R5 Review: Sydney come from behind to storm five points clear

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

HAL Round Review

They may have conceded their first goal of the season, but Sydney FC continue to make every post a winning one in the Hyundai A-League, coming from behind to down Melbourne Victory 2-1 in the “Big Blue” and storm five points clear at the top of the table.

19,143 fans piled into Allianz Stadium to witness this latest clash of these great rivals from Australia’s foremost cities, and it was the visitors who should have been over the hill and out of sight by half-time, so dominant were they in the first spell.

Besart Berisha had a goal ruled out by the offside flag, then badly missed a penalty, before Marco Rojas squandered an open goal in a match which finally saw the deadlock broken four minutes from time, as Mitch Austin gave Melbourne a deserved lead.

There were any number of exchanges of unpleasantries on and off the pitch to ensure attention was focused on referee Chris Beath throughout much of the match, but it was Sydney substitute David Carney whose introduction on the hour proved highly significant.

He levelled the scores just four minutes after entering the fray before ramming home the winner twelve minutes from time to give Sydney their first win in ten matches in this greatest of A-League rivalries.

Brisbane Roar were the big movers in this round, leaping into second place after edging incumbents Melbourne City 1-0 in front of 20,198 fans at Suncorp Stadium on Friday evening, with Jamie Maclaren’s eleventh minute goal proving decisive in a match which saw the home team always looking likely on the break, while denying City a single shot on target throughout the ninety minutes.

Perth Glory moved into fourth spot after being held to a 2-2 draw at NIB Stadium by Western Sydney Wanderers, who stunned the 13,290 fans present by opening the scoring through Nicolas Martinez inside the opening sixty seconds.

The visitors were still celebrating the fastest goal in their history when Alex Grant bagged a fifth minute equaliser for Perth, the signal for both teams to go at it hammer and tongs in a rip-roaring opening forty-five minutes laden with chances.

Neither net bulged again until six minutes into the second half, when Andy Keogh struck to give the home side the lead. The visitors took just sixteen minutes to respond, Brendon Santalab restoring parity to set up a grandstand finish during which either side could have scored on multiple occasions. 2-2 it remained, however, Western Sydney’s third successive stalemate.

Wellington Phoenix climbed off the bottom of the table thanks to a 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets in front of just 5,382 fans at Westpac Stadium, where Roy Krishna struck halfway through the first half, and again four minutes before half-time, to clinch the points for the home team, who dominated the contest and produced their best display in many a moon.

They are replaced on the bottom rung of the ladder by the reigning champions, with Central Coast Mariners coming from behind to condemn Adelaide United to a 2-1 loss in front of 10,974 fans at Coopers Stadium.

How the home team didn’t lead early doors defies logic, but they hit the post through Jordan O’Doherty in the twentieth minute, only for Roy O’Donovan to reply in kind at the other end of the park sixty seconds later.

Adelaide’s pressure inevitably told when Sergi Guardiola potted a penalty just shy of the half-hour mark. They continued to press, both for goals and a first win of the campaign, something which the visitors also sought in this match, and ultimately secured after O’Donovan levelled the scores two minutes into the second spell.

Ten minutes later, Connor Pain inflicted a considerable dose of it upon the hosts when thundering home a murderous strike which ultimately proved to be a dagger in the heart for Adelaide, who struggled to overcome this blow and in the end, could have lost by an even greater margin as Central Coast clinched their first win in 282 days.

Next week’s round kicks off on Thursday night with Melbourne City welcoming Newcastle to AAMI Park, twenty-four hours before Adelaide and Brisbane meet at Coopers Stadium.

On Saturday evening, Central Coast and Wellington meet at Canberra’s GIO Stadium prior to the clash of Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium, while Perth head to Allianz Stadium for a Sunday evening engagement with the league leaders.

Match details:

Brisbane Roar FC 1 (J. Maclaren (11)) – Melbourne City FC 0; HT 1-0
Sydney FC 2 (D. Carney (64, 78)) – Melbourne Victory FC 1 (M. Austin (41)); HT 0-1
Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (R. Krishna (21, 41)) – Newcastle United Jets FC 0; HT 2-0
Adelaide United FC 1 (S. Guardiola (27)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (R. O’Donovan (47), C. Pain (57)); HT 1-0
Perth Glory FC 2 (A. Grant (5), A. Keogh (51)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (N. Martinez (1), B. Santalab (67)); HT 1-1

P W D L F A GD Pts
Sydney FC 5 5 0 0 13 1 +12 15
Brisbane Roar 5 3 1 1 5 6 -1 10
Melbourne City 5 3 0 2 9 6 +3 9
Perth Glory 5 2 2 1 11 9 +2 8
Melbourne Victory 5 2 1 2 11 9 +2 7
Western Sydney Wanderers 5 1 3 1 7 10 -3 6
Newcastle Jets 5 1 2 2 7 7 0 5
Central Coast Mariners 5 1 2 2 6 10 -4 5
Wellington Phoenix 5 1 0 4 3 10 -7 3
Adelaide United 5 0 1 4 5 9 -4 1

W-League Round 1 Details

Brisbane Roar FC 2 (Allira Toby 55’, Katrina Gorry 66’) – Sydney FC 1 (Caitlin Foord 52’)
Melbourne City FC 1 (Marianna Tabain 8’) – Newcastle United Jets FC 0
Perth Glory FC 4 (Caitlin Doeglas 1’, Rosie Sutton 22’, Sam Kerr 68’, 83’) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2 (Joanne Burgess 39’, Helen Petinos 50’)
Adelaide United FC 3 (Stella Rigon 13’, Adriana Jones 20’, Monica Alves 73’) – Melbourne Victory FC 3 (Natasha Dowie 16’, 64’, Selin Kuralay 81’)
Canberra United FC – BYE