R14 Review: Top Two draw further away from field

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

HAL Round Review

The Hyundai A-League Premiers’ Plate looks certain to be a straight dogfight between arch-Eastern State rivals Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, after both teams recorded contrasting victories over the bottom twos in the competition on Sunday.

Table-toppers Sydney continue to make every post a winning one, although they were given a scare by Central Coast Mariner before prevailing 3-2 in front of 11,398 fans at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday evening.

Paul Izzo was the busier goalkeeper throughout the first half, and he was forced to fish the ball out of his net just three minutes before half-time, Bobo doing the honours to give Sydney the half-time lead. And when he doubled their advantage three minutes into the second spell, things were looking ominous for Central Coast.

To their credit, the home team fought their way back into the contest, Roy O’Donovan giving them a lifeline half-way through the second half. Five minutes later, they should have drawn level, but Fabio Ferreira sent his penalty into orbit, spurning a great chance to equalise.

Incredibly, Central Coast did just that fourteen minutes from time, Scott Galloway setting up a grandstand finish. But straight from the kick-off, David Carney restored Sydney’s lead, and this time, they weren’t pegged back.

Melbourne Victory kept on the leaders’ coat-tails with a comfortable 2-0 win at reigning champions Adelaide United, who remain firmly entrenched in bottom spot after this defeat in front of 10,036 fans at Coopers Stadium.

James Troisi was in dominant form throughout for the visitors, and capped an outstanding personal performance with the opening goal half-way through the first half.

He also set up the clincher for Besart Berisha half-way through the second half, his header coming moments after Isaias had hit the crossbar with a free-kick which represented United’s best opportunity of the match.

It was a good weekend for the Victorian teams, with Melbourne City getting back to winning ways thanks to Ivan Franjic’s delicious dipping volley nineteen minutes into their clash with draw specialists Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park.

10,731 fans rose as one to acknowledge a superb strike, the only one of the game despite City enjoying a plethora of opportunities to build on that goal against ten-man Wanderers, Aritz Borda earning his marching orders on the half-hour for elbowing Bruno Fornaroli.

The match marked the first in charge of City for Michael Valkanis, who has stepped into the breach after John van’t Schip’s shock resignation earlier in the week, personal reasons prompting him to return to his homeland.

The win allowed City to edge past Brisbane Roar, who were stunned by Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium, the visitors coming from behind to win 3-2 in front of 14,470 fans.

All appeared normal for the home team when Tommy Oar provided them with the lead on the quarter hour courtesy a thumping volley from the edge of the penalty area, a strike matched in quality by Andrew Hoole, who levelled matters on the stroke of half-time.

Brisbane had enjoyed the better of the first half exchanges, but the visitors’ leveller gave them hope for the second spell, and when Andrew Nabbout fired Newcastle in front eighteen minutes from time, the upset was on.

The home team set about restoring parity with a vengeance, and did so ten minutes later when Jamie Maclaren potted a penalty. But Brisbane were still celebrating when Morten Nordstrand stunned the natives by restoring Newcastle’s advantage two minutes later, and this time they retained it to the end.

That win lifted Newcastle into the top six, a point behind Perth Glory, who also scored a come-from-behind victory as they overcame Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in front of 9,210 fans at NIB Stadium.

The visitors produced their best forty-five minutes of the season in the first half, with Roy Krishna firing them in front just eleven minutes into the contest, Liam Reddy going on to make amends for his blunder by producing a handful of vital saves which prevented Wellington from building on this advantage.

These were to prove crucial, as on the stroke of half-time, Rostyn Griffiths levelled the scores in fulminating fashion, a thunderous twenty-five yard drive slamming into the net to impact upon the half-time team talks of both teams.

Perth were the team to benefit, and after Andy Keogh had been denied a goal by the offside flag, Adam Taggart headed the home team in front six minutes into the second spell.

Wellington were dealt a fatal blow when Krishna was harshly sent off by referee Shaun Evans eleven minutes later, although the official was guilty of failing to apply the appropriate punishment for the crime committed later in the match when Keogh head-butted Marco Rossi in the abdomen, only to be shown the yellow card.

Adelaide welcome Melbourne City to Coopers Stadium on Thursday evening as fifteenth round action gets under way, with Melbourne Victory and Brisbane meeting in the match of the round at AAMI Park twenty-four hours later.

Saturday’s fare sees Wellington welcoming Central Coast Mariners to Westpac Stadium, prior to the Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium. On Sunday evening, Perth travels to McDonald Jones Stadium to take on Newcastle.

Match details:

Adelaide United FC 0 – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (J. Troisi (22), B. Berisha (68)); HT 0-1

Brisbane Roar FC 2 (T. Oar (15), J. Maclaren (82 pen)) –  Newcastle United Jets 3 (A. Hoole (45), A. Nabbout (72), M. Nordstrand (84)); HT 1-1

Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (R. O’Donovan (66), S. Galloway (76)) – Sydney FC 3 (Bobo (42, 48), D. Carney (77)); HT 0-1

Melbourne City FC 1 (I. Frantic (19)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0; HT 1-0

Perth Glory FC 2 (R. Griffiths (45), A. Taggart (51)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (R. Krishna (11)); HT 1-1


P W D L F A GD Pts
Sydney FC 14 11 3 0 34 7 +27 36
Melbourne Victory 13 9 2 2 32 14 +18 29
Melbourne City 14 6 5 3 23 18 +5 23
Brisbane Roar 14 5 6 3 18 17 +1 21
Perth Glory 14 4 5 5 24 28 -4 17
Newcastle Jets 14 4 4 6 20 24 -4 16
Western Sydney Wanderers 14 2 8 4 17 24 -7 14
Wellington Phoenix 13 3 3 7 14 20 -6 12
Central Coast Mariners 14 2 4 8 16 31 -15 10
Adelaide United 14 1 4 9 10 25 -15 7

Other review information

W-League ‘Round’  11  Details

Brisbane Roar FC 3 (Tameka Butt 3’, 6’, 75’) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0

Canberra United FC 2 (Ashleigh Sykes 20’, 79’) – Adelaide United FC 2 (Sofia Huerta 65’ pen, 81’)

Sydney FC 1 (Caitlin Foord 67’) – Melbourne City FC 1 (Jess Fishlock 75’)

Perth Glory FC 3 (Sam Kerr 50’, Vanessa DiBernardo 80’, Rosie Sutton 85’) – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (Arianna Romero O.G. 52’, Alyssa Mautz O.G. 60’)

Newcastle United Jets FC  – BYE


National Youth League Round 8 Details