Round 15 Review: No Table changes as top three all win

by Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

HAL Round Review

It’s as you were at the top of the Hyundai A-League, as the top three all recorded victories in fifteenth round action, which unusually took place in midweek from January 8.

Reigning champions and runaway leaders Sydney FC maintained their eight-point advantage with a one-sided 3-0 win over struggling Brisbane Roar in front of 7,826 fans at Suncorp Stadium.

The visitors had a plethora of chances, but only took one in the first spell, with Bobo, the league’s leading marksman, once more on target. Five minutes after the interval, Adrian Mierzejewski doubled their advantage, before being denied another goal by the Video Assistant Referee.

David Carney wrapped up the scoring four minutes from time to allow Sydney to maintain their lead over Newcastle Jets, who required two goals in the last ten minutes to overcome Central Coast Mariners in the F3 derby at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Dimitri Petratos and debutant substitute Patito Rodriguez did the damage to the dismay of the visitors, who enjoyed large spells of dominance in this derby and would have won it but for the fine goalkeeping of Glen Moss and the profligacy of, most notably, Kwabena Appiah-Kubi.

Newcastle never looked like winning the match, played in stormy conditions in front of 13,127 fans, but they were handed an advantage when Josh Rose was sent off for committing his second bookable offence, and how they made Central Coast pay for failing to convert their opportunities.

Across country at NIB Stadium, Perth Glory’s form slump was extended by third-placed Melbourne City, for whom Ross McCormack struck a ninth minute free-kick and a penalty seven minutes before half-time as the visitors prevailed 2-0.

The 8,016 fans present were more than a tad frustrated by the contribution Daniel Arzani made during the match, the youngster winning both set-piece opportunities for City, with Perth’s faithful convinced that he dived to earn the penalty, and letting him know of their disapproval throughout the remainder of proceedings.

Not that Arzani and his City team-mates were bothered. Indeed, they were buoyed by the fact cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory handed Wellington Phoenix a rare win, the bottom-placed team coming from behind to prevail 2-1 at Westpac Stadium in front of 5,105 fans.

They saw the visitors reduced to ten men ten minutes into the contest when Rhys Williams was sent off thanks to the Video Assistant Referee, referee Matt Conger having only booked him for a professional foul.

Matthew Ridenton hit the post soon afterwards as Wellington looked to make their numerical superiority count, but when the half-time whistle blew it was the ten men who were a goal to the good, Costa Barbarouses coming back to haunt his old club five minutes before the interval.

After it, Wellington were largely rampant, new signings Nathan Burns and Matija Ljujic instrumental in keeping Melbourne on the back foot, with the former Johnny Warren Medal winner’s shot being fumbled by Lawrence Thomas, moments after he pulled off a worldie to deny Thomas Doyle’s long-range attempt to equalise.

Roy Krishna swooped on the loose ball to punish the ‘keeper, while it was Burns’ 83rd minute cross which was turned into his own net by Mike Milligan, under pressure from Andrija Kaludjerovic, to give Wellington a 2-1 win, just their second of the season.

The final game of the round saw Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United sharing the spoils in a barnstorming 1-1 draw at ANZ Stadium, where both Vedran Janjetovic and his opposite number, United’s Daniel Margush, were highly prominent figures in keeping the score down.

They got some assistance from their defences, with Wests’ Raul Llorente and United’s Jordan Elsey both responsible for remarkable goal-line clearances in the first fifteen minutes, the latter denying Steven Lustica after Oriol Riera’s shot had cannoned off the crossbar into his stride.

The deadlock was finally broken seven minutes into the second spell when the unlikeliest of scorers, Jack Clisby, steamed up to turn home a Roly Bonevacia cross to the delight of the 10,771 fans present in “Wanderland”.

But Adelaide weren’t to be denied a share of the spoils, and four minutes from time were rewarded when substitute Apostolos Stamatelopoulos – has there ever been a longer name in the A-League? – rammed home a close-range equaliser to conclude the scoring.

Newcastle and Brisbane get the sixteenth round of action under way at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night, while twenty-four hours later Wellington welcome Western Sydney to Westpac Stadium prior to Perth’s trip to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne Victory.

Sunday’s fare sees Melbourne City heading to Gosford to take on Central Coast, before Adelaide become the latest team to attempt to derail the runaway Sydney express when they meet at Coopers Stadium.

Match details

Brisbane Roar FC 0 – Sydney FC 3 (Bobo (18), A. Mierzejewski (50), D. Carney (86)); HT 0-1

Newcastle United Jets FC 2 (D. Petratos (82), P. Rodriguez (90)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 0; HT 0-0

Perth Glory FC 0 – Melbourne City FC 2 (R. McCormack (9, 38 pen)); HT 0-2

Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (R. Krishna (64), “oggie” (83)) – Melbourne Victory FC 1 (C. Barbarouses (40)); HT 0-1

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (J. Clisby (52)), Adelaide United 1 (A. Stamatelopoulos (86)) HT 0-0


League ladder
P W D L F A GD Pts

Sydney FC 15 12 2 1 38 12 +26 38

Newcastle Jets 15 9 3 3 34 17 +17 30

Melbourne City 15 8 1 6 19 17 +2 25

Adelaide United 15 6 3 6 19 17 +2 21

Melbourne Victory 15 5 5 5 20 21 -1 20

Western Sydney 14 4 6 4 16 23 -7 18


Perth Glory 15 5 1 9 15 30 -15 16

Central Coast 15 3 5 7 14 20 -6 14

Brisbane Roar 15 3 4 8 16 24 -8 13

Wellington Phoenix 14 2 4 8 18 28 -10 10





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