R2 Review: Emphatic wins maintain ideal starts for top two

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

HAL Round Review

Sydney FC and Melbourne City are making the early running in the Hyundai A-League, after both scored emphatic four-goal victories in second round action across the weekend of October 14-16.

It’s the second week running in which Sydney has amassed a 4-0 win, and this time it was Central Coast Mariners who were put to the sword in front of 15,082 fans at Allianz Stadium.

Milos Ninkovic had a field day setting things up for the early season leaders, including the game’s first goal, which Filip Holosko deftly chipped home just eighteen minutes into the contest.

Trent Buhagiar and Roy O’Donovan went close to levelling the scores, but once Bobo doubled the lead six minutes before half-time, the visitors were always on a sticky wicket.

The scorer turned provider – to a degree – in the 65th minute, with Bobo being brought down in the penalty area to present Holosko with the chance to convert from twelve yards, one he didn’t miss.

Alex Brosque wrapped up the scoring five minutes later courtesy a glaring error by Ivan Necevski on a night City fans were shouting from the rafters at Etihad Stadium, where 43,188 fans saw Victory cop a 4-1 hiding in the Melbourne derby.

As the scoreline suggests, the victors were mightily impressive going forward, never more so than in the 27th minute, when Tim Cahill marked his A-League debut with a thirty-five yard thunderbolt to open the scoring.

Victory were still reeling when Bruno Fornaroli doubled City’s advantage four minutes later via a diving header, and when Luke Brattan made it three seven minutes into the second half, the writing was on the wall for the former champions.

Kevin Muscat’s side looked to have got a foothold in the contest just after the hour mark when Marco Rojas somehow wriggled through four challenges to pull a goal back, but while he and his team-mates were still celebrating, Fernando Brandan restored City’s three-goal advantage and, in doing so, wrapped up the scoring.

The action kicked off on Friday night when reigning champions Adelaide United were stunned 2-1 by the team they conquered in the Grand Final, Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium.

14,789 fans saw Sergio Cirio depart the fray early for the home team after being clattered by Jack Clisby, who was only booked for his contribution to a match which got the goal it needed two minutes before half-time, Henrique giving Adelaide the half-time lead.

They only just held onto that advantage early in the second spell when Tarek Elrich cleared off the line, but substitute Brendon Santalab finally brought about parity half-way through the second spell, before stunning the natives with a stoppage time winner.

On Sunday evening, Newcastle Jets stunned Brisbane Roar 4-0 at McDonald Jones Stadium, where Jack Hingert delighted the locals by putting through his own net just eight minutes into the contest, after fine work by Andrew Nabbout.

Nigel Boogaard doubled the home team’s lead just after the hour mark, and when Steven Ugarkovic rifled home a third goal nineteen minutes from time, the game was up for Brisbane, who saw one of their former stars, Devante Clut, rub salt in their wounds when wrapping up the scoring four minutes from time.

Across the country at NIB Stadium, Perth Glory prevailed 2-0 over Wellington Phoenix in the ‘Distance Derby’, in which the bulk of the action took place in the third quarter of the match.

Diego Castro potted a penalty three minutes into the second half after Chris Harold had been clipped in the area, while Glen Moss made amends for bringing down Andy Keogh in the box eleven minutes later by saving the striker’s poor spot-kick.

To the delight of the 11,209 fans present, Perth doubled their advantage half-way through the second half through a fiercely struck Nejbosa Marinkovic drive, with the visitors going close to pulling one back fifteen minutes from time when Roy Krishna’s close-range header brought out the best in Liam Reddy reflex-wise.

Next weekend’s action kicks off on Friday night with Perth making their first trip of the season to Melbourne, where City lie in wait at AAMI Park. On Saturday night, Central Coast welcome Brisbane to Central Coast Stadium before Adelaide and Melbourne Victory lock horns at Coopers Stadium.

Sunday’s fare sees Wellington welcoming Sydney to Westpac Stadium, while Western Sydney and Newcastle round things off when they meet at Spotless Stadium, the venue’s new name a clear reference to the disciplinary report card the club would like its fans to boast, particularly with regard to their love of pyrotechnics!

Match details:

Adelaide United FC 1 (Henrique (43)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (B. Santalab (67, 90)); HT 1-0
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (M. Rojas (62)) – Melbourne City FC 4 (T. Cahill (27), B. Fornaroli (31), L. Brattan (52), F. Brandan (63)); HT 0-2
Newcastle Jets FC 4 (“oggie” (8), N. Boogaard (62), S. Ugarkovic (71), D. Clut (87)) – Brisbane Roar FC 0; HT 1-0
Perth Glory FC 2 (D. Castro (48 pen), N. Marinkovic (66)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 0; HT 0-0
Sydney FC 4 (F. Holosko (18, 65 pen), Bobo (39), A. Brosque (70)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 0; HT 2-0

Ladder:
P W D L F A GD Pts

Sydney FC 2 2 0 0 8 0 +8 6
Melbourne City 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4 6
Newcastle Jets 2 1 1 0 5 1 +4 4
Perth Glory 2 1 1 0 5 3 +2 4
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 1 0 1 2 5 -3 3
Adelaide United 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1
Melbourne Victory 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 1
Central Coast Mariners 2 0 1 1 3 7 -4 1
Brisbane Roar 2 0 1 1 1 5 -4 1
Wellington Phoenix 2 0 0 2 0 3 -3 0