R9: Five point lead for Brisbane after rivals stumble

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 9 Review
by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar have extended their advantage atop the table to five points a third of the way through the competition, their nearest rivals stumbling after the Queenslanders came from behind to down Adelaide United 2-1 at Coopers Stadium.

The 8,861 locals present were delighted when Osama Malik’s close-range header afforded United a seventh minute lead, but Besart Berisha buried an equalising penalty seven minutes later to leave his side on level terms, although the antics of Roar goalkeeper Matt Acton certainly his team’s cause in this regard.

Brisbane pinched the points eighteen minutes from time when Berisha wriggled through a couple of chances before prodding home what proved to be the winner despite being prone in the penalty area – it was definitely one of the more bizarre strikes in A-League history, but it was enough to deny the home team a share of the spoils which their performance fully merited.

Twenty-four hours later, Western Sydney Wanderers scored their second successive draw when held to a 1-1 scoreline by Melbourne Heart at Pirtek Stadium. It was a second successive stalemate for the visitors, too, and while they remain bottom, they are no longer completely adrift of all their rivals on the table.

Melbourne were denied by Aziz Behich’s timely goal-line clearance during the first half before David Williams’ cross-shot seven minutes before the interval deceived all-comers and ended up in the net.

The visitors’ lead was short-lived, with Aaron Mooy delighting the 14,549-strong crowd when levelling matters on the stroke of half-time. Try as they might during the second spell, a second Western Sydney goal wasn’t forthcoming, the closest they came to realise it being in stoppage time, when Matthew Spiranovic hit the post.

Reigning champions Central Coast Mariners closed the gap on the leading trio by edging one of them, Sydney FC, 1-0 in front of 10,251 fans at Bluetongue Stadium, where Daniel McBreen’s cheeky back-heeled effort brought Sydney’s winning streak to a halt.

Ali Abbas hit the post for the visitors in the third minute, but Mitchell Duke countered this by having a goal ruled out for offside soon afterwards. Substitute Mile Sterjovski hit the post in the second spell for the home team in a match which saw Sydney savour possession aplenty, but fail to turn it into something tangible on the scoreboard.

It also cost them a place on the table, a result of Newcastle Jets stunning Melbourne Victory 2-1 at AAMI Park on Sunday evening, courtesy a brace of Nathan Burns goals, the first of which came on the stroke of half-time.

18,113 fans piled into the ground to see the 1000th A-League fixture, and they saw Melbourne penalty appeals waved away inside the first sixty seconds as the home team started strongly.

But Newcastle rode out the storm, and went to the dressing rooms a goal to the good thanks to Burns’ late first half effort, one James Troisi cancelled out within five minutes of the resumption.

The visitors weren’t to be denied, however, Burns netting his second of the game half-way through the second spell to claim all three points for Newcastle, whose climb to third place has seen their victims in this match drop into the bottom half of the table.

Perth Glory bounced back to winning ways with a come-from-behind 4-2 triumph over Wellington Phoenix in front of 8,232 fans at NIB Stadium, where Sidnei Sciola Moraes set the house on fire with a rip-snorting twenty-five yard roof-of-the-net-bulger sixteen minutes into the contest.

Stein Huysegems replied with a strike of similar quality twenty minutes later, and when Paul Ifill headed Wellington in front four minutes into the second spell, the under-strength home team – injuries forced them to field a fistful of youngsters – looked to be on the road to defeat.

But Michael Thwaite’s headed equaliser on the hour gave them hope, and they finished over the top of the visitors in the final ten minutes, substitute Adrian Zahra sweeping the ball home in the 82nd minute before Sidnei’s second goal of the game, in stoppage time, squirmed under the diving Glen Moss to wrap up the scoring.

Friday’s tenth round fixture sees Melbourne Victory welcoming Perth to AAMI Park, before a triple-header on Saturday evening kicks off with Wellington welcoming Brisbane to Westpac Stadium.

Adelaide and Central Coast square off at Coopers Stadium after that match, while the Hunter Stadium encounter between Newcastle and Western Sydney wraps up the night, but not the round – Sydney’s Sunday showdown with Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium has that honour.

Match details:

Adelaide United FC 1 (Osama Malik (7)) – Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Besart Berisha (21 pen, 72)); HT 1-1
Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (Daniel McBreen (26)) – Sydney FC 0; HT 1-0
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (James Troisi (50)) – Newcastle Jets 2 (Nathan Burns (44, 67)); HT 0-1
Perth Glory FC 4 (S. Sciola Moraes (16, 90), Michael Thwaite (), Adrian Zahra (82)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (S. Huysegems (36), P. Ifill (49)); HT 1-1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Aaron Mooy (44)) – Melbourne Heart FC 1 (D. Williams (38)) HT 1-1

Table:

P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 9 7 0 2 17 6 +11 21
Western Sydney Wanderers 9 4 4 1 10 7 +3 16
Newcastle Jets 9 4 3 2 11 10 +1 15
Sydney FC 9 5 0 4 11 11 0 15
Central Coast Mariners 8 3 4 1 9 7 +2 13
Melbourne Victory 9 3 3 3 12 10 +2 12
————–
Perth Glory 9 3 3 3 10 10 0 12
Adelaide United 9 1 3 5 12 17 -5 6
Wellington Phoenix 8 0 4 4 8 13 -5 4
Melbourne Heart 9 0 4 5 7 16 -9 4

By Jeremy Ruane

National Youth League Round 7

Details:

Western Sydney FC 3 (Sotirio 31′, McGing 75, Fofanah 92′) – Central Coast Mariners FC 0 @ Blacktown Football Park, Sydney
Sydney FC 4 (Warren 14, Tomelic 55, Gameiro 70′, 80′) – Melbourne Heart 3 (Dugandzic 13′, 92′, Schroen 43′) @ Win Stadium, Wollongong
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Stella 14′) – Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Gibbs 35, Virgili 40′) @ AAMI Park, Melbourne
Perth Glory FC 2 (Makeche 8, Jovic 88′) – Australian Institute of Sport 4 (Kalik 38′, Smith 46, Antoniou 67′, Schmidt 70′) @ Percy Doyle Reserve, Perth
Adelaide United FC 1 (Melling 66′) – Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Altundag 7′, Petratos 10′, Borrello 72′) @ Thebarton Oval, Adelaide

Womens National League Round 4

Details:

Melbourne Victory FC 6 (Caitlin Friend 31’, 42’, 69’, Enza Barilla 52’, 70’, Gulcan Koca 34’) – Newcastle Jets FC 0
Perth Glory FC 1 (Rosie Sutton 89’) – Adelaide United FC 0
Canberra United FC 0 – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Elise Kellond-Knight 8’)
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers postponed due to Sydney FC’s participation in the Women’s World Club Championship.