Round 12 Review: Top Two both score four in Christmas Round

by Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

HAL Round Review

The two leading teams in the Hyundai A-League both scored four goals as they recorded convincing victories in the Christmas round of action, with leaders Sydney FC sweeping aside Wellington Phoenix 4-1 at Westpac Stadium.

Denied a clear-cut penalty in just the third minute, the visitors opened the scoring fourteen minutes later through Bobo, and doubled their lead eight minutes later via the imperious Adrian Mierzejewski.

Five minutes before half-time, and out of nowhere, Andrija Kaludjerovic headed the home team back into the contest, but it proved to be a false dawn for Wellington, as Bobo restored Sydney’s two-goal advantage just shy of the hour mark.

Adam Parkhouse missed a sitter for the home team soon afterwards, and substitute Sarpreet Singh hit the post seventeen minutes from time, but Sydney didn’t have to bust a boiler to win this match convincingly, and four minutes from time Bobo iced the cake with a close-range header to complete his hat-trick.

Second-placed Newcastle Jets swept Western Sydney Wanderers aside 4-0 in front of 9,862 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium, and the visitors were lucky it was only four!

Andrew Nabbout was denied by the offside flag in the fifth minute, while Steven Ugarkovic hit the post with a long-range missile before the interval. In between times, Johnny Koutroumbis gave Newcastle the lead with a well-taken tenth minute effort.

The floodgates opened in the second spell, with Jason Hoffman netting on the hour, eight minutes before Ben Kantarovski made the game safe for the home team. Six minutes from time, Ugarkovic made it four in a match totally dominated by the Novocastrians.

Western Sydney’s assistant coach, Hayden Foxe, resigned after the game, becoming the second person in that role to part company with his club this week, after Rado Vidosic was shown the door at Wellington earlier in the week.

The highlight of the round on paper was the Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, but the 20,787 patrons present were resigned to witnessing a scoreless stalemate until a penalty was awarded six minutes into stoppage time at the end of a match in which Victory had enjoyed the better chances.

Leroy George hit the crossbar while Besart Berisha was denied by a stunning Dean Bouzanis save as City held out their cross-town rivals, but it was a lapse by the goalkeeper which opened the door for Victory to claim bragging rights, Mark Milligan doing the honours from twelve yards to allow the victors to close within three points of the vanquished.

Perth Glory scored a late come-from-behind 2-1 win to sink Brisbane Roar in front of 7,031 fans at Suncorp Stadium, where the home team were controversially denied what could have been a decisive second goal by the offside flag.

Video evidence proved that Massimo Maccarone, who opened the scoring seven minutes before half-time, was onside when he fired home early in the second spell, but the Video Assistant Referee was unable to be used as the perceived infringement was called before Maccarone had fired home.

The game was turned on its head inside the last ten minutes as Andy Keogh and Diego Castro struck two goals in as many minutes to leave Brisbane fuming – and mired in ninth place, with just woeful Wellington beneath them on the standings.

The Boxing Day fare attracted 10,313 fans to Coopers Stadium, and they saw Ryan Kitto give Adelaide United the lead on the quarter hour before Central Coast Mariners subjected Paul Izzo’s goal to everything but the kitchen sink in their efforts to equalise.

United’s ‘keeper produced the proverbial blinder, and his efforts were suffice to secure the three points for Adelaide, this 1-0 win propelling them into fourth place.

The New Year round of action kicks off on Friday evening at AAMI Park as Newcastle visit Melbourne Victory. On Saturday night, Adelaide welcome Brisbane to Coopers Stadium, while Sydney and Perth lock horns at Allianz Stadium.

The final game of 2017 takes place at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday, as the Mariners welcome Wellington to Gosford, while 2018 begins with Western Sydney and Melbourne City meeting in a New Year’s night encounter.

As this is the final round review of 2017, it just remains for me to wish all readers a happy, prosperous and fulfilling 2018.

by Jeremy Ruane


Match details

Brisbane Roar FC 1 (M. Maccarone (38)) – Perth Glory FC 2 (A. Keogh (79), D. Castro (82)); HT 1-0

Melbourne City FC 0 – Melbourne Victory FC 1 (M. Milligan (90 pen)); HT 0-0

Newcastle United Jets 4 (J. Koutruombis (10), J. Hoffman (60), B. Kantarovski (68), S. Ugarkovic (84)) – Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0; HT 1-0

Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (A. Kaludjerovic (40)) – Sydney FC 4 (Bobo (17, 58, 86), A. Mierzejewski (25)) HT 1-2
Adelaide United FC 1 (R. Kitto (14)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 0; HT 1-0

League ladder

P W D L F A GD Pts

Sydney FC 12 10 1 1 27 10 +17 31

Newcastle Jets 12 8 2 2 29 13 +16 26

Melbourne City 12 6 1 5 14 14 0 19

Adelaide United 12 5 2 5 14 14 0 17

Melbourne Victory 12 4 4 4 16 17 -1 16

Perth Glory 12 5 1 6 15 19 -4 16

Central Coast 12 3 3 6 13 17 -4 12

Western Sydney 11 2 5 4 11 21 -10 11

Brisbane Roar 12 2 4 6 14 18 -4 10

Wellington Phoenix 11 1 3 7 15 25 -10 6




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