for whom Michael Mifsud spurned a glorious chance to fire them in front at AAMI Park in the fourteenth minute.

That was the cue for the visitors to dominate proceedings, and when Alessandro Del Piero fired home from the penalty spot in the 27th minute, the writing was on the wall for the home team, who fell further behind when Joel Chianese, who earned the aforementioned spot-kick, struck on the stroke of half-time to prompt a chorus of boos from the 8,941 fans in attendance.

Things got no better for Melbourne in the second spell, and given his side has now yet to win since February, the sand in the hourglass must surely be running be running thin for coach John Aloisi at the end of a week which saw Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold take up an opportunity with Vegalta Sendai in Japan – he is succeeded in the job by his deputy, Phil Moss.

Central Coast’s match against Wellington Phoenix was postponed this week, due to the New Zealand club being afforded dispensation for having so many players involved in the All Whites’ FIFA World Cup Intercontinental Play-off with Mexico.

That match will take place just prior to Christmas, but there will be plenty of A-League action prior to that rescheduled fixture, with seventh round action kicking off next Friday night at Suncorp Stadium, where Brisbane and Western Sydney lock horns in a top-of-the-table tussle.

There’s a triple-header on Saturday, with Sydney welcoming Wellington to Allianz Stadium before Melbourne Victory and Adelaide lock horns at Etihad Stadium. Perth and Central Coast wrap up the evening’s action with their NIB Stadium showdown, while Newcastle welcome Melbourne Heart to Hunter Stadium on Sunday evening.

Round 6 details:

Melbourne Heart 0, Sydney FC 2 (A. Del Piero (27 pen), J. Chianese (45)) HT 0-2
Newcastle Jets 2 (A. Taggart (51, 74)), Brisbane Roar 1 (L. Brattan (39)) HT 0-1
Perth Glory 1 (C. Harold (69)), Adelaide United 1 (O. Malik (53)) HT 0-0
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (M. Bridge (82)), Melbourne Victory 0 HT 0-0
Central Coast Mariners v. Wellington Phoenix, match postponed to 19 Dec

Table:
P W D L F A GD Pts
Western Sydney Wanderers 6 4 2 0 8 3 +5 14
Brisbane Roar 6 4 0 2 11 4 +7 12
Newcastle Jets 6 2 3 1 6 6 0 9
Perth Glory 6 2 3 1 5 5 0 9
Sydney FC 6 3 0 3 7 9 -2 9
Melbourne Victory 6 2 2 2 8 8 0 8
Central Coast Mariners 5 1 3 1 6 6 0 6
Adelaide United 6 1 2 3 8 9 -1 5
Wellington Phoenix 5 0 3 2 5 7 -2 3
Melbourne Heart 6 0 2 4 2 9 -7 2

By Jeremy Ruane

Westfield W-League – Round 2

Adelaide United FC 0 – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Lisa De Vanna 40’ pen, Caitlin Friend 59’)
Sydney FC 4 (Renee Rollason 45+1’, Sam Kerr 70’, Jodie Taylor 80’/89’) – Newcastle Jets FC 0
Perth Glory FC 0 – Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Tameka Butt 2’, Clare Polkinghorne 62’, Amy Chapman 83’)
Canberra United FC 2 (Michelle Heyman 25’, Stephanie Ochs 41’) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0

Foxtel National Youth League – Round 4

Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Kwasnik 32′) – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Sibatuara 68′)
Sydney FC 5 (Mitch Mallia 12′, 48′, 82′, Josh MacDonald 32′ pen, Christopher Zuvela 63′) – Adelaide United FC 2 (Anthony Costa 48′ pen, Nikola Milesunic 80′)
AIS 1 (Marc Marino 90’+3) – Melbourne Heart FC 1 (Benjamin Garuccio 68’)
Newcastle Jets FC 6 (Bradbery 10, Virgili 27, 62 Waller 57, Gibbs 81, 86) – Perth Glory FC 1 (Knowles 12′) 

Melbourne Victory FC 4 (Jeggo 40, 56, Nabbout 71, Stella 80) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Hanna 61)