Round 10 & 11 Review: Perth retain lead after hectic holiday action

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

HAL 14 – Round 10 & 11 Review

The first of my round reviews for the new year; this one a bumper version covering two rounds of A-League action.
A full-on programme of Hyundai A-League over the New Year period has seen Perth Glory retain their three-point advantage at the end of a hectic ten-day spell in which eleven matches took place – and there are a further ten matches to be played in the next ten days as well!

The match of the tenth round saw the two form teams clashing, and Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix fought out a 1-1 draw in front of 20,066 fans at AAMI Park.

A lively affair saw the goals it merited materialise in the second spell, with David Williams’ second goal in as many matches for Wellington, just after the hour mark, countered by Ola Toivonen’s equaliser thirteen minutes from time, a result which saw the reigning champions reach the top rung on the ladder, on goal difference from Perth.

The Western Australians soon returned to the perch with which they’ve become familiar this season, battering Central Coast Mariners 4-1 in front of 6,048 fans at Central Coast Stadium, where Andy Keogh opened the scoring just three minutes into play, and wrapped it up in stoppage time.

In between times, there was all sorts of drama, not the least of which being Tomi Mrcela’s clash with a goalpost, which left the woodwork in worse shape than the Perth player – the entire goal frame required replacing, and a portable goal frame had to be employed for the majority of the match … not the sort of thing you see happen too often on New Year’s Eve!

Jordan Murray’s goal thirteen minutes from time was of consolation value only to Central Coast, whose eighth successive defeat had been on the cards following Fabio Ferreira’s first half brace against his former club.

Seemingly perennial Premiership phase winners Sydney FC are well in the hunt for another first-placed finish, but were made to battle for their 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in front of 12,216 fans at Jubilee Stadium, with the visitors under caretaker management following John Aloisi’s resignation as coach twenty-four hours prior.

Adam Le Fondre managed to find a way past Jamie Young once in each half, with the visiting custodian otherwise unbeatable – he made some fine saves. So, too, did Andrew Redmayne, Sydney’s shot-stopper turning Adam Taggart’s late penalty to safety, although he was beaten ten minutes before half-time as Matt McKay capped off a vintage Brisbane attack comprised of some thirteen passes.

2-1 was also the score at McDonald Jones Stadium, where 9,005 fans saw Craig Goodwin snatch a last-gasp winner from the penalty spot for Adelaide United as they overcame Newcastle Jets, who’d got a head of steam up after Roy O’Donovan had levelled the score fifteen minutes from time, soon after having been denied a goal by the offside flag.

The home team had dominated proceedings, but found Paul Izzo in outstanding form, the only other time he was beaten being in the first half, when Nikola Mileusnic poked home the rebound after Ben Halloran’s lobbed effort had struck the post.

2019 began with 8,365 fans converging on ANZ Stadium, where two goals in as many first half minutes saw ten-man Melbourne City overcome Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0.

Lachlan Wales and Ritchie de Laet put daylight between City and their hosts around ten minutes before half-time, after which Rostyn Griffiths committed his second bookable offence, giving Wests a lifeline.

But they encountered Eugene Galekovic in unbeatable form, City’s ‘keeper even keeping out an Oriol Riera penalty late in the match to ensure the visitors returned home with three points and a clean sheet.

The A-League has a round of midweek matches scheduled in January, with the first of them seeing Newcastle and Brisbane share the spoils 2-2 in front of 8,519 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium on January 2.

Once again the home team had their hopes of victory dashed in the dying minutes, Eric Bautheac earning Brisbane a point against opponents who squandered chances galore.

All was in order for Newcastle when Dimitri Petratos opened the scoring just five minutes into play, and he was only denied a second goal by the woodwork just after the half-hour mark.

But Brisbane fought back, Adam Taggart levelling the scores half-way through the second spell, only for Roy O’Donovan to restore Newcastle’s advantage moments later, and not long before Matt McKay hit the post for the visitors, who were well served once again by Jamie Young – his saves were the difference between one point and three for the home team.

Eleventh round action commenced on Friday, with Sydney FC coming from behind to conquer Central Coast Mariners 5-2 in front of 12,053 fans at Jubilee Stadium, where Connor Pain’s seventeenth minute goal had the visitors in front at half-time, even though they had been reduced to ten men eight minutes later by Kalifa Cisse’s red card.

Sydney’s second half response was emphatic, with four goals materialising in sixteen minutes before Aiden O’Neill struck another one for the bottom-placed side, who had succumbed to an Adam Le Fondre penalty and a fine hat-trick from Alex Brosque, whose third goal was of the highest quality.

Aaron Calver’s stoppage time volley which wrapped things up was also worth the admission money and then some, and propelled Sydney to the top of the table on goal difference, at least for twenty-four hours.

At which point Melbourne Victory came along and regained the lead after two strikes from Ola Toivonen – one late in each half – earned the title-holders a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in front of just 7,062 fans at ANZ Stadium.

The scoreline doesn’t reflect the match, however, as the home team should have secured at least a point from the match, and would have done but for the heroics of Lawrence Thomas, who was only beaten twice in the match.

Alex Baumjohann’s penalty was the first instance, whil Nick Fitzgerald rounded the ‘keeper only to be denied by Leigh Broxham’s diving headed clearance off the line thirteen minutes from time.

2-1 was also the outcome at AAMI Park, where Melbourne City came from behind to down Newcastle Jets after Roy O’Donovan gave the visitors a fourth minute lead which was only cancelled out after Ronald Vargas committed his second bookable offence twenty minutes later.

The resulting penalty was converted by Riley McGree – he later hit the post with another effort – and was swiftly supplemented by a Luke Brattan blockbuster which gave City an advantage that allowed them to keep Newcastle’s ten men at bay, despite the visitors’ best efforts to equalise, with Daniel Georgievski going closest to bringing about parity with a post rattler in the dying minutes.

Meanwhile at Coopers Stadium, 8,954 fans saw Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix fight out a scoreless draw which had the second half sending-off of Mandi Sosa as its central focus, with the Wellington midfielder guilty of an act of violent conduct which has resulted in his receiving a three-game suspension.

The round concluded with Perth Glory completing a stunning come-from-behind 4-2 win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, with three of their goals coming inside the last ten minutes as they moved three points clear at the top of the table.

Two first half goals from Adam Taggart had Brisbane on course for a shock win at half-time, but Daniel Bowles’ dismissal on the hour, following a foul from which Neil Kilkenny converted the resulting penalty, changed the game.

Kilkenny potted another penalty as the game moved into its final ten minutes, before an own goal and Andy Keogh confirmed victory for Perth, who survived a late penalty effort by Taggart, the hat-trick hunter rattling the crossbar from twelve yards in stoppage time.

Midweek action captures the attention this week, with Western Sydney and Wellington meeting at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday, twenty-four hours before Adelaide and Melbourne Victory square off at Coopers Stadium.

On Thursday, Perth and Sydney square off in a top-of-the-table tussle at HBF Park, while Melbourne City and Brisbane meet at AAMI Park on Friday night, a day before the same venue witnesses the clash of Melbourne Victory and Newcastle.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Wellington welcome Central Coast to Westpac Stadium, while on Sunday night, Sydney and Adelaide meet at Jubilee Stadium prior to the clash of Perth and Western Sydney at HBF Park.

Match Details:

Central Coast Mariners 1 (J. Murray (77)), Perth Glory 4 (A. Keogh (3, 90), F. Ferreira (23, 41)) HT 0-3

Melbourne Victory 1 (O. Toivonen (77)), Wellington Phoenix 1 (D. Williams (62)) HT 0-0

Newcastle United Jets 1 (R. O’Donovan (75)) – Adelaide United 2 (N. Mileusnic (38), C. Goodwin (90 pen)) HT 0-1

Sydney FC 2 (A. Le Fondre (16, 55)) – Brisbane Roar 1 (M. McKay (35)) HT 1-1

Western Sydney Wanderers 0 – Melbourne City 2 (L. Wales (35), R. de Laet (37)) HT 0-2

Newcastle United Jets 2 (D. Petratos (5), R. O’Donovan (67)) – Brisbane Roar 2 (A. Taggart (65), E. Bautheac (87)) HT 1-0

Adelaide United 0 – Wellington Phoenix 0

Brisbane Roar 2 (A. Taggart (22, 40)), Perth Glory 4 (N. Kilkenny (59 pen, 81 pen), “oggie” (85), A. Keogh (87)) HT 2-0

Melbourne City 2 (R. McGree (26 pen), L. Brattan (32)), Newcastle Jets 1 (R. O’Donovan (4)) HT 2-1

Sydney FC 5 (A. Brosque (49, 58, 64), A. Le Fondre (52 pen), A. Calver (90)) – Central Coast Mariners 2 (C. Pain (17), A. O’Neill (66)) HT 0-1

Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (A. Baumjohann (74 pen)) – Melbourne Victory 2 (O. Toivonen 45, 86)) HT 0-1

League Ladder:

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

Results Round 10

https://www.w-league.com.au/fixtures#!/results/s2018/r10

Ladder

https://www.w-league.com.au/ladder

Y-League Season

Results

https://www.y-league.com.au/