R20: Bottom beats top as Melbourne Heart catch field

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

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 20 Review

Having been a long and lonely last for much of the season, Melbourne Heart finally caught the field in the Hyundai A-League on the last weekend in February, upsetting league leaders Brisbane Roar 1-0 at AAMI Park to draw level with Perth Glory on 21 points.

Orlando Engelaar scored the game’s only goal just after the hour mark to continue the bottom-placed side’s resurgence, although the visitors nearly snatched a stoppage time equaliser, Besart Berisha only being denied by a last-gasp challenge from Patrick Kisnorbo to ensure the leaders suffered successive defeats for the first time in thirteen months.

Second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers closed the gap at the top to four points after being untroubled in overcoming second-last Perth 2-0 at NIB Stadium, where Mateo Poljak had the visitors in front after twelve minutes.

Substitute Tomi Juric added Wests’ second goal twenty minutes from time, one which you can guarantee will never appear on the career highlights reel of William Gallas – the defender made a pig’s ear of his attempt to clear the danger, gifting Juric a goal which stunned the 8,543 present, who had seen Perth’s best chance – Rostyn Griffiths’ header was saved on the line by Jerrad Tyson – materialise moments beforehand.

Reigning champions Central Coast Mariners were given a right roasting by Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium, where the visitors overcame Bernie Ibini-Isei’s twentieth minute strike for the home team to prevail 4-1.

All their goals came in the second half, with Kenny Cunningham equalising within a minute of the resumption. Mile Sterjovski then saw Glen Moss save his 53rd minute penalty, before two goals in a minute, from Carlos Hernandez and Stein Huysegems just after the hour mark, put the game beyond reach of the title-holders.

Even Jeremy Brockie got in on the act eight minutes from time as Wellington scored their biggest-ever road win, just a week after shipping five at home – a remarkable turnaround in itself, while inflicting a fourth successive defeat on Central Coast in the process.

Sydney FC took full advantage of the champions’ demise, overturning Newcastle Jets 2-0 at Hunter Stadium to edge further up the table. 12,449 fans saw Alessandro Del Piero settle matters, setting up Sasa Ognenovski for the opening goal on the hour before potting a penalty himself thirteen minutes from time.

Sydney’s win propelled them past Adelaide United, for whom Sergio Cirio became the first player in A-League history to score a hat-trick yet finish on the losing side as Melbourne Victory twice came from behind to down the visitors 4-3 in a simply stunning encounter which left 18,341 fans enthralled at AAMI Park.

Cirio scored the first of his treble just three minutes into the match, but by the quarter hour mark, Guilherme Finkler had Melbourne back on terms in some style – a terrific volleyed effort.

A lively affair followed, with Cirio restoring Adelaide’s advantage on the stroke of half-time, only for Finkler to again restore parity just shy of the hour mark. Soon after it, Archie Thompson gave Melbourne the lead for the first time in the game, Eugene Galekovic gifting the striker an open goal.

When Costa Barbarouses scored Melbourne’s fourth goal with fifteen minutes remaining, the game appeared up for the visitors, but the home team switched off, and couldn’t respond with Cirio completed his hat-trick eight minutes from time to set up a grandstand finale.

Adelaide couldn’t muster an equaliser, however, meaning one of the A-League’s all-time-classic matches saw Melbourne prevail by the odd goal in seven.

The South Australian side and Wellington kick things off in the next round on Thursday evening at Coopers Stadium, twenty-four hours before Brisbane and Perth do battle at Suncorp Stadium.

Central Coast entertain Sydney at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday evening, immediately prior to the Melbourne derby at AAMI Park. And on Sunday, Western Sydney and Newcastle renew their rivalry at Pirtek Stadium.

Match details:

Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (B. Ibini-Isei (20)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 4 (K. Cunningham (46), C. Hernandez (64), S. Huysegems (65), J. Brockie (82)); HT 1-0
Melbourne Victory FC 4 (G. Finkler (15, 57), A. Thompson (66), C. Barbarouses (75)) – Adelaide United FC 3 (S. Cirio (3, 45, 83)); HT 1-2
Newcastle Jets FC 0 – Sydney FC 2 (S. Ognenovski (60), A. Del Piero (73 pen)); HT 0-0
Perth Glory FC 0 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (M. Poljak (12), T. Juric (71)) HT 0-1
Melbourne Heart FC 1 (O. Engelaar (61)) – Brisbane Roar FC 0; HT 0-0

Table:

P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 20 12 2 6 33 18 +15 38
Western Sydney Wanderers 20 9 7 4 25 19 +6 34
Melbourne Victory 20 8 6 6 30 32 -2 30
Sydney FC 20 9 1 10 27 28 -1 28
Adelaide United 20 7 6 7 33 28 +5 27
Central Coast Mariners 20 7 6 7 20 26 -6 27
____________________
Wellington Phoenix 20 7 5 8 30 29 +1 26
Newcastle Jets 20 6 5 9 20 27 -7 23
Perth Glory 20 5 6 9 19 24 -5 21
Melbourne Heart 20 5 6 9 24 30 -6 21

By Jeremy Ruane

National Youth League – Round 17

Sydney FC 1 (Urosevski 82’) – Newcastle Jets FC 7 (Pavicevic 6’, 51’, Brown 42’, 83’ 91’, Gibbs 45, 68’)
Perth Glory FC 4 (Maclaren 24m, 58m, 60m, Zahra 90m) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Barresi 80m)
Melbourne Victory FC 5 (Jeggo 12′ Stella 37’pen, Pain 48′ Miskulin 66′ 90+4′) – Adelaide United FC 2 (Bouzalas 17′, Kamau 89′)
Melbourne Heart FC 7 (Dao 39′ 86′, Schroen 45′, Walker 64′, Mifsud 66′, Espindola 67’pen, Kaya 79′) – Brisbane Roar FC 4 (Clut 28′, Lustica 37′, Borello 50′, Ingham 53′)
Central Coast Mariners FC 0 – Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 1 (Anthony Kalik 16 pen)

Womens National League – Season 6 Final

Melbourne Victory FC 2 – Brisbane Roar FC 0

Melbourne Victory have been crowned Westfield W-League champions for the first time after a 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar in the Westfield W-League 2014 Grand Final at Lakeside Stadium. Lisa De Vanna and Lauren Barnes scored in quick succession late in the first half.