How your team fared and who made the headlines from the weekend’s round of Hyundai A-League football.
City again took the lead through a defender from a set piece – this time skipper Patrick Kisnorbo – but for the second week in a row were overrun after the break to lose 2-1 to the Reds at home. They will now have to make do without Spanish superstar David Villa who has returned to New York, and is highly unlikely to return to complete his supposed 10-game guest stint. Will need to cut out the defensive lapses when they take on an equally desperate and winless Brisbane Roar FC this weekend.
The Reds showed all their character and resilience to fight back from a goal down to win 2-1 at AAMI Park. The result not only keeps Josep Gombau’s troops in a share of the competition lead but is their best start to a campaign since season one of the Hyundai A-League when they also had 10 points from the opening four games. Bruce Djite continued his strong start to the season by scoring the equalizer on Friday night and he must be in the frame for a Socceroos call-up. What a blockbuster it sets up on Friday night with Sydney FC heading to Adelaide.
What a great few days it’s been for the Glory boys. Through to the semi-finals of the Westfield FFA Cup last Wednesday night followed by a gritty, come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Jets on Saturday night. This time it wasn’t the prolific Andy Keogh who got them out of jail but ‘super sub’ Jamie Maclaren. It’s now three wins out of four for Kenny Lowe’s side who are tracking nicely a month into the season.
The Jets are still searching for their first win under new boss Phil Stubbins after they surrendered a hard-earned lead in the space of just a few minutes at nib Stadium. The manner of the goals conceded will be of biggest concern to the Jets coach, who has tried to build his side on being tough to break down. Jeronimo Neumann’s first goal for the club is a positive. The Jets have endured a tough schedule to start the season with four straight away games due to resurfacing works at Hunter Stadium and will relish getting back on their home turf against Melbourne Victory this weekend.
The Sky Blues maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a well-deserved 2-0 win over the Mariners in front of more than 17,000 fans at Allianz Stadium. An exquisite strike from Terry Antonis and another to Sasa Ognenovski ensured coach Graham Arnold got early bragging rights over his former club. Sydney isn’t just looking ominous going forward but is solid at the back, keeping a second clean sheet in succession. The midfield combination of Antonis and Milos Dimitrejevic is a real highlight of the side’s play, but they will be given a huge test by a trip to Adelaide on Friday night.
Central Coast Mariners
The Mariners were made to pay for two lapses in concentration at set pieces for slumping to back-to-back defeats with a 2-0 loss to the Sky Blues. While their charity in defence will be a concern for coach Phil Moss, he can take heart from some of the chances they managed to create going forward. Skipper John Hutchinson, Eddy Bosnar and Mitchell Duke all squandered great chances from headers in the first half while Duke also missed a late penalty. But with just one win from three games, pressure will build on the side and it doesn’t get any easier with a clash against the high-flying Perth Glory.
Victory continued their strong league form with a 2-0 win over an impressive Wellington Phoenix at a packed AAMI Park on Monday night. Gui Finkler with a pearler direct from a free kick and Connor Pain’s super-sub performance sliding home just 55 seconds after coming on did the trick for the Big V. After their disastrous Cup loss in midweek and minus Berisha, Delpierre, Leijer and Georgievski this had the home fans singing for joy.
A 2-0 loss continued their hoodoo away to joint league leaders Victory. A flowing start showed plenty of promise but as soon as Finkler’s goal went in, Phoenix couldn’t find a way back. Ernie Merrick’s men now have to regroup to face the Champions of Asia the Wanderers on Friday night in Wellington.
*Wanderers the Kings of Asia
*Covic wins ACL player of the tournament