R6 Review: Lively round of action sees leaders beaten
by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com
The last unbeaten record in this season’s Hyundai A-League went west during an eventful sixth round of action, which saw eighteen goals scored in the five games played across a weekend when events in Paris put matters of a sporting nature in perspective.
Reigning champions Melbourne Victory twice came from behind to down previously unbeaten league leaders Sydney FC 4-2 in front of a rain-affected 15,947-strong turn-out at Allianz Stadium, the bulk of whom were cock-a-hoop after Filip Holosko fired the home team in front just five minutes into the contest.
Besart Berisha ensured their advantage would be short-lived by levelling matters four minutes later, but Alex Brosque restored Sydney’s lead on the twenty minute mark. This time round, their advantage lasted eight minutes, at which point Guiherme Finkler beat Vedran Janjetovic all ends up at his near post to restore parity again.
Sydney piled on the pressure, particularly after half-time in this keenly contested “Big Blue”, and came desperately close when Shane Smeltz headed against the post on the hour, then had strong penalty claims waved away by referee Chris Beath.
Against the run of play, Melbourne took the lead half-way through the second spell courtesy substitute Costa Barbarouses, but the home team could so very nearly have been back on level terms in the 71st minute, when Leigh Broxham came close to putting through his own net – he owes Danny Vukovic big-time!
The home team continued to press for a leveller, but their hopes were dashed in stoppage time when Berisha battered home his second goal of the game to confirm Melbourne’s 4-2 victory, which leaves them among a gaggle of teams with ten points to their name so far this season.
One of them is Wellington Phoenix, who kicked off the round with a stirring, come-from-behind 4-2 win over Adelaide United, who contributed greatly to a highly entertaining match played before one of the best attendances ever at Westpac Stadium.
13,654 fans voted with their feet re Football Australia’s threat to curtail the club’s A-League licence, and they saw a whale of a game which was kick-started by Craig Goodwin’s opener just three minutes into the contest.
That silenced the natives, but only for sixty seconds, as Roy Krishna levelled the scores straight from the kick-off to get things bubbling along quite nicely. When Roly Bonevacia put Wellington in front half-way through the first half, the locals were delighted, and there were numerous other opportunities at both ends of the ground to alter the scoreboard prior to the half-time whistle.
That was also the case throughout the second spell, but Bonevacia’s blockbuster from thirty yards six minutes into the half really set things going, and after Jeffrey Sarpong had been denied what would have been a superb goal by the post, Michael Ridenton wrapped up the points for Wellington with twenty minutes remaining.
Pablo Sanchez scored in the shadows of the full-time whistle for the bottom-placed team, who were denied on a number of other occasions by fine Glen Moss saves. But Wellington were deserving 4-2 winners in a match which saw Troy Danaskos make his debut for the home team, but only after being booked for over-exuberant goal celebrations – there’s one to add to those curly questions on football quiz nights!
Later on Friday evening, Western Sydney Wanderers proved far too strong for Melbourne City, prevailing 3-0 in front of 7,910 fans at AAMI Park, where all the scoring came in the second spell.
Mitch Nichols broke the deadlock two minutes into the second spell before Federico Piovaccari’s strike on the hour was controversially allowed to stand, the referee’s assistant having flagged for offside against Dario Vidosic during the build-up.
Referee Peter Green didn’t believe he was in the active area of play, however, and overruled his assistant, much to the ire of the home fans, and Bruno Fornaroli and Harry Novillo in particular.
That goal knocked City sideways, and when Mark Bridge applied the coup de grace six minutes from time, he did so in the knowledge that he had just notched his fiftieth A-League goal.
On Saturday evening, the F3 derby finished all square, 1-1, with both goals coming late in a contest which saw Central Coast Mariners’ Jake McGing sent off for a late challenge on Newcastle Jets’ Leonardo twenty-five minutes into the contest.
Just prior, the visitors to Hunter Stadium had been denied penalty claims by referee Kris Griffiths-Jones, while just after half-time, an outstanding save by Mark Birighitti denied Roy O’Donovan, much to the relief of the bulk of the 9,422 fans who braved the rainy conditions.
Central Coast, despite their numerical disadvantage, were the better team throughout this encounter, and thoroughly deserved their injury time equaliser, Matt Sim levelling the scores after Milos Trifunovic had headed home David Carney’s corner to give Newcastle the lead seven minutes from time.
Those results left the way clear for Brisbane Roar to take over at the top of the table, a feat they achieved thanks to a 1-0 defeat of Perth Glory in front of 11,748 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday evening.
Dimitri Petratos rattled the post in each half of this match as the home team celebrated the return from injury of Henrique, who, fittingly, came off the substitute’s bench to bag the winner with sixteen minutes remaining, rewarding Brisbane’s dominance of the FFA Cup finalists.
The reigning champions kick off the next round of action at AAMI Park on Thursday evening with Central Coast bidding to win at Melbourne Victory’s expense. Twenty-four hours later, Brisbane entertain Melbourne City at Suncorp Stadium.
Saturday’s fare sees Western Sydney and Wellington clashing at Pirtek Stadium, prior to Perth’s NIB Stadium engagement with Sydney, while on Sunday evening Adelaide and Newcastle lock horns at Coopers Stadium.
Brisbane Roar FC 1 (Henrique (74)) – Perth Glory FC 0; HT 0-0
Melbourne City FC 0 – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (M. Nichols (47), F. Piovaccari (61), M. Bridge (84)); HT 0-0
Newcastle Jets FC 1 (M. Trifunovic (83)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (M. Sim (90)); HT 1-1
Sydney FC 2 (F. Holosko (5), A. Brosque (20)) – Melbourne Victory FC 4 (B. Berisha (9, 90), G. Finkler (28), C. Barbarouses (68)); HT 2-2
Wellington Phoenix FC 4 (R. Krishna (4), R. Bonevacia (22, 51), M. Ridenton (69)) – Adelaide United FC 2 (C. Goodwin (3), P. Sanchez (89)); HT 2-1
P W D L F A GD Pts
Brisbane Roar 6 4 1 1 11 5 +6 13
Sydney FC 6 3 2 1 8 6 +2 11
Melbourne Victory 5 3 1 1 10 5 +5 10
Western Sydney Wanderers 6 3 1 2 8 6 +2 10
Newcastle Jets 6 3 1 2 8 7 +1 10
Wellington Phoenix 6 3 1 2 11 11 0 10
Melbourne City 6 2 1 3 12 13 -1 7
Central Coast Mariners 6 1 2 3 8 12 -4 5
Perth Glory 5 1 0 4 6 8 -2 3
Adelaide United 6 0 2 4 6 15 -9 2
By Jeremy Ruane
Westfield W-League – Season 8 – Round 5
Newcastle Jets FC 0 – Canberra United FC 0
Melbourne City FC 2 (Larissa Crummer 44’, Jess Fishlock 72’) – Adelaide United FC 0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 (Michelle Carney 24’, Cassandra Dimovski O.G. 56’, Keelin Winters 70’ pen) – Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Laura Spiranovic 75’)
Brisbane Roar FC 0 – Perth Glory FC 2 (Vanessa DiBernardo 8’, 88’)
Sydney FC – BYE
Link to ladder: http://www.w-league.com.au/ladder/w_league
Foxtel National Youth League v2 – Round 2
Melbourne City FC 1 – Perth Glory FC 1
Brisbane Roar FC 3 – Melbourne Victory FC 1
FFA Centre of Excellence 4 – Newcastle Jets FC 3
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 3 – Central Coast Mariners FC 2
Link to ladder: http://www.y-league.com.au/ladder/y_league