R22: Brisbane Ten Points clear with Five rounds Left

by Jeremy Ruane:

with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

Hyundai A-League – Season 2013/2014 – Round 22 Review

Brisbane Roar put one hand on the minor premiership crown in the Hyundai A-League on March 9, downing Adelaide United 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium to extend their lead to ten points with five rounds remaining in the round-robin phase of the competition.

A brace of Besart Berisha goals – half-way through the first half and early in the second spell – paved the way to victory for the home team, although they were given a late scare as a stoppage time strike from Jeronimo Neumann halved the deficit in a match which saw Thomas Broich’s long-range effort ruled out for reasons which defy logic!

Sydney FC put cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers to the sword at Allianz Stadium on Saturday evening, coming from behind to prevail 3-1 in a Sydney derby which had plenty of talking points, not the least of which was the formal complaint laid by Ali Abbas the day after the match, the Sydney midfielder alleging incident of a “cultural abuse” nature.

40,285 fans watched a frenetic first half which lacked quality and goals, but the latter came along in the second half to bring the game to life. Shinji Ono scored the first of them, volleying home four minutes into the spell to the undisguised delight of Western Sydney’s fans.

Soon after, they should have doubled their lead, but Mark Bridge’s penalty was splendidly saved by Vedran Janjetovic, a denial which gave Sydney a welcome boost, and ultimately provided the platform for them to win the derby.

Matt Jurman’s headed equaliser soon afterwards confirmed the sea change in on-field fortunes, as did the ACL injury which Western Sydney substitute Golgol Mebrahtu suffered soon after entering the fray.

Further goals from Richard Garcia and Abbas – a stoppage time penalty – secured Sydney’s come-from-behind win, which saw them climb into fourth spot on the standings.

They remain behind Melbourne Victory, who saw off the fading challenge of title-holders Central Coast Mariners 3-1 at AAMI Park to move into third place in front of 15,031 fans.

Only the woodwork prevented Leigh Broxham from putting through his own net in the eleventh minute, but Melbourne were celebrating twenty minutes later as James Jeggo put the ball in the net at the right end of the ground to break the deadlock.

Just after the hour mark, Zac Anderson restored parity for the injury-hit Central Coast side, whose Asian Champions League campaign is severely impacting on their domestic form, as was underlined in the final fifteen minutes when James Troisi, from the penalty spot, and Costa Barbarouses sealed the points for the home team, who are just a point behind second-placed Western Sydney thanks to this win.

Newcastle Jets were the big winners from the clashes between the bottom four teams, Adam Taggart’s strike seven minutes into the second half at Hunter Stadium suffice to see off Melbourne Heart 1-0, to the delight of the 10,117 fans present.

The visitors were only denied by the width of a post from opening the scoring in the tenth minute, Jonatan Germano the player most frustrated on a day a couple of vital Andrew Redmayne saves prevented Kew Jaliens and Taggart from increasing Newcastle’s winning margin in what won’t go down as a great advert for A-League football.

Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory did their respective play-off hopes little good when drawing 1-1 in front of 6,401 fans at Westpac Stadium, where William Gallas opened the scoring for the visitors eleven minutes before half-time.

Roy Krishna hit the woodwork in the first spell for a disappointing Wellington combination, which finally hit its straps late on and secured parity through Kenny Cunningham’s equaliser six minutes from time.

Sydney and Brisbane kick off 23rd round action at Allianz Stadium on Friday evening, ahead of a Saturday night triple-header which starts with Adelaide’s visit to Western Sydney’s Pirtek Stadium home.

Central Coast and Newcastle lock horns at Bluetongue Stadium in an all-New South Wales encounter, while Perth welcome Melbourne Victory to NIB Stadium, prior to the lone Sunday affair between Melbourne Heart and Wellington at AAMI Park.

Match details:

Brisbane Roar FC 2 (B. Berisha (22, 52)) – Adelaide United FC 1 (J. Neumann (90)) ; HT 1-0
Melbourne Victory FC 3 (J. Jeggo (31), J. Troisi (77 pen), C. Barbarouses (90)) – Central Coast Mariners 1 (Z. Anderson (63); HT 1-0
Newcastle Jets FC 1 (A. Taggart (53)) – Melbourne Heart FC 0; HT 0-0
Sydney FC 3 (M. Jurman (59), R. Garcia (75), A. Abbas (90 pen)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (S. Ono (49)) ; HT 0-0
Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (K. Cunningham (84)) – Perth Glory FC 1 (W. Gallas (34)); HT 0-1

League Table:

P W D L F A GD Pts

Brisbane Roar 22 14 2 6 38 20 +18 44
Western Sydney Wanderers 22 9 7 6 26 24 +2 34
Melbourne Victory 22 9 6 7 33 37 -4 33
Sydney FC 22 10 1 11 31 31 0 31
Adelaide United 22 8 6 8 39 31 +8 30
Central Coast Mariners 22 8 6 8 23 30 -7 30

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Newcastle Jets 22 8 5 9 23 27 -4 29
Wellington Phoenix 22 7 6 9 32 35 -3 27
Melbourne Heart 22 6 6 10 28 31 -3 24
Perth Glory 22 5 7 10 21 28 -7 22

By Jeremy Ruane