Round 5 Review: Perth Skip Four Clear As Champions Win “Big Blue”

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

HAL 14 – Round 5 Review

Perth Glory skipped four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League on November 25, Chris Ikonomidis’ last-gasp winner clinching a 3-2 victory over bottom-placed Central Coast Mariners in front of 10,417 fans at NIB Stadium.

Ikonomidis got the table-toppers off to an ideal start when netting in the twelfth minute, but the visitors were back on level terms nine minutes before half-time, Tomislav Mrcela putting through his own net very much against the run of play.

Shane Lowry headed Perth back in front on the hour mark, but within three minutes, the Mariners were on level terms again, this time via a splendidly placed strike from Aiden O’Neill.

With the visitors on course to earn a point, their cause wasn’t aided by the late dismissal of Kalifa Cisse. It hurt them badly, as with virtually the last kick of the game, Ikonomidis rammed the ball home into the roof of the numerically challenged team’s net to clinch all three points for Perth.

Across the continent at Jubilee Stadium, formerly Kogarah Oval, reigning champions Melbourne Victory edged the team which has won the last two Premierships, Sydney FC, 2-1 in front of 19,081 fans.

Costa Barbarouses brought the best out of Andrew Redmayne just three minutes into the clash, and twenty minutes later the visitors were in front, Ola Toivonen turning the ball home thanks in large part to a terrific decoy run by Barbarouses, which took out two Sydney defenders and left a gaping hole where at least one of them should have been.

Melbourne’s lead lasted twelve minutes, Adam Le Fondre restoring parity from the rebound after his penalty was saved by Lawrence Thomas, who also kept out a Rhyan Grant header as the home team gained the ascendancy.

But Sydney couldn’t grab a second goal, and paid the price twenty minutes from time when a foul on Keisuke Honda in the penalty area gave the marquee man the chance to restore Melbourne’s lead, a chance he took to ultimately win the match for his side.

Joining Sydney in a share of third spot are Adelaide United, who came from behind to beat a poor Wellington Phoenix side 3-1 in front of just 4,831 fans at Westpac Stadium, where Mandi Sosa gave the home team the lead on the quarter hour.

That was as good as it got for Wellington, for whom things started to unravel on the stroke of half-time when Tom Doyle headed a Ben Halloran cross into his own net to level the scores.

Two minutes after the interval, United were in front, Ken Ilso’s diving header in between defenders doing justice to a delightfully measured Michael Marrone cross, the fullback himself going close on the hour before Ilso wrapped up the scoring five
minutes later, although so close was the retreating figure of Doyle to the striker that the defender could just as easily have been credited with a second own goal.

9,925 fans piled into Suncorp Stadium to see Adam Taggart score both goals as Brisbane Roar downed Melbourne City 2-0, his first coming via a near post header following a corner.

City came close to equalising immediately after half-time when Lachlan Wales hit the post, but that was as close as things got for the visitors, who were killed off by Taggart’s second strike half-way through the second spell, a double which gave Brisbane their first win of the season.

2-0 was also the scoreline at Spotless Stadium, which was left far from spotless by the cleaners following a recent concert, with all sorts of foreign matter found on the pitch both prior to and during the match – it’s a wonder the game even started from a player safety perspective.

But start it did, and Western Sydney Wanderers spurned a glorious chance to open the scoring through Abraham Majok, who was as stunned as the 10,458 fans present by Glen Moss’ remarkable reflex save in the eleventh minute.

Jason Hoffman fired Newcastle Jets in front in the 25th minute, and was denied by Vedran Janjetovic early in the second spell, Oriol Riera having rattled an upright in the shadows of the half-time whistle as Wests sought an equaliser.

Both teams spurned some great chances to alter the scoreline in the second spell, but Ronny Vargas made the game safe for Newcastle in stoppage time, ensuring them of their first win of the season.

Next weekend’s action kicks off on Friday evening with the ABC clash – Adelaide welcome Brisbane to Coopers Stadium. Saturday’s fare sees Central Coast and Sydney squaring off at Central Coast Stadium, prior to the clash of Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney at Marvel Stadium.

On Sunday night, Wellington welcome league leaders Perth to Westpac Stadium, while the round concludes with the clash of Melbourne City and Newcastle at AAMI Park.

Match Details:

Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (M. Sosa (14)) – Adelaide United FC 3 (“oggie” (45), K. Ilso (47, 65)); HT 1-1

Brisbane Roar FC 2 (A. Taggart (27, 66)) – Melbourne City FC 0; HT 1-0

Sydney FC 1 (A. Le Fondre (35)) – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (O. Toivonen (23), K. Honda (71 pen)); HT 1-1

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0 – Newcastle Jets 2 (J. Hoffman (25), R. Vargas (90)); HT 0-1

Perth Glory FC 3 (C. Ikonomidis (12, 90), S. Lowry (61)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (“oggie” 36), A. O’Neill (64)); HT 1-1

League Ladder:
https://www.a-league.com.au/ladder
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W-League Season 11

Results Round 4

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