How your team fared and who made the headlines from the weekend’s blockbuster round of Hyundai A-League football.
The Reds maintained their unbeaten start to the new season with a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory in front of a record home crowd at the newly redeveloped Adelaide Oval. Josep Gombau will be disappointed his side couldn’t hold on for all three points after going in front inside the last five minutes. Spaniard Sergio Cirio scored Adelaide’s goal and continued his love affair with facing Victory, the impressive curling strike his fifth goal against them side in four clashes.
The Victorians showed great character to hit back and snatch a draw at the death despite going behind with just five minutes left thanks to Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s first goal for the club. While it’s an admirable result on the road, it’s now 21 games in the Hyundai A-League without a clean sheet for the Victory. It’s not the type of record they can maintain if the side realistically wants to be champions.
Central Coast Mariners
After two wins in a week (including in the Westfield FFA Cup), the Mariners will be hugely disappointed to have thrown away an early lead to lose 2-1 in front of their home fans. It was an uncharacteristically lacklustre effort from Phil Moss’ troops and it was only when they went behind that they managed to apply any concerted pressure. Maybe fatigue from a third match in seven days so early in the campaign was the issue.
It could have gone terribly wrong for the Phoenix after they gifted the Mariners the lead via Tom Doyle’s unfortunate own goal early on. Coach Ernie Merrick will have been impressed by the way his side overcame that shaky start to turn the result around for their second consecutive win against the Mariners. While a few sloppy mistakes continue to plague their game, the attacking combination of Michael McGlinchey, Nathan Burns (both scored) and Jeremy Brockie looks threatening and will have plenty of goals in it this season.
What a night and what a comeback by the Sky Blues. They looked dead and buried when keeper Vedran Janjetovic’s blunder gave the Wanderers an early 2-0 lead. But driven on by a rapturous home crowd and superb performances by Alex Brosque and Corey Gameiro they fought back to register one of the club’s greatest wins and give their fans local bragging rights. Their new strike-force is already showing signs of being hard to contain and teenage left-back Alex Gersbach – in the middle of doing his HSC exams - looks a real talent. But big defender Sasa Ognenovski could find himself in hot water for his shove on Vitor Saba’s head after the fired up Brazilian was shown a red card.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
The Wanderers remain without a point following back-to-back defeats to start the season. Last season’s grand finalists only have themselves to blame after throwing away a 2-0 lead to lose, the first time in 16 games they have done that (seven goals conceded over the first fortnight of the competition). How will Tony Popovic pick his players up with the small matter of an AFC Champions League final to come next weekend?
Melbourne City FC
For the second week in a row City relied on Spanish star David Villa to help them rescue a point in their 1-1 draw with Newcastle. Despite having the lion’s share of possession, John van‘t Schip’s side failed to carve out many clear-cut chances, with Villa again bailing them out to make it two draws from two matches. Villa is certainly living up to the lofty expectations and City are undoubtedly going to be a much stronger outfit once marquee midfielder Robert Koren is fit. With both Melbourne teams still unbeaten, it sets up a massive local derby next weekend.
The Jets picked up their first point of the campaign but will probably be ruing the fact they didn’t get all three at AAMI Park. While they were forced to absorb a lot of pressure throughout, the fact they conceded so late and substitutes Zenon Caravella and Jeronimo Neumann both squandered two gilt-edged chances means they will feel they should have got more. Striker Edson Montano got his first goal for the club – and became the first Ecuadorian to score in the A-League - with a powerful header while fellow new recruits Jonny Steele and Marcos Flores look to be settling in well which is a good sign ahead of yet another away game against the Phoenix in round three.
Are the glory days returning for Perth? Kenny Lowe’s side are now the only team left with a 100% record following a stunning 3-2 win over champions Brisbane. The result sees the Glory side sit alone atop the Hyundai A-League ladder on. Irishman Andy Keogh continued his dream start with another couple of goals, becoming the first Perth player to score in both his first two games for the club. A cracker away to Adelaide United next week will be another test.
Brisbane Roar FC
The defending champions remain without a point after two games after squandering a 2-1 lead late on. Despite taking the lead twice through Mensur Kurtishi – his first Hyundai A-League goal and a howitzer from Henrique, Roar were unable to hold on. It means astonishingly, both of last season’s grand finalists are propping up the rest of the competition. Right-back James Donachie had another afternoon to forget, conceding an own goal for the second week in a row. Mike Mulvey has just five days to turn things around before the visit of Sydney FC on Friday night.
*Record crowd figures for Hyundai A-League as fans flock for bumper round
*Epic Sydney Derby in front of record crowd