How your team fared and who made the headlines. Get up to speed over a Monday morning coffee from a bumper round of Hyundai A-League football over the weekend.
Brisbane Roar FC
Friday night’s 2-0 home defeat to Sydney FC means the defending champions have lost the opening three games of the season for the first time in their history. It might be a tad early to say the Roar are in a crisis but what must be worrying coach Mike Mulvey is they hardly fashioned a genuine chance against the Sky Blues, despite loads of possession. Western Sydney Wanderers FC’s ACL final second leg means the Roar have a fortnight off to regroup and look for answers. The return of midfielder Matt McKay from suspension and Adam Sarota from injury can’t come soon enough.
The Sky Blues are enjoying their best-ever start to a season after registering their first win in seven years at Suncorp Stadium. And they did with two early contenders for goal of the season. Marquee man Marc Janko’s stunning chest control and first-time volley sent them on their way before playmaker Milos Dimitrijevic put the icing on the cake with a clever chipped effort in the second half. It’s more than new coach Graham Arnold could have hoped for ahead of his first clash against former club Central Coast Mariners next weekend.
Came from behind twice early in the first half to claim bragging rights over City with a thumping 5-2 win at a rocking Etihad Stadium. Besart Berisha’s first hat-trick for the club was the highlight while evergreen striker Archie Thompson finished with a double. Victory have now scored nine goals in their two home matches this season. They host in-form Phoenix next Monday night – but before that a Westfield FFA Cup clash against Perth Glory on Wednesday night in the West.
Melbourne City FC
Things started well enough for John van‘t Schip’s side but every time they got in front they allowed Victory back into the contest with a defensive error. But unlike the first two rounds, Spanish superstar David Villa couldn’t get them out of trouble. The uncertainty surrounding just when Villa will end his guest stint may have been a distraction in the build-up to the match but there is no excuse for some of the defensive lapses they showed on Saturday night. Will need to improve in time for next Friday and the visit of in-form Adelaide United in what looms as Villa’s last game for the club.
Phoenix are up to fourth after a second straight win, this one a 4-1 demolition of Newcastle at the ‘Cake Tin’. The combination of Nathan Burns and Michael McGlinchey continues to develop as to one of the most potent in the competition, with both on the scoresheet again as they prosper within Ernie Merrick’s possession-based passing game. Will get a clearer indication of their finals credentials with an away trip to Victory next Monday.
After encouraging performances over the first fortnight, the Jets took a step back in going down to the Phoenix. They simply had no answer to the quality of passing and pressing from the home side over a forgettable 90 minutes for Phil Stubbins’ side. Looked very weary after a third straight away match to start the season and it doesn’t get any easier with another long flight to play Perth Glory next weekend. Joel Griffiths’ first goal of the season – a neat header – a rare highlight.
The Reds surged to a share of the competition lead – alongside Victory and Sydney – after a well-deserved 2-0 win over Perth Glory. Sergio Cirio continued his red-hot start to the season with another goal, while Young Socceroos winger Awer Mabil put the result beyond doubt after the break. Josep Gombau’s side are firing on all cylinders and in an ominous sign for rival sides, they appear to have more attacking options, winning without injured striker Bruce Djite (calf).
The last 100 percent record in the Hyundai A-League is gone after Glory’s defeat at Coopers Stadium. What will disappoint boss Kenny Lowe the most was that they never really got into the groove to seriously test the Reds. They don’t have long to dwell on the defeat with a Westfield FFA Cup clash against the in-form Victory on Wednesday night. And attacker Jamie McClaren could find himself in trouble for a nasty stamp on Isaias late on.
*Wanderers take huge step in ACL final with 1-0 win over Al-Hilal
*Socceroo boost: free-to-air deal with ABC TV for Asian Cup plus Japan friendly
*Epic Melbourne derby in front of bumper crowd
*Janko breaks his Sydney FC duck with Suncorp stunner