Round 5 Review: Draws for top three allow Perth’s return to Top

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

Hyundai A-League Season 10 – 2014/2015
Round 5 review

The top three teams in the Hyundai A-League all failed to score victories on the second weekend in November, as last season’s Grand Finalists maintained their miserable starts to the season – both lost yet again!

Leaders Melbourne Victory came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Newcastle Jets, who had Kew Jaliens and Joel Griffiths – from the penalty spot – to thank for giving them their lead just after the half-hour mark, those goals coming in as many minutes.

But the table-toppers on goal difference going into the round quickly forced their way back into the contest, Fahid Ben Khalfallah heading home a Costa Barbarouses cross in the 36th minute.

Just before the interval, Besart Berisha hit the post, but three minutes into the second spell he levelled the scores. Neither side could find another goal to break the deadlock in front of 11,884 fans at Hunter Stadium, which was hosting a game for the first time this season following the completion of work on a new playing surface valued at $A1.3m.

Adelaide United and Sydney FC battled out a scoreless draw in their top-of-the-table clash at Coopers Stadium on Friday evening, although the 16,015 fans present will still be wondering how neither side failed to score.

Nikola Petkovic had a goal disallowed for Sydney half-way through the second half when he unleashed his long-range free-kick before he’d been given the signal to do so by referee Alan Milliner. When it was retaken, Marc Janko hit the post.

Such has been the level of protestation arising from this incident that it will be reviewed by the powers-that-be early this week, which begs the question – if the referee got it wrong, and a goal should have been awarded, will Adelaide and Sydney be required to replay the game at a later date? Because the result can’t be changed post-match, surely.

Adelaide also went close, with Sergio Cirio and Marcelo Carrusca hitting the woodwork, while Awer Mabil denied by a fine Vedran Janjetovic save moments after Nigel Boogaard’s spectacular goal-line clearance at the other end of the park prevented Seb Ryall from being the match-winner.

The beneficiaries of these stalemates was Perth Glory, who eked out a 1-0 win at Central Coast Mariners to return to the top rung on the ladder – they lead the league by a point.

Nebojsa Marinkovic’s superbly struck free-kick two minutes before half-time proved to be the decisive one in a contest in which the home team offered little in attack. Perth, however, could have won by more, and would have had Liam Reddy not twice denied Andy Keogh at point-blank range, to the relief of the 6,391 fans present at Central Coast Stadium.

Goals were also at a premium across the Tasman, as were chances at Westpac Stadium, where 7,008 fans saw Wellington Phoenix edge AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0, courtesy Nathan Burns’ winner ten minutes from time.

Louis Fenton spurned the best chance of the match prior to the goal, but was later forced off the park with a dislocated shoulder. Michael McGlinchey also spurned the chance to double Wellington’s winning margin in the dying minutes when his spot kick was saved by Ante Covic.

Western Sydney’s conquerors in last season’s Grand Final, Brisbane Roar, also found themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline as Melbourne City struck twice in the opening ten minutes before going on to win 3-1 at Suncorp Stadium.

David Williams and Mate Dugandzic did the initial damage to silence the majority of the 17,131 fans present, and while Brandon Borrello gave the home team hope half-way through the second half, fellow substitute Marc Marino put the issue beyond doubt seven minutes from time to clinch City’s first win of the season, and leave Brisbane with the unwanted record of being the first team in A-League history to lose their first four matches of the campaign.

Newcastle and Brisbane clash at Hunter Stadium on Friday evening to herald the start of sixth round action, which sees Melbourne City and Central Coast meeting at AAMI Park on Sunday after three matches take place on Saturday night.

Adelaide and Wellington kick-start the evening at Coopers Stadium, before Sydney and Melbourne Victory clash in the match of the round at Allianz Stadium. And wrapping up Saturday’s triple treat, Perth and Western Sydney meet at NIB Stadium.

Match details:

Adelaide United FC 0 – Sydney FC 0
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (B. Burrello (67)) – Melbourne City FC 3 (D. Williams (8), M. Dugandzic (10), M. Marino (83)); HT 0-2
Central Coast Mariners FC 0 – Perth Glory FC 1 (N. Marinkovic (43)); HT 0-1
Newcastle Jets FC 2 (K. Jaliens (31), J. Griffiths (33 pen)) – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (B. Khalfallah (36), B. Berisha (48)); HT 2-1
Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (N. Burns (80)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0 ;HT 0-0

Table:
P    W    D    L    F    A    GD    Pts

Perth Glory    5    4    0    1    8    6    +2    12

Melbourne Victory    5    3    2    0    14    6    +8    11

Sydney FC        5    3    2    0    8    3    +5    11

Adelaide United    5    3    2    0    7    3    +4    11

Wellington Phoenix    5    3    0    2    8    6    +2    9

Melbourne City        5    1    2    2    8    10    -2    5

Central Coast        4    1    0    3    2    5    -3    3

Newcastle Jets        5    0    2    3    5    10    -5    2

Western Sydney    3    0    0    3    3    8    -5    0

Brisbane Roar        4    0    0    4    4    10    -6    0