Round 6 Review: Shock Sydney loss sees Newcastle go top

by Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

HAL Round Review

Reigning Hyundai A-League champions and current table-toppers Sydney FC were knocked off their perch in stunning fashion at Central Coast Stadium, where 7,873 fans saw Central Coast Mariners down the title-holders 2-0 to record their first win of the campaign.

The hosts ruthlessly exposed Sydney’s shortcomings and punished their mistakes, the first noteworthy one of which resulted in Andrew Hoole opening the scoring after nineteen minutes.

Another error saw Jake McGing head home a Hoole corner eleven minutes into the second spell, with the supplier unlucky not to score his second goal of the game before the final whistle, by which time Central Coast had been reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Alan Baro.

Alex Wilkinson hit the post with a header inside the final ten minutes as Sydney tried to preserve their nine-month unbeaten run, but Ben Kennedy’s late exploits ensured the locals would cherish their first win of the season.

That result opened the door for a change at the top of the table, and Newcastle Jets put their name in that spotlight by scoring a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Adelaide United in front of 8,416 fans at Coopers Stadium.

Nikola Mileusnic gave the home team a deserved lead in the 24th minute, but after twice testing Paul Izzo, the visitors stunned Adelaide either side of the interval, goals from Ben Kantarovski and Andrew Nabbout turning things round for Ernie Merrick’s team, who kept Adelaide at arm’s length for the duration of the contest, despite the league’s leading marksman, Roy O’Donovan, missing an open goal.

Melbourne City were the other team with designs on the top rung of the league ladder, a perch off which they had been knocked a week ago. But they were unable to overcome the league’s draw specialists, Western Sydney Wanderers recording their fifth stalemate of the season in this 1-1 affair at AAMI Park.

Jaushua Sotirio gave the visitors the lead against the run of play after twenty minutes, but City were only prevented from getting back on level terms in the shadows of the half-time whistle by Vedran Janjetovic’s fine save from Ross McCormack’s free-kick.

Eight minutes after the interval, the video assistant referee was finally used for the benefit of the game, prompting referee Jonathan Barreiro to change his original decision of a goal kick in favour of a penalty, which McCormack duly converted to level the scores.

McCormack, who had been denied in a one-on-one situation early in the first half, spurned further chances to break the deadlock, while Janjetovic denied both the marksman and Nick Fitzgerald to earn Wests a point in Josep Gombau’s first game in charge of the team.

At the other end of the table, Wellington Phoenix stunned Perth Glory with a come-from-behind 5-2 win at Westpac Stadium, delighting the 6,105 fans who were fearing another long day at the football when Xavi Torres opened the scoring for the visitors in the ninth minute.

Their fears were short-lived, Dario Vidosic equalising with a flying header four minutes later, after which Andrija Kaludjerovic went desperately close to scoring before Goran Paracki took full advantage of a Scott Neville blunder to fire Wellington in front.

They retained their advantage until two minutes into the second spell, when Shane Lowry headed home the equaliser. Parity was short-lived, however, Guilherme Finkler restoring Wellington’s lead by firing home through a crowded goalmouth.

Another Neville error – this time a handball offence – presented Kaludjerovic with the chance to extend the home team’s lead from the penalty spot with fifteen minutes to play, after which there was no way back for the visitors, Kaludjerovic himself ensuring the fact by heading home Adam Parkhouse’s cross three minutes from time.

Unlike that match, all the scoring came inside the final ten minutes at Etihad Stadium, where Besart Berisha gave Melbourne Victory the lead six minutes from time, only for his old club to equalise three minutes later, Brett Holman’s goal ensuring Brisbane Roar would head home with a point to their name from this 1-1 draw.

18,098 fans witnessed an encounter in which both goalkeepers – Melbourne’s Lawrence Thomas and Brisbane’s Jamie Young – were largely responsible for keeping the score unchanged until Berisha’s late strike appeared to seal all three points for the home team, who, like Brisbane, have yet to record a win this season.

Central Coast and Adelaide kick off round seven action on Thursday night in Gosford, while twenty-four hours later, Brisbane and Melbourne City lock horns at Suncorp Stadium.

Western Sydney and Wellington clash at Spotless Stadium in the first of two games on Saturday night, the second of which is the clash of the round at Allianz Stadium, where Sydney and Newcastle will be at it hammer and tongs. As will Perth and Melbourne Victory when they meet at NIB Stadium on Sunday night.

by Jeremy Ruane

Match details

Adelaide United FC 1 (N. Mileusnic (24)) – Newcastle united Jets FC 2 (B. Kantarovski (45), A. Nabbout (47)); HT 1-1

Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (A. Hoole (19), J. McGing (56)) – Sydney FC 0; HT 1-0

Melbourne City FC 1 (R. McCormack (55 pen)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (J. Sotirio (19)); HT 0-1

Melbourne Victory FC 1 (B. Berisha (84)) – Brisbane Roar FC 1 (B. Holman (87)); HT 0-0

Wellington Phoenix FC 5 (D. Vidosic (13), G. Paracki (34), G. Finkler (52), A. Kaludjerovic (74 pen, 87)) – Perth Glory FC 2 (X. Torres (9), S. Lowry (47)); HT 2-1

League ladder:
P W D L F A GD Pts

Newcastle Jets 6 4 2 0 15 6 +9 14
Melbourne City 6 4 1 1 8 3 +5 13
Sydney FC 6 4 1 1 9 6 +3 13
Western Sydney 6 1 5 0 9 8 +1 8
Perth Glory 6 2 1 3 8 12 -4 7
Central Coast 6 1 3 2 7 10 -3 6
Wellington Phoenix 6 1 2 3 11 13 -2 5
Adelaide United 6 1 2 3 6 9 -3 5
Melbourne Victory 6 0 4 2 6 8 -2 4
Brisbane Roar 6 0 3 3 6 10 -4 3

W-League Round 3