R19: Bottom two win, With Brisbane one of the victims

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

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 19 Review

Runaway Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar were denied the chance to go ten points clear of second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium on 16 February, as second-last Newcastle Jets scored an upset 1-0 win over the table-toppers, the third time they’ve downed Brisbane this season.

Adam Taggart’s penalty on the hour separated the sides on the scoreboard, with team-mate Mark Birighitti pulling off a couple of fine saves to deny the league leaders at least a share of the spoils, Newcastle having enjoyed the better of the first half in front of 13,066 fans.

Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners swapped places on the league ladder in the opening game of the round, with the former’s 2-0 win over the latter, in front of 6,980 fans at Coopers Stadium, propelling them into third spot on the standings.

Marcelo Carrusca was the architect of Adelaide’s defeat of the defending champions, scoring the first just after the half-hour mark before setting up Fabio Ferreira to net the second in the shadows of the half-time whistle.

The visitors strived for a way back into the match throughout the second half, but there was no further scoring, meaning the New South Welshmen trail Melbourne Victory on the table by virtue of having scored fewer goals – Central Coast average precisely a goal a game so far this season.

In a match neither side could afford to lose, given how the play-off race is shaping up, Sydney FC edged Perth Glory 2-1 in front of 11,160 fans at the Allianz Stadium, where a brilliant individual goal from Terry Antonis – his first strike in eleven months – clinched the points for the home side half-way through the second half.

Sydney had opened the scoring in the seventeenth minute, Ranko Despotovic the only player to do justice to Alessandro Del Piero’s creativity during a first half in which Perth had their fair share of chances, in part aided by Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic.

He had a roller-coaster ride of a game, combining errors and an over-reliance on both defenders and the woodwork to keep a clean sheet with the odd outstanding save, such as that which denied Chris Harold early in the second spell.

Roystyn Griffiths found a way past Janjetovic three minutes after Antonis’ strike to set up a grandstand finish, but Sydney held on to secure three priceless points, despite the last dismissal of Aaron Carver seeing them conclude the game with ten men on the park.

Wellington Phoenix, who climbed into the play-off places for the first time this season last week, just as quickly dropped back out of them seven days on after copping a 5-0 hiding at Westpac Stadium from a Melbourne Heart side which is unrecognisable from the one which played under John Aloisi’s tenure.

The belief coursing through John Van’t Schip’s bottom-placed side was evident right from the kick-off, and when Orlando Engelaar thundered home a twenty-yarder in the eighth minute, you sensed that this was going to be the visitors’ day.

Sure enough, that was the case, with David Williams tucking home the first goal of his hat-trick in the nineteenth minute. His second came six minutes into the second half, as Melbourne picked off a hapless Wellington on the counter-attack as the home team looked to get back into the contest.

If that goal didn’t silence the 9,767 fans present, the next one, three minutes later, did, the ball ricocheting into the net off Glen Moss’ back after Melbourne’s captain for the day, Robbie Wielaert, had seen his shot crash down off the crossbar.

Williams wrapped up the scoring – and his hat-trick – just after the hour mark to complete Melbourne’s biggest win so far this season and leave the bottom-placed team just nine points off third place with eight rounds remaining. Incredibly, after the season they’ve endured, they’re not out of play-offs contention just yet.

Central Coast and Wellington kick off twentieth round action at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday evening, while Melbourne Heart host Brisbane in the final game of the round at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

In between times, there’s another triple-header Saturday in store, with the Newcastle – Sydney encounter at Hunter Stadium getting things under way. Melbourne Victory entertain Adelaide at AAMI Park, prior to Perth welcoming Western Sydney to NIB Stadium.

Match details:

Adelaide United 2 (M. Carrusca (33), F. Ferreira (45)), Central Coast Mariners 0 HT 2-0
Brisbane Roar 0, Newcastle Jets 1 (A. Taggart (59 pen)) HT 0-0
Sydney FC 2 (R. Despotovic (17), T. Antonis (64)), Perth Glory 1 (R. Griffiths (67)) HT 1-0
Wellington Phoenix 0, Melbourne Heart 5 (O. Engelaar (8), D. Williams (19, 51, 63), “oggie” (54)) HT 0-2

League table:

P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 19 12 2 5 33 17 +16 38
Western Sydney Wanderers 19 8 7 4 23 19 +4 31
Adelaide United 19 7 6 6 30 24 +6 27
Melbourne Victory 19 7 6 6 26 29 -3 27
Central Coast Mariners 19 7 6 6 19 22 -3 27
Sydney FC 19 8 1 10 25 28 -3 25
Wellington Phoenix 19 6 5 8 26 28 -2 23
Newcastle Jets 19 6 5 8 20 25 -5 23
Perth Glory 19 5 6 8 19 22 -3 21
Melbourne Heart 19 4 6 9 23 30 -7 18

By Jeremy Ruane:

National Youth League – Round 16

Central Coast Mariners FC 0 – Perth Glory FC 3 (Zahra 45′ (pen), 90+2′, Albano 87′)
Adelaide United FC 4 (Pollock 30, 49, Kitto 8, Kamau 10) – Sydney FC 1 (Naumof 90+2)
Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Borrello 37, Ingham 58) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (McGing 45+3)
Melbourne Heart FC 8 (Schroen 5′, Mifsud 17′ 34′ 45′, Dao 73′, Andrijasevic 81′, Katebian 89′, Retre 90+3′ ) – Australian Institute of Sport 1 (Madden 71′); HT: 4-0

Womens National League – Semi Finals

Canberra United FC 1 (Caitlin Munoz 23’) lost to Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Kim Carroll 4’, Elise Kellond-Knight 58’) – Saturday 15 February 2014, McKellar Park, Canberra
Sydney FC 2 (Sam Kerr 45+2’, Leena Khamis 52’) – Melbourne Victory FC 3 (Jess Fishlock 22’, Jessica Humble 37’, Lauren Barnes 71’ (pen)) – Sunday 16 February 2014, WIN Jubilee Oval, Kogarah
Brisbane and Melbourne go into next week’s Final, at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne