Round 4 Australian A-League Roundup

Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League wrapped up yesterday, with the round producing some mixed and surprising results.

Adelaide United vs North Queensland Fury

Hindmarsh Stadium 10,733

3-3

10,733 people braved the rain, and the majority watched in horror as North Queensland went ahead first after Robbie Fowler timed a run perfectly to score off a James Robinson wonder-cross, to the delight of the captain. On the wrong foot at the start, Adelaide soon jumped up to score on the 23rd, through Pantelis scored from a Marrone cross. Paul Henderson couldn’t do anything to stop the shot. Robinson had a chance to score for Fury on 32 minutes, however a brilliant save by Galekovic denied the English midfielder. A minute later, marquee Lloyd Owusu scored his first Adelaide goal, through a header, and fired up the chilly crowd with a potential crowd favourite hip dance. Paul Henderson will be upset at his handling of Owusu’s header, which should have been simple.

A fairly quite beginning to the second half brought some shaky moments for Adelaide, with Mark Rudan’s clearing errors falling to Fowler, who was unlucky to score on two occasions. 4 minutes in, Fowler released Griffiths, whose shot cannoned off the woodwork. On 70 minutes, Talay blasted a shot through the Red’s defence, only to be stopped by the post. Finally, Daal put the Fury on level terms. The Reds were out of position in defence, when a long midfield pass found Daal with acres of space, to guide the ball home. Four minutes later, substitute Agius found McBreen with his cross, to score at close range. Fury were on track to record their first win, before an injury time penalty for Adelaide following a Daal hand ball was coolly slotted in by Pantelis, to give Adelaide a share of the points.

Perth Glory vs Melbourne Victory

Members Equity Stadium 8,057

2-1

In another quick start match, Branko Jelic scored on the 5th minute, beating Glen Moss following a goal line squabble from a free-kick. Sekulovski’s free kick went through Sterovski and Coyne before Jelic prodded it home. Immediately, Victory fired up. Allsopp had acres of space, before passing instead of shooting, to Thompson, whose original shot was blocked by Sekulovski, before tapping it past Velaphi on his second attempt. Victory then dominated the half, with Hernandez’s long range effort being the closest Victory got to scoring.

In the 54th minute, a rare Perth attack found Sterovski’s head, before Jelic knocked the ball home. Straight after, Glory experienced a good patch of football, with Wayne Shroj blasting the ball wide. Brazilian Amaral played his first match this season, coming on in the 79th minute.

Brisbane Roar vs Central Coast Mariners

Suncorp Stadium 6,433

1-0

A disappointing turnout for the Roar, who have been displaying some bad attendances recently. However, they were keen to not turn a bad turnout into bad performances. The Roar’s defender Craig Moore netted the winner on the 11th minute, which is his third A-League goal. Matt McKay was taken off on the 25th minute, after falling awkwardly. Craig Moore was resolute in defence, preventing Matt Simon from being dangerous, and preventing Nik Mrdja from any dangerous headers. Vukovic prevented the scoreline from increasing, with a string of great saves, but in the end, the Roar came on top.

Newcastle Jets vs Gold Coast United

EnergyAustralia Stadium 6,390

1-0

Easily the upset of the season. Last year’s wooden spoon team defeated the most promising team of the competition. The first chance of the match went to the Jets on the 16th, when Jin Hyung-Song’s cross was met by Petrovski’s head, forcing a good save by Scott Higgins. Newcastle defended well, with Gold Coast striker Shane Smeltz kept at bay, ofter unleashing audacious shots from way outside the area. Ontong came off early following an ankle injury. On 40 minutes, Song was put into space by an Elrich pass. The ball then went to youngster Rooney, who beat Van Der Brink before hitting a powerful and fatal shot, giving the home side a 1-0 lead.

Blieberg unleashed his Brazilian midfielders which made Gold Coast seem more dangerous, however Newcastle seemed to trouble the Gold Coast defence quite a lot. Holding on, the Newcastle side registered a great win, their second this season.

Sydney FC vs Wellington Phoenix

Sydney Football Stadium 11,718

2-0

This round’s only 5 digit crowd were in for a close game, with Sydney unable to score until the 77th minute. In the opening 10, Mark Bridge had two chances, one header falling in to Crowther’s hands, and the other slightly more bizarre, a judgment error by GK Crowther lead to his clearance bouncing off Bridge, and landing just wide of the post. Wellington’s best moment of the first period was Ifill’s shot, going across the goal. Crowther made a crazy save to stop Gan’s header from entering the Phoenix net. The corner was also headed by Gan, this time wide. Finishing was the problem for the sky-blues, and they couldn’t find their way to the back of the net until the 77th, when Kisel’s cross hit Gan’s head, to break the deadlock. Four minutes later, Aloisi found the net, placing the ball following a powerful counter attack.

Following that match, Sydney FC were on top of the table, and despite registering their first ever point, North Queensland were still on the bottom.

As of the 31st of August, the table is as below:

P

W

D

L

F

A

Diff

Pts

1

Sydney

4

3

1

0

6

2

4

10

2

Gold Coast

4

3

0

1

10

2

8

9

3

Newcastle

4

2

1

1

5

5

0

7

4

Perth

4

2

0

2

5

4

1

6

5

Central Coast

4

1

2

1

3

2

1

5

6

Brisbane

4

1

2

1

6

7

-1

5

7

Melbourne

4

1

1

2

5

7

-2

4

8

Wellington

4

1

1

2

5

7

-2

4

9

Adelaide

4

1

1

2

4

6

-2

4

10

North Qld

4

0

1

3

5

12

-7

1

Round 5 Preview (Based on Form and Ability)

Melbourne Victory vs Newcastle Jets

Etihad Stadium

Melbourne will be expecting a big crowd, as they have been showing very recently. The premiers are experiencing a form slump, and have yet to see Costa Rican international Carlos Hernandez show off exactly why he represents his country. Allsopp and Thompson are still dangerous up front, and can produce the goods, being the most consistant strike pairing in the league.

On the back of a resounding upset against Gold Coast, the Jets will be out to do it again. Following Wooden Spoon last season, they are performing above all expectations, with 2 wins, a draw and a loss. As he showed in round 4, Sean Rooney has the potential to be a top quality striker, and when paired along with Sasho Petrovski up front and Song Jun-Hyung in the mids, the trio can produce results.

Draw 1-1

Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United

Westpac Stadium

With both sides sitting in the bottom third of the table, and both having finals football potential, they will be out to prove themselves. Wellington are at home, and in their last home match, triumphed 2-1 against Perth. The major key players for the Phoenix will be Ifill and Greenacre, as well as former West Ham striker Michael Ferrante and goalkeeper Mark Paston.

Adelaide United have underperformed massively this season, and with another ACL campaign looming, they will have to seriously up their game before they can even begin to think about repeating last campaign’s heroics (ACL Finals). Being away from home will also be a major factor, as well as the pending inquiry into Robbie Cornthwaite may upset the team morale. Lloyd Owusu will be a danger up front, as well as goalkeeper Galekovic, who is the best keeper in the league.

Wellington 1-0

Central Coast Mariners vs Perth Glory

Canberra Stadium

With a mixed campaign behind their belt, Central Coast will be looking to record their second win of this season. Following a disappointing 1-0 loss last weekend, they will be out to regain the attacking prowess that brought them close to the finals in the past few years. Matt Simon will be the key man up front, as well as Nik Mrdja. Alex Wilkinson will be a brick wall in defence, with Vukovic in goals, who is capable of pulling off some fantastic saves.

Perth are having mixed fortunes as Central Coast, however they are having good form, beating premiers Melbourne last week, and the Jets the week before. As with those clashes, Velaphi will be key in the backline, as well as Jamie Harnwell. Jacob Burns will need to play a top notch game, as well as Branko Jelic and Sterovski who will most likely start up front.

Perth 1-0

Gold Coast United vs Sydney FC

Skilled Park

The clash of the season, so far. The two titans at the top of the ladder do battle, which could determine who will take out the trophy. Gold Coast are at home, and will be as dangerous as ever, keen to overturn a 1-0 loss last week. Shane Smeltz will be up their looking to increase his goal tally, as well as Joel Porter, who is a key figure in attack. Jason Culina has had his fair share of assists this season, as well as Brazilians Robson ,Milson and Anderson.

Sydney FC are playing to their top potential, and will be tough to beat on their day. Unfortunately, playing away from home against the gigantors Gold Coast will be too tough an ask. Aloisi will be dangerous up front with Bridge, Gan and Danning all possible starters for the Sky Blues. Karol Kisel will prove a key player in the midfield, along with Terry McFlynn, and Stuart Musialik. The talent doesn’t end there, with Cole, Colosimo, Keller, Ryall and Bolton in the defensive line. With such depth, the team will be tough to beat.

Gold Coast 2-1

North Queensland Fury vs Brisbane Roar

Dairy Farmers Stadium

North Queensland will be out to first win, however Brisbane will prove to be a tough team to beat. Coming off a draw, North Queensland showed off their attacking ability, however simple errors stopped them from gaining a victory. For such a limited squad, Ian Ferguson has done well to gain a point. Fowler will be the key up front, Brockie (if he starts) will also prove to be a tough man to stop when he gets going. Talay will be dangerous from the mids, as well as Agius, as seen last week.

Brisbane have a number of key players, however haven’t been playing to their full potential despite the win last weekend. Zullo hasn’t got going this season, possibly due to the pressure heaped on him, as has Henrique, whom I would like to see more of. Reinaldo, Miller and van Dijk (if they start) are they key players for Brisbane, as will Moore in defence.

Brisbane 2-0

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2 Comments

  1. regevans09 1 September, 2009
  2. Michael Turner 1 September, 2009