R6 Review: Perth, Adelaide edge ahead as Big Blue rivals draw

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

Round 6 Review – Hyundai A-League – Season 10 – 2014/2015

A thrilling scoreless draw between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory has allowed Perth Glory and Adelaide United to edge ahead of their fellow front-running contenders following sixth round action in the Hyundai A-League over the middle weekend in November.

Perth retained top spot after overcoming bottom-placed Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 in front of 12,166 fans at NIB Stadium, where Dino Djulbic headed the home team in front after nine minutes.

A couple of fine saves from Danny Vukovic prevented the AFC Champions League winners from levelling matters over the course of the next ten minutes, after which Perth dominated proceedings, deservedly doubling their lead twelve minutes from time through a superb Scott Jamieson free-kick.

Western Sydney halved the deficit with five minutes to go through Jaushua Sotirio – or was it an own goal? – but couldn’t peg Perth back, as a result of which the visitors remain bottom of the pile without a point to their name after four matches.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Adelaide staked their claim for top spot by scoring a dramatic last-gasp winner to edge Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in front of 9,726 fans at Coopers Stadium, where referee Strebre Delovksi’s decision-making played a significant part in the outcome.

In a lively opening spell, Wellington opened the scoring on the quarter hour through Roly Bonavecia, and it wasn’t until nine minutes before half-time that Nigel Boogaard headed Adelaide on level terms, Awer Mabil having hit the post in between times.

The home team had plenty of possession throughout the second spell, but were prevented from making the most of it by a Wellington side few would have begrudged a share of the spoils to, had the score remained level.

But in the fourth minute of stoppage time, referee Delovksi awarded Adelaide a free-kick when the original offence was committed by the home team. They took their chance well, Sergio Cirio the latest to exploit poor marking in Wellington’s rearguard to clinch Adelaide’s dramatic 2-1 win.

Later that evening, 21,242 fans piled into Allianz Stadium and watched Sydney and Melbourne share the spoils, the scoreless scoreline failing to do justice to the host of chances both sides squandered in this thrilling “Big Blue” encounter.

Both teams were denied a goal by the offside flag inside the first six minutes of the match, and that set the tone for a lively affair in which both goalkeepers, Sydney’s Vedran Jenjatovic and Melbourne’s Nathan Coe, were in fine form, with both playing a major role in ensuring the game ended 0-0.

Reigning champions Brisbane Roar got their season back on track in a big way on Friday evening, first half substitute Henrique scoring a second half hat-trick as they trounced Newcastle Jets 4-0 at Hunter Stadium.

The treble hitter broke the deadlock four minutes into the second spell, and after Dimitri Petratos had seen his penalty saved by Mark Birighitti – the one bright spot on an otherwise dark night for Newcastle – the Brazilian set up Steven Lustica half-way through the second spell.

Henrique then made it 3-0 in style eighteen minutes from time before completing his hat-trick in the final minute of the match, at the conclusion of which Newcastle’s fans booed their team off the pitch.

And on Sunday night, Mate Dugandzic’s tenth minute goal – a thumping diving header, allied to Erik Paartalu’s headed effort eight minutes into the second spell, had Melbourne City on course for all three points against Central Coast Mariners in front of 9,402 fans at AAMI Park.

But after the efforts of Liam Reddy had kept them in the match, the visitors came home with a wet sail, Glen Trifiro giving them a lifeline ten minutes from time with a delightful free-kick before John Hutchinson struck four minutes into stoppage time to earn Central Coast an unlikely 2-2 draw.

The Mariners are in action again on Wednesday evening as they visit Western Sydney’s Pirtek Stadium home in the first of the hosts’ two rescheduled matches which are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks.

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 2 (N. Boogaard (36), S. Cirio (90)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (R. Bonavecia (15)); HT 1-1

Melbourne City FC 2 (M. Dugandzic (10), E. Paartalu (53)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (G. Trifiro (80), J. Hutchinson (90)); HT 1-0

Newcastle Jets FC 0 – Brisbane Roar FC 4 (Henrique (49, 72, 89), S. Lustica (66)); HT 0-0

Perth Glory FC 2 (D. Djulbic (9), S. Jamieson (78)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (J. Sotirio (85); HT 1-0

Sydney FC 0 – Melbourne Victory FC 0

P    W    D    L    F    A    GD    Pts

Perth Glory        6    5    0    1    10    7    +3    15

Adelaide United    6    4    2    0    9    4    +5    14

Melbourne Victory    6    3    3    0    14    6    +8    12

Sydney FC        6    3    3    0    8    3    +5    12

Wellington Phoenix    6    3    0    3    9    8    +1    9

Melbourne City        6    1    3    2    10    12    -2    6

Central Coast        5    1    1    3    4    7    -3    4

Brisbane Roar        5    1    0    4    8    10    -2    3

Newcastle Jets        6    0    2    4    5    14    -9    2

Western Sydney    4    0    0    4    4    10    -6    0