Hyundai A-League Round 19 Weekend Wrap
Adelaide United has put itself firmly in the box seat to claim its second Premiers Plate, after moving back to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle and still with a game in hand against Queensland Roar, to be played on Wednesday night.
Adelaide United has put itself firmly in the box seat to claim its second Premiers Plate, after moving back to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle and still with a game in hand against Queensland Roar, to be played on Wednesday night. Adelaide can thank Perth for staying on top after the Glory downed Melbourne Victory 3-2, while the all-important top four clash between Central Coast and Queensland was a thriller, with Roar once again proving the kings of the road, with a 4-3 win. In the final game, Sydney FC, with a very young side on the pitch, put a big dent in Wellington-s final hopes with a 1-0 win at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Results - Round 19 ADELAIDE UNITED 2 beat Newcastle Jets 0 Central Coast Mariners 3 lost QUEENSLAND ROAR 4 SYDNEY FC 1 beat Wellington Phoenix 0 PERTH GLORY 3 beat Melbourne Victory 2
Adelaide United went back to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets at Hindmarsh Stadium. Adelaide never really hit top gear against the cellar-dwellers, but in the end did enough to secure the three points, which saw them jump back above Melbourne with a game in hand. Fabian Barbiero was the hero fore the home side, scoring one and setting up the team-s second goal for returning Lucas Pantelis, who was a surprise starter for the Reds. After a fairly tame start, the game to life in the 23rd minute, when Barbiero scored a gem of a goal, his first in the Hyundai A-League, beating three and then Ante Covic with a powerful shot. Then with under 20 minutes remaining, Barbiero dispossessed Adam D-Apuzzo neat the halfway line, before striding forward and releasing Pantelis into the penalty box and the midfielder smashed his shot in off the post.
There was a lot riding on the game at Bluetongue Stadium, when Central Coast Mariners hosted Queensland Roar, with a top two spot potentially on the line for the winner. And fans were treated to a seven-goal thriller, with the visiting Roar continuing their amazing away record with a 4-3 win. The Mariners got off to the perfect start with Nik Mrdja firing home after just five minutes and dominating the early exchanges. Queensland, who started with three at the back, soon re-shaped their formation and slowly, but surely got their way back into the match with Mitch Nichols missing an easy chance after being set up by man-of-the-match Tahj Minniecon. Just before half time, the Roar got their reward, when Matt McKay and Minniecon combined to set up Sergio van Dijk with an easy finish. Minutes after the break, van Dijk made it 2-1 when he beat Danny Vukovic to a high ball into the box by McKay, flicking his header into the empty net. But an horrendous error by Griffin McMaster allowed Matt Simon to make it 2-2, before Minniecon then effectively sealed the match with a superbly taken goal for himself and then it was his run and shot that saw the ball come off Pedj Bojic to make it 4-2. Simon pulled another goal for the Mariners to revive yet another late charge home, but the Roar held on for a valuable win, as they look forward to Wednesday-s match against Adelaide.
John Kosmina had endured a less than ideal week at Sydney FC, fending off speculation about his own future and that of John Aloisi, but would have been very happy after watching his team of kids beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 at the Sydney Football Stadium. Young substitute Kofi Danning was the Sydney hero, scoring a late goal, much to the delight of the Sydney faithful. It was a match that Sydney dominated for the most part in terms of the chances that were created, although much of the talk was around the dismissal of Troy Hearfield midway through the second half for an apparent head butt on Alex Brosque. Shannon Cole forced a good save from Wellington keeper Glen Moss early in the match, while Brosque and Mark Bridge also had chances. Up the other end, the league-s leading goalscorer Shane Smeltz was kept in check by Sydney debutant Zach Cairncross and Iain Fyfe. The introduction of Danning and Steve Corica provided a spark for Sydney and it was Danning, who started the move for his winning goal with incisive run and ball to Corica. Corica instinctively played it forward to Brosque and with Danning continuing his run, was played in perfectly by Brosque and he took one touch, before toe-poking his shot past Moss and inside the far post. The win still gives Sydney an outside chance of the finals, while severely denting the Phoenix-s hopes.
The final match of the round, saw Perth Glory continue its dominance of Melbourne Victory at Members Equity Stadium, with Eugene Dadi starring with two goals in the 3-2 win. Melbourne needing a win to go back above Adelaide at the top of the table, started brilliantly with Danny Allsopp scoring past Jason Petkovic, who was playing his final game for Glory, after just three minutes. Melbourne continued to dominate and Allsopp was unlucky not to have a second hitting the post with a snapshot, with Archie Thompson blasting the rebound over the crossbar. The drinks break though, in the very hot conditions, did Victory no favours, with Perth coming back into the match. Adriano Pellegrino and Nikita Rukavytsya went close and their pressure finally told, when Dadi scored with a powerful header. Minutes later they were in front, when Rukavytsya was set free into the penalty box and he made no mistake. Half time substitute Ney Fabiano leveled it up for Melbourne just two minutes after the break, pouncing after Petkovic had dropped a high ball into the box. Petkovic though redeemed himself by denying Fabiano a second and it was Dadi that sealed the win, stretching to volley home Naum Sekulovski-s brilliant free kick.
>Weekend Goals Tally: 15
Card Count: 18 yellows / 2 reds
Goal of the Week Fabian Barbiero is not renowned for his goalscoring exploits from the heart of the Adelaide United midfield, but he has impressed many, including his coach Aurelio Vidmar, this season. On Friday night though he scored a wonderful first goal in the Hyundai A-League, picking up the ball on the edge of the area and skipping past three defenders, before slamming a left foot shot from an acute angle over the head of Ante Covic and into the back of the net and thus setting his team on their way to victory.
Player of the Week For all those wanting to know why Gold Coast United were so keen to get Tahj Minniecon on their books for next season, need only to get the highlights of Queensland Roar-s match with Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night. Just days after confirming he was joining Gold Coast, Minniecon turned on an electrifying performance to almost single-handedly destroy the Mariners. The flying winger scored one delightful goal and set up two others and was always a constant handful for the Mariners defence.
One to Watch Kofi Danning finally gave Sydney fans something or someone to cheer about, after the youngster scored a dramatic late winner against Wellington. Coming on midway through the second half, the Ghana-born midfielder constantly went on the attack, much to the delight of the Sydney fans. He started and finished the goal (with a neat toe-poke) and celebrated in front of The Cove and is sure to make him a fans favourite for these last few games.
Leading Goalscorers 12 - Shane Smeltz (WP) 11 - Matt Simon (CCM) 10 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Eugene Dadi (PG) 9 - Nikita Rukavytsya (PG) 7 - Charlie Miller (QR), Travis Dodd (AU), Cristiano (AU), Mile Jedinak (CCM), Joel Griffiths (NJ), Sergio Van Dijk (QR) 6 - Archie Thompson (MV), Sasho Petrovski (CCM)