R2 Review: Brisbane smash Sydney to take outright lead

Hyundai A-League, Season 2013/2014

Round 2 Review

by Jeremy Ruane

with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

Brisbane Roar enjoy the outright lead after the first two rounds of the Hyundai A-League, a result of their stunning 4-0 rout of fellow unbeaten side Sydney FC in front of 21,841 fans at Suncorp Stadium, and all the other games in the round being drawn.

Three goals in the last eight minutes of the first half, to Matthew Smith, Henrique and Jade North, turned the game Brisbane’s way, as did the departure, through injury, of Sydney’s talisman, Alessandro Del Piero, on the half-hour.

Thomas Broich wrapped up the scoring ten minutes from time in this one-sided encounter, one which Brisbane would have won by a far greater margin but for profligate finishing, particularly in the second spell.

 Only three teams won their first round fixture, and the other, Adelaide United, were fortunate to earn a point from their clash with Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium, where the officials denied the visitors all three points in a 2-2 draw watched by a record Adelaide crowd of 16,504 fans.

 Referee Alan Milliner awarded Adelaide a dubious penalty in the twentieth minute, wrongly deeming Melbourne ‘keeper Nathan Coe had upended Jeronimo Neumann in the area as both went for the ball.

Sergio Cirio converted the twice-taken spot-kick, and Neumann doubled United’s advantage two minutes later, tucking home the rebound after early substitute Awer Mabil had seen his deflected shot hit the post.

Ten minutes before the interval, Melbourne were denied a way back into the game when Mitch Nichols’ close-range goal was ruled out by an errant offside flag – replays showed he was clearly onside.

The visitors channelled their ire into playing Adelaide off the park in the second spell, and finally got their reward when substitute Guilherme Finkler found a way past the brilliant Eugene Galekovic eleven minutes from time.

The crossbar denied Archie Thompson as Melbourne went all out for the equaliser, which finally materialised three minutes into stoppage time through James Troisi, whose thunderous drive crashed down off the underside of the bar before bouncing back up into the roof of the net to confirm a share of the spoils in spectacular fashion.

2-2 was also the outcome at AAMI Stadium, where reigning champions Central Coast Mariners fought back from two goals down to Melbourne Heart in a match watched by 8,734 fans, who witnessed a scoreless first half.

 Trent Sainsbury’s crossbar-rattling header for the visitors was the closest either side got to breaking the deadlock before half-time, but after it, two goals in six minutes just before the hour mark from Melbourne’s David Williams turned the game on its head.

 The home team’s victory hopes were dashed in another six-minute spell which began in the 71st minute. Marco Flores twice scored from the penalty spot for Central Coast, with the first of them seemingly a tad on the generous side as both teams secured their second point of the season from as many matches.

 Sunday’s fare saw Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory sharing the spoils in a scoreless draw at Hunter Stadium, a largely cagey encounter with Sam Gallaway’s crossbar rattler for the home team and a late penalty claim denied them by referee Shaun Evans – Nathan Burns was clearly fouled in the area – the only moments of note for the 12,383-strong crowd to truly get excited about.

 Later that evening, parity also prevailed at Pirtek Stadium, where Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix fought out a 1-1 draw in front of 16,295 fans, the vast majority of whom were delighted when Jerome Polenz put the home side in front on the quarter-hour.

 Jeremy Brockie replied in kind fifteen minutes into the second spell for the visitors to set up a stirring final half-hour in which both goalkeepers, Wanderers’ Ante Covic and Wellington’s Glen Moss, earned their corn with some fine saves.

 Brisbane have the chance to extend their lead in the first game of the third round on Friday evening, but Melbourne Victory will have different ideas when they clash at Etihad Stadium.

 On Saturday evening, Central Coast, at Bluetongue Stadium, and Sydney, at Allianz Stadium, entertain Adelaide and Western Sydney respectively, while on the Sabbath, Wellington and Newcastle draw swords at Napier’s McLean Park, before Perth and Melbourne Heart lock horns at NIB Stadium.

 Match Details:

Adelaide United FC 2 (S. Cirio (23 pen), J. Neumann (25)) – Melbourne Victory FC 2 (G. Finkler (79), J. Troisi (90)); HT x-x

Brisbane Roar FC 4 (M. Smith (37), Henrique (39), J. North (44), T. Broich (80)) – Sydney FC 0; HT 3-0

Melbourne Heart FC 2 (D. Williams (54, 60)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (M. Flores (71 pen, 77 pen)); HT 0-0

Newcastle Jets FC 0 – Perth Glory FC 0

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (J. Polenz (15)) – Wellington Phoenix FC 1 (J. Brockie (60)); HT 1-0

 by Jeremy Ruane

P W D L F A GD Pts

Brisbane Roar 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 6

Adelaide United 2 1 1 0 5 3 +2 4

Sydney FC 2 1 0 1 2 4 -2 3

Central Coast Mariners 2 0 2 0 3 3 0 2

Melbourne Heart 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2

Melbourne Victory 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2

Wellington Phoenix 2 0 1 1 2 3 -1 1

Perth Glory 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1

Newcastle Jets 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1