R6 Review: Sydney storm six points clear in A-League
by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com
HAL Round Review
Sydney FC have stormed six points clear of the chasing pack in the Hyundai A-League after thumping Perth Glory 4-1 in front of 14,167 fans at Allianz Stadium to conclude an intriguing sixth round of action.
Andy Keogh spurned three chances to open the scoring for the visitors before Milos Ninkovic opened Sydney’s account on the quarter hour, and the scorer turned provider for Bobo to double the league leaders’ lead on the scoreboard seven minutes before half-time.
Rhyan Grant inadvertently put through his own net just after the hour mark to set up a thrilling last thirty minutes, with Perth pressing hard for an equaliser until Ninkovic volleyed home his second goal of the game ten minutes from time.
Alex Brosque iced the cake with two minutes remaining to leave Sydney within a game of equalling Melbourne Victory’s seven-win start to the 2006-07 campaign, and six points clear of that club’s cross-town rivals, who now occupy second place.
Both teams had opportunities early on at AAMI Park, where 7,745 fans saw Melbourne City edge Newcastle Jets 2-1 on Thursday evening, thanks to two Bruno Fornaroli goals inside the opening half-hour.
He headed the opener on the quarter hour before volleying his second goal of the night twelve minutes later. But ten minutes before half-time, Andrew Nabbout halved the deficit to set up a tense encounter which saw further chances materialise at both ends, without the scoreboard operator being called into action again.
That result saw City go second ahead of Brisbane Roar, who were held to a 1-1 draw at Coopers Stadium by reigning champions Adelaide United, who are continuing to make a slow start to this campaign, and remain bottom of the table after six rounds.
There was very little between the teams throughout this encounter, but the 9,146 fans present finally saw a goal on the hour, Brett Holman’s deflected effort giving the visitors the lead.
But Sergi Guardiola headed home the equaliser twelve minutes from time to ensure Adelaide’s four-match losing streak would come to an end. Now they need to end their winless run.
Immediately above the champions on the table lie Central Coast Mariners, who dropped down to ninth place after being downed 2-0 at Canberra’s GIO Stadium by the previous occupants of that position, Wellington Phoenix.
5,497 fans saw Wellington coach Ernie Merrick oversee his 100th win in the A-League, the first coach to achieve the milestone. And it was achieved thanks largely to Roy Krishna, who had a goal disallowed before scoring the opener four minutes into the second half, then setting up Hamish Watson for a tap-in seven minutes later.
Guilherme Finkler hit the post with a stunning thirty yard free-kick just before half-time for a team missing half their regular line-up due to international commitments, an opportunity which Central Coast should have taken full advantage of, but never looked like doing so – it wasn’t until the last fifteen minutes of the contest that Wellington goalkeeper Lewis Italiano was called upon to make a save of note.
Wellington’s reward for their against-the-odds win is sixth place, ahead of Western Sydney Wanderers on goal difference after they copped a 3-0 mauling at Etihad Stadium from Melbourne Victory.
Oliver Bozanic was gifted the opening goal by poor defending from Aritz Borda in the 26th minute, to the delight of the 21,480 fans present, those same fans happily giving the referee’s assistant a right earful on the stroke of half-time as an incorrect offside call ruled out a Mitch Austin goal.
James Troisi hit the crossbar soon after half-time as Melbourne continued to dominate, but the visitors should have had a penalty soon after when Jumpei Kusukami was felled by Jason Geria’s ill-timed tackle, which referee Jarred Gillett chose to ignore.
Melbourne took full advantage, with Jai Ingham heading home a second goal before new signing and fellow substitute Max Beister wrapped up the points five minutes from time.
Western Sydney and Melbourne City kick off seventh round action next Friday night at Spotless Stadium, while Newcastle and Central Coast seal the deal at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday evening.
In between times, there’s a Saturday night triple-header to get excited about, kicking off at Westpac Stadium when Wellington and Melbourne Victory lock horns. That’s followed by a Suncorp Stadium showdown between Brisbane and Sydney, with Perth welcoming Adelaide to NIB Stadium for the final match of the night.
Adelaide United FC 1 (S. Guardiola (78)) – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (B. Holman (60)); HT 0-0
Central Coast Mariners FC 0 – Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (R. Krishna (49), H. Watson (56)); HT 0-0
Melbourne City FC 2 (B. Fornaroli (14, 27)) – Newcastle Jets FC 1 (A. Nabbout (35)); HT 2-1
Melbourne Victory FC 3 (O. Bozanic (26), J. Ingham (65), M. Beister (85)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0; HT 1-0
Sydney FC 4 (M. Ninkovic (14, 79), Bobo (38), A. Brosque (88)) – Perth Glory FC 1 (“oggie” (62)); HT 2-0
P W D L F A GD Pts
Sydney FC 6 6 0 0 17 2 +15 18
Melbourne City 6 4 0 2 11 7 +4 12
Brisbane Roar 6 3 2 1 6 7 -1 11
Melbourne Victory 6 3 1 2 14 9 +5 10
Perth Glory 6 2 2 2 12 13 -1 8
Wellington Phoenix 6 2 0 4 5 10 -5 6
Western Sydney Wanderers 6 1 3 2 7 13 -6 6
Newcastle Jets 6 1 2 3 8 9 -1 5
Central Coast Mariners 6 1 2 3 6 12 -6 5
Adelaide United 6 0 2 4 6 10 -4 2
Other review information
W-League Round 2 Details
Canberra United FC 1 (Ellie Brush 90’ pen) – Melbourne City FC 2 (Laura Alleway 18’, Melina Ayres 80’)
Perth Glory FC 0 – Brisbane Roar FC 0
Sydney FC 2 (Leena Khamis 13’, 30’) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0
Melbourne Victory FC 0 – Newcastle United Jets FC 4 (Megan Oyster 8’, Arin Gilliland 15’, Emma Stanbury 23’, Jenna Kingsley 90’)
Adelaide United FC – BYE
National Youth League Round 1 Details