Australian A-League Weekly Roundup – Round 6 Predictions

Round 5 Review

Melbourne Victory vs Newcastle Jets 1-1
Etihad Stadium 15,168

Despite being able to sustain a high crowd, Melbourne weren’t able to replicate that luck on the pitch, following another disappointing result, the defending champions sit 7th on the A-League ladder. The match couldn’t have started any worse for the Victory with Celeski going down after a bad fall. His knee seemed to be the problem. Vargas was taken out by his own keeper, Moss, however he returned to have Melbourne’s best chance in the first, after he headed Pondeljak’s cross wide. Ney Fabiano and Nick Ward also missed. Jets were disappointing offensively, which they suffered, when Melbourne took the lead after 42 minutes. Broxham’s free-kick was hit with pinpoint accuracy, which Thompson took advantage off to score a great goal with his head.

Melbourne continued it’s attacking dominance soon after the break, with Ljubo Milicevic snubbing out a cross from Ney Fabiano, before Thompson hit wide. On the opposite end, Triantis hit his shot wide of the mark, before Hoffmann shot the ball at Moss following the Jets best build up play of the match. De Groot and Haliti’s substitutions sparked some life into the Jets, however not enough as yet. Victory could have almost had a second, however Chris Breath waved play on to an apparent Topor-Stanley foul on Ney Fabiano. Elrich’s looping cross to Haliti, who powered the header past Moss on the 86th minute was a great play, giving the Jets a share of the points, however it wasn’t quite over, when Vargas’ shot went just wide on 90 minutes.

Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United 1-1
Westpac Stadium 7,523

A match who’s innocent outcome ended in major controversy begun quite lively, with chances for both sides aplenty within 5 minutes. After many missed shots, and chances rued, the home side made the breakthrough on 35 minutes, following a run, Bertos’ cross was missed by Greenacre, however pounced on by Ifill who unleashed a powerful left foot shot from the left of the area. It was however a short breakthrough, when Reid’s ball was pounced on by Fyfe from a corner, to make it 1-1 at the half.

Adelaide had their chances to take the lead, when Cristiano hit the post straight after the interval. Poor passing dogged the match, which led to almost no chances. A relatively even match was marred by a horrible refereeing decision with a couple of minutes to go, in which Greenacre was pulled up for offside, despite the fact he had not touched the ball, and Ifill was the one who scored eventually. Nevertheless, Wellington’s goal was disallowed, meaning that Phoenix coach was understandably fuming. “It’s absolutely two points lost but at the end of the day I kind of feel other factors cost us the game. In my opinion the disallowed goal has cost us the game” he said following the match.

Central Coast Mariners vs Perth Glory 2-1
Canberra Stadium 5,193

In a match billed to be the test for the Canberra A-League bid, a decent turnout was at the Canberra Stadium to view a match with a little bit of everything football had to offer. Perth were on fire out of the blocks, producing some fine attacking play when Sikora’s shot went into Vukovic’s hands, and Sterjovski passed the ball to a team mate despite having an open goal. Jelic’s wondershot came out of nowhere to beat Vukovic but not the crossbar on the 31st minute. Central Coast were not out of it, with new signing Travis (from Sheff United) and McGlinchey started showing signs to the Perth defence. Mrdja was doing some damage with his runs and balls, however Simon was a wee bit anxious, being flagged offside three times. Completely against the run of play, the Mariners scored on the 42nd minute, after Sekulovski conceded a free-kick 30 metres out. Bojic’s header was saved in style by Velaphi, before Wilkinson prodded the ball home for his first A-League goal.

Dominating possession for the majority of the second half Central Coast were caught off guard when Sterjovski had a goal disallowed. However Glory dealt a major blow to the Mariners, after Porter was pulled up for handball. Sterjovski’s penalty was originally saved by Vukovic, however Sterjovski was on hand to prod the ball home on the second attempt. However Central Coast had the last laugh, after a long ball forward was mis-judged by keeper Velaphi, who then slipped on the wet surface, allowing Macallister to lay the ball to Simon, who blasted home the winner.

Gold Coast United vs Sydney FC 2-1
Skilled Park 6,406

The A-League’s clash of the titans. The seemingly unstoppable side, Gold Coast, had the class to snare the premiership in their first season, after jumping onto the scene in the pre-season with a 2-1 win over Fulham. Sydney were undefeated so far, and looked dangerous to claim the trophy for the first time since the inaugural season. With Jason Culina out injured, Sydney FC were out to capitalize on their advantage, with the Socceroo the major part of the GC side. United ran rampant over FC with its large amount of attacking options, however Sydney were unlucky to gain the advantage, squandering some easy chances, such as Sung-Hwan’s cross not being pounced on. Kiwi international Shane Smeltz took the advantage, heading in a dipping shot following a pinpoint Osman cross.

Sydney looked slightly more composed at the start of the second, but should have scored from their numerous chances early on. Hwan Byun blaster his shot wide from a hard position, and Brosque hit a miracle ball straight at GC keeper Higgins. On the 56th minute, Shane Smeltz grabbed his second, after grabbing the ball following a shoddy effort on the ball by Kisel, which he then beat Shannon Cole, who then fired past Bolton. Gold Coast had a number of other chances through Caravella and Thwaite, however Sydney had the final goal, through the head of Steve Corica. Sydney could have leveled it near full-time, however Aloisi’s free-kick effort didn’t clear the wall.

North Queensland Fury vs Brisbane Roar 1-1
Dairy Farmers Stadium 7,173

Fury were still searching for their first win, and deserved it, due to Brisbane’s poor start to the match. North Queensland went ahead first, following a classy effort by Robbie Fowler. He had a small touch before slotting it into the corner past Reddy in the Brisbane goals. Midway through the first half, Paul Kohler picked up two yellow cards in the space of 5 minutes, which he was sent off as a result. Just before, David Williams hit the crossbar from 20 metres out. After Fury were reduced to 10 men, Brisbane began to dominate possession. David Dodd had a shot however his effort was snubbed by a solid defensive line.

After the break, Fury began to dominate, despite Roar looking more threatening. Robinson’s shot rifled off a defender to land in Fowler’s area, which he really snubbed the opportunity. Roar piled on the pressure going into the final third, and finally got the goal they were looking for, when Van Dijk’s shot deflected off Nichols to the dismay of the Fury keeper, when the ball went into the top corner. Brisbane stole a share of the point, and as coach Frank Farina said, they didn’t deserve it.

After that round of results, the table stands at:

P

Team

Pld

W

D

L

GF

GA

GD

Pts

1

Gold Coast United

5

4

0

1

12

3

39+9

12

2

Sydney FC

5

3

1

1

7

4

33+3

10

3

Central Coast Mariners

5

2

2

1

5

3

32+2

8

4

Newcastle Jets

5

2

2

1

6

6

300

8

5

Perth Glory

5

2

0

3

6

6

300

6

6

Brisbane Roar

5

1

3

1

7

8

29−1

6

7

Melbourne Victory

5

1

2

2

6

8

28−2

5

8

Wellington Phoenix

5

1

2

2

6

8

28−2

5

9

Adelaide United

5

1

2

2

5

7

28−2

5

10

North Queensland Fury

5

0

2

3

6

13

23−7

2

Round 6 Preview / Predictions

Adelaide United vs Central Coast Mariners
Hindmarsh Stadium

In what should be a tight match, Adelaide should triumph based on their home advantage. In a disappointing start to the season for the Reds, and a surprising start to the season for the Mariners, it will come down to who performs on the day. The prediction will sway during the week due to the condition of the players in the lead up, and Adelaide will be looking to turn around their horrid start. In the same respect Central Coast will look to continue their great start to the season.

Adelaide 1-0

Newcastle Jets vs Brisbane Roar
EnergyAustralia Stadium

Brisbane began the season poorly, with only 1 win, three draw and a loss. They will be looking to turn that around against the Jets, who have themselves jumped off from wooden spooners last season to finals contenders. Despite losing 2-0 to Perth Glory, Newcastle were the first team to beat the Gold Coast team, and will be out to show off that talent in this match. Brisbane were lucky to beat Central Coast at Suncorp, and have played some shocking matches this season.

Newcastle 1-0

Sydney FC vs North Queensland Fury
Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC have had a great start to the season, losing only 1 match, and showing off their classy attacking options through some great play in recent matches. In the run up to this match, North Queensland have yet to win a match, and despite looking for blood, will be unable to do so this round. Sydney FC are championship contenders, and should be easy victors at the SFS.

Sydney 2-0

Melbourne Victory vs Wellington Phoenix
Etihad Stadium

In what can only be described as a torrid start to the season, the defending champions will be looking to finally kick start their defense. Wellington were unlucky not to win in the Brisbane, Adelaide and Jets games. They will be looking to turn their misfortune around in this match, and prove that the Wellington team is in contention to qualify for its first finals series in A-League history. Based on form, it’ll be a tight match, on paper Melbourne should triumph easily. However in real it’ll be a mixture of both.

Draw 1-1

Perth Glory vs Gold Coast United
Members Equity Stadium

At ME Stadium, the home fans will be duly disappointed. Gold Coast are on fire, and will (I am confident) emerge victorious. Aside from a 1-0 loss to Newcastle, they defeated the only other team that posed a major title chance, and showed that they are going to be victorious. Perth can pose a challenge through Sterjovski and Jelic, however it will not be enough to overturn the massive start Bleiberg/Culina’s men have achieved.

Gold Coast 2-0

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One Response

  1. regevans09 10 September, 2009