A-League Roundup: Sydney FC can’t capitalise on Gold Coast draw

Adelaide United 1-0 Central Coast Mariners

Hindmarsh Stadium, 10,262

Adelaide finally won a match, their first since round 1, and in great style in front of ten thousand fans at Hindmarsh Stadium. Travis Dodd was back from injury, making some quick zippy runs in the midfield. Owusu and Cassio were both out with injury in the lead up and returned with great enthusiasm, despite being unable to finish shots to put Adelaide ahead. However on the 33rd, Cassio fired home a free-kick, putting to rest rumors he was unsettled in the squad.

In a slightly more quite second half, Central Coast made some more chances out of nowhere, however in the end, the defence run by Rudan held together to give the Reds a win in front of their fans.

Newcastle Jets 0 – 3 Brisbane Roar

EnergyAustralia Stadium, 6,026

A disappointing crowd, but a more disappointing result for the NewJets. A lively start to the match pleased the crowd, however the best chance was van Dijk’s shot which rocketed off the post, to the delight of Ben Kennedy. Daniel Tiatto had to come off due to injury, however that didn’t stop the Roar, who took the lead on 24 minutes. Reinaldo had eons of time in the box, and put a smart pass into the centre, which Henrique then tapped into the net. They weren’t happy with the one however, when they found another, when van Dijk’s creative cross went to Reinaldo who scored after a few touches. The Jets had a chance on 37 minutes, after a horrid backpass found its way into Hoffman’s feet, who then shot straight at Liam Reddy, who was manning the Roar’s goal.

Despite the scoreline, the match was very equal, with 50% possession both ways. The Jets went onto the attack a lot more during the second, but it didn’t stop the inevitable, when Miller put home a volley on 70 minutes.

Sydney FC 0 – 1 North Queensland Fury

Sydney Football Stadium, 16,699

Having the pleasure to be at the game, it seemed that there were more people wearing Liverpool jerseys that North Queensland ones. Nevertheless, the Cove was in full force as the teams kicked off the match. North Queensland dominated early proceedings, including a number of dangerous long throws into the box. Sydney FC gained a penalty on 24 minutes, after Brosque was taken down by Henderson in an eerie reminder to the first goal of their previous encounter in Round 1 at Dairy Farmers Stadium. This time however, Henderson made amends, saving the penalty for Aloisi. It was now the Fury’s turn to make Sydney work, with Griffiths shot going just past the left post, followed by Talay’s free kick tipped over the bar. Nearing the final moments of the second, Robinson had the ball in the net, after it had deflected off him, only for it to be disallowed for offside, to the delight of the Sydney fans.

Sydney began the new half with a bit more attacking flair however the first real chance came for the Fury, and this time, they made Sydney feel the pain. A bouncing through ball feel in front of Fowler, who lashed it over Bolton to give the Fury a well deserved lead. One crazy fan jumped the barrier and joined the North Queensland Fury, and despite his $5k fine, it seems all worth it. McBreen’s cross moments later was prodded wide by Fowler. Crowd favourite Kofi Danning ran on to the pitch on 65 minutes, and sparked some life into the lackluster Sky Blues, including an impressive ‘rip’ of the North Queensland left midfielders. Talay had his shot pushed away by Bolton, which showed that North Queensland definantly had the impetus going into the final 20 minutes. On the 83rd minute, Fowler was replaced, to a standing ovation by both Sydney and North Queensland fans. Even the most patriotic ‘Cove’ members stood up to the Liverpool legend’s replacement. The visitors held on to record their first ever win in the Hyundai A-League

Special: After the Game

Being at the SFS is great, since it’s a great ground, however being in Bay 11 meant that the North Queensland Dugout was within a beer throw. Hence, after the game, Fowler was mobbed, in a noble fashion, by a platoon of people wearing Liverpool and a few Sydney supporters. Being one of the Sydney guys out there, I cheekily tried to get Fowler to sign my Sydney FC banner.

“Fowler, can ya sign my Sydney FC banner”

“Haha” – Fowler

To his credit he acknowledged it, and shook my hand. Being an Everton supporter, this would have been one of the days I would’ve been happy to wear a Liverpool jersey. (If you don’t believe me, I’ll send you a picture).

Melbourne Victory 1-1 Wellington Phoenix

Etihad Stadium, 17,664

Once again, Melbourne Victory have been able to have numbers in the crowd, but have failed to get results. The defending champions may do a ‘Newcastle’ (no offence intended) and not qualify for the finals after winning the league. At the start however, Melbourne looked likely to take the match, after Vince Lia’s foul on Ney Fabiano gave Costa Rican international Hernandez took the following free-kick which beat the wall, Paston, before entering the net. Melbourne 1, Wellington 0. Wellington were determined not to lose, when Daniel’s shot was saved by Moss. Melbourne could have increased their lead further, through Ney Fabiano, however he put it wide. After 30 minutes, Wellington finally found the equalizer, when Ifill flicked Daniel’s cross to Brown, who prodded it home. It wasn’t over for the half however, when Hernandez couldn’t beat the keeper, Durante was saved from a corner, and Greenacre kept Glen Moss busy in the Victory goals.

Wellington had the best chance in the second half, when Kiwi international Leo Bertos blasted his free-kick was knocked over the bar. Paston managed to save Pondeljak’s wide shot, and Melbourne failed to capitalize on several opportunities from crosses. Melbourne felt the need for new blood, giving Robbie Kruse and Marco Rojas their first Melbourne appearance in the final third. In injury time, Brebner headed wide.

Perth Glory 2-2 Gold Coast United

Me Bank Stadium, 9,408

Despite the slight slur against Mile Sterjovski (which I do not entirely agree with), RegEvans08 was correct in saying that if Rukavytsya had stayed, than this game might have had a different outcome. Despite a slightly more Gold Coast start, Perth took a very attacking approach starting with the 9th minute, with Sikora failing to convert a cross from Pellegrino, and then the first goal. Ivorian teenager Adama Traore’s error gave Pellegrino the chance to slip the ball to Marquee man Sterjovski, who then put a great ball (however it may have been a horrible shot) to Branko Jelic, who slotted in the Glory’s first. That goal had shown off the great link up play (Sterjovski and Jelic) that David Mitchell had promised pre-season. The Perth fans were singing praises in the stands, and were in a rage of euphoria when Glory doubled their tally two minutes later. Sekulovski capitalized on a kick-off error to release Sikora, who was running at his absolute greatest, to render Scott Higgins useless in the Gold Coast goals. The previously unstoppable Gold Coast side were crumbling at the hands of the Glory. Things could have been worse for Miron Bleiberg’s side, after Pellegrino shot just over the bar. On the 38th, Culina’s free kick was palmed away by Glory custodian Tando Velaphi, who was obviously keen to put behind him the horrible incident at Canberra Stadium (CCMFC 2 – 1 PerGlo).

What ever Miron Bleiberg said a half time really changed the way Gold Coast approached the game, as they came out as more of a team than the scuffling roamers that they seemed to be in the first. Perth took more of a conservative route this half, which they paid for, when Gold Coast scored in the 52nd minute. Velaphi pushed away Rees’ header, however there was no stopping van den Brink scoring from Culina’s resulting corner. With a comeback on hand, Perth once again to a more attacking approach in the final third, which could have increased their lead, including a goal line scramble following Pellegrino’s cross. Perth’s best chance of the second half was Jelic’s great strike on the 73rd, which was denied by a fantastic save by Scott Higgins, which he was on hand to deny Srhoj’s half volley. With the crowd most likely already celebrating a well deserved win, Shane Smeltz was on hand to ruin the Glory’ious party. Following a quick free-kick, Pantelidis crossed the ball in which was converted by an speedy Shane Smeltz, who also concussed Tando Velaphi in the process.

The Hyundai A-League Table

Following Round 6

P

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

1

Gold Coast United

6

4

1

1

14

5

+9

13

2

Sydney FC

6

3

1

2

7

5

+2

10

3

Brisbane Roar

6

2

3

1

10

8

+2

9

4

Central Coast Mariners

6

2

2

2

5

4

+1

8

5

Adelaide United

6

2

2

2

6

7

−1

8

6

Newcastle Jets

6

2

2

2

6

9

−3

8

7

Perth Glory

6

2

1

3

8

8

0

7

8

Melbourne Victory

6

1

3

2

7

9

−2

6

9

Wellington Phoenix

6

1

3

2

7

9

−2

6

10

North Queensland Fury

6

1

2

3

7

13

−6

5

Players of the Round

In this new section I will list a number of players who in my opinion, were the key players in the matches played this week.

Mark Rudan

Defender

Adelaide United

Adelaide 1 – 0 Central Coast

Rudan was instrumental in holding the Adelaide defensive line together, and preventing Central Coast from achieving that equalizer that their attacking prowess (especially in the final quarter) deserved. His major contributions were mostly in the second half, in which his team was bombarded almost the whole period.

Reinaldo

Forward

Brisbane Roar

Newcastle Jets 0 – 3 Brisbane Roar

The Brazilian forward made some key runs, and touches which lead to the 3-0 demolition of the Jets. The player who has been with the Roar for ages, has been a true legend for the club, truly influential especially in their finals campaign last season. This round however, he set up Henrique’s goal following a smart idea to hold the ball up before playing it to Henrique who was free. He also did a number of mazy dribbles which would have given Ben Kennedy nightmares.

Robbie Fowler

Forward

North Queensland Fury

Sydney FC 0 – 1 North Queensland Fury

Former ‘Kop’ favourite Robbie Fowler has given himself a name downunder, including scoring a number of extremely classy goals. This was reflected at the SFS, where he scored probably the classiest goal of the comp. He could have made his tally grow, however he went agonizingly close on many an occasion.

Honourable Mention: Paul Henderson (GK) North Queensland Fury

Glen Moss

GoalKeeper

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory 1-1 Wellington Phoenix

Glen Moss was a standout for a lackluster Victory side. He stepped up onto the plate, with big boots to fill, after Theoklitos, who went to Norwich. He prevented his former side Wellington from adding to their tally and made sure Melbourne left Etihad Stadium with a share of the points.

Evens: Branko Jelic/Mile Sterjovski

Forwards

Perth Glory

Perth Glory 2-2 Gold Coast United

Not really a tie, but an award for the both. Jelic and Sterjovski have shown to be a killer partnership up front, much like Allsopp and Thompson were last season. Despite not bagging as many goals as they would have liked, the two have shown the ability to be top scorers in the league this season. If only Perth still had Rukavytsya, they could employ a 4-3-3 formation, and be simply unstoppable.

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