R21: Shock loss for Wests sees Brisbane Roar clear

by Jeremy Ruane:

with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 21 Review

A shock 2-0 loss for Western Sydney Wanderers, at the hands of Newcastle Jets at Pirtek Stadium, has allowed Brisbane Roar to re-establish a seven-point lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League, after 21st round action took place on the first weekend in March.

12,079 fans watched in stunned silence – in part due to protest action by the home fans against club management – as Kew Jaliens, late in the first half, and Adam Taggart, half-way through the second, earned a deserved win for Newcastle, whose winning margin would have been greater had Emile Heskey donned his shooting boots!

Brisbane bounced back to winning ways with a Thomas Broich-inspired 3-1 win over Perth Glory in front of 10,896 fans at Suncorp Stadium, where Sidnei Sciola Moraes spurned a glorious chance to open the scoring for the visitors in the third minute.

The visitors paid the price for that miss twelve minutes into the second spell, when Broich picked out Ivan Franjic with an absolute peach of a free-kick – there would have been a steward’s enquiry had the midfielder failed to score.

Liam Miller eventually doubled Brisbane’s advantage nine minutes from time – both he and Besart Berisha nearly butchered a two-on-one situation with just Danny Vukovic to beat – while Broich wrapped up the win with a curling twenty-five yarder soon after. Shane Smeltz struck a stoppage time consolation goal for Perth.

Adelaide United gave their play-off prospects a massive boost – and handed those of Wellington Phoenix a savage blow – by thrashing the visitors 5-1 at Coopers Stadium, delighting the 8,596 who attended this rare Thursday night fixture in the process.

The home team surged tore into the task at hand from the outset, eventually gaining reward for their endeavour with two goals in five minutes just before the hour mark from Jeronimo Neumann and Sergio Cirio.

Both teams could have been reduced to ten men before the hour mark following separate elbowing incidents, before Fabio Ferreira crowned an outstanding display with a goal on the hour.

Neumann bagged his second of the game two minutes later, before Kenny Cunningham – with Reece Caira, one of two Wellington players to end the game with suspected broken bones – pulled one back for the visitors half-way through the second spell.

Manny Muscat’s sending-off soon afterwards curtailed any hopes of a fightback by Wellington, who conceded a fifth goal right on full time from Awer Mabil, the second time in three games they’ve let in a nap hand.

Hard on Adelaide’s heels are reigning champions Central Coast Mariners, who saw off Sydney FC 2-1 in front of 6,430 fans at Bluetongue Stadium, where recent signing Kim Seung Yong struck his first goal for the home team with a gem of a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area.

Sydney’s efforts to restore parity centred around Alessandro Del Piero, one of them a free-kick which Liam Reddy saved superbly, albeit with the assistance of a post. The ‘keeper was beaten just after the hour mark by Richard Garcia, only for Mitchell Duke to restore Central Coast’s advantage when finishing off a length-of-the-field counter-attack fifteen minutes from time.

That result, the victors’ third win over the vanquished this season, lifted the title-holders above Melbourne Victory on goal difference, a situation arising from the outcome of the Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, where bottom-placed Melbourne Heart prevailed 4-0 to climb off the bottom rung at long last.

Two goals in the first fifteen minutes from Orlando Engelaar and Mate Dugandzic set the tone for the tussle, the latter’s effort a fortuitous cross-shot which left half the 25,546-strong crowd in despair, while delighting those of a red persuasion in Australia’s sporting capital.

Any hopes Victory harboured of getting back into the contest were dealt a fatal blow when Nick Ansell was deemed by referee Strebre Delovski to have committed a professional foul when thwarting David Williams’ efforts to score in the 41st minute.

Those of a blue hue were understandably irate at this setback, and Adama Traore was fortunate to stay on the park soon afterwards for another challenge on Williams, who took sweet revenge when clinching the points seven minutes from time, Harry Kewell confirming Heart’s four-goal victory three minutes later, a result which could have been bigger still had the woodwork not thwarted Iain Ramsey.

Next weekend’s round sees Melbourne Victory and Central Coast get things under way with a six-pointer at AAMI Park on Friday night, while the action shifts to New South Wales on Saturday evening.

Newcastle and Melbourne Heart lock horns at Hunter Stadium in the early match, while Sydney and Western Sydney dispute city bragging rights at Allianz Stadium. On Sunday, Wellington welcome Perth to Westpac Stadium, while Brisbane and Adelaide square off at Suncorp Stadium.

Match details:

Adelaide United FC 5 (J. Neumann (23, 62), S. Cirio (28), F. Ferreira (59), A. Mabil (90)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (K. Cunningham (67)) HT 2-0
Brisbane Roar FC 3 (I. Franjic (57), L. Miller (81), T. Broich (86)) – Perth Glory FC 1 (S. Smeltz (90)) HT 0-0
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (K. Seung Yong (26), M. Duke (75)) – Sydney FC 1 (R. Garcia (62)) HT 1-0
Melbourne Heart FC 4 (O. Engelaar (9), M. Dugandzic (15), D. Williams (83), H. Kewell (86)) – Melbourne Victory FC 0 HT 2-0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0 – Newcastle Jets FC 2 (K. Jaliens (37), A. Taggart (64)) HT 0-1

League Table:

P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 21 13 2 6 36 19 +17 41
Western Sydney Wanderers 21 9 7 5 25 21 +4 34
Adelaide United 21 8 6 7 38 29 +9 30
Central Coast Mariners 21 8 6 7 22 27 -5 30
Melbourne Victory 21 8 6 7 30 36 -6 30
Sydney FC 21 9 1 11 28 30 -2 28
Wellington Phoenix 21 7 5 9 31 34 -3 26
Newcastle Jets 21 7 5 9 22 27 -5 26
Melbourne Heart 21 6 6 9 28 30 -2 24
Perth Glory 21 5 6 10 20 27 -7 21
By Jeremy Ruane

National Youth League – Round 18 (completion of season)

AIS 0 – Sydney FC 0
Melbourne Heart FC 4 (O’Dea 4′ pen, 10′, Retre 73′, Dao 74′) – Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Trifiro 6′, Dixon 90+2′)
Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Bradbury 33, Chapman 75) – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Ingham 45′)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Olsen 23′) – Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Proia 71m)
Adelaide United FC 4 (Costa 45, 63, 90+3, Barker-Daish 29) – Perth Glory FC 2 (Knowles 21, Vulin 77)