Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap
Late equalising goals were the order of the weekend in Round 7. Click here to find out why...
Well every team has played each other once now and we have an interesting table, following some cracking matches over the weekend, which saw three teams snatch unlikely draws and Melbourne Victory producing a vintage display which saw them regain sole top spot of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Results - Round 7 MELBOURNE VICTORY 4 beat Perth Glory 0 Adelaide United 3 drew Central Coast Mariners 0 Sydney FC 1 drew Queensland Roar 1 Newcastle Jets 2 drew Wellington Phoenix 2
Central Coast Mariners staged one of the best comebacks in the Hyundai A-League-s short history, coming from three goals down to grab a point against a stunned Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium. Adelaide, who play their Asian Champions League semi final against Bunyodkor/Kuruvchi on Wednesday night, looked in control after Cristiano had stabbed home Adelaide-s third goal five minutes into the second half. They led 2-0 at the break, with Pedj Bojic adjudged to have fouled Cristiano in the box and Travis Dodd converting from the spot after 7 minutes and Robert Cornthwaite heading home in the 19th minute. But Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna changed things around and with perhaps one eye on Wednesday-s historic game, Adelaide-s players relaxed and the Mariners comeback started. Socceroos Mile Jedinak and Matt Simon were the main contributors, with Simon-s bullocking run stopped by Angelo Costanzo near the byline and Jedinak slotting home from the spot. Jedinak then made it a double with another cracking goal from 20 metres out with 15 minutes to go and Simon leveled it up with six minutes to go, when he stole in between the Adelaide defence and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic and slotted home his shot from an acute angle.
Melbourne Victory put last week-s disappointing home loss to Queensland behind them with a comfortable 4-0 win over bottom side Perth Glory at the Telstra Dome. Once Melbourne took the lead in the 25th minute through a goal from Scotsman Grant Brebner with a clinical finish from 15 yards, Victory never looked like surrendering the lead. Danny Allsopp made it 2-0 in the 40th minute, finishing at the second attempt after being allowed too much room in the penalty box. Any thoughts of a second half revival by Perth was quickly evaporated after the break when Rodrigo Vargas popped up at the far post to head home a free kick and Allsopp made sure of the points with his 6th goal of the season with a neat finish. The win put Melbourne back on top spot going into the international break and also sent a warning to the other side-s - catch us if you can.
Qantas Socceroo hopeful Stuart Musialik did his chances of making the cut for Wednesday week-s crucial World Cup qualifier against Qatar, absolutely no harm at all, with a last kick of the game goal to earn Sydney a point against an unlucky Queensland Roar side. Roar was literally seconds away from a potential six-point road trip against Melbourne and Sydney, when Musialik pounced on a weak clearance by Roar from a long throw, taking one-touch and slamming home past Liam Reddy from 15 yards. Queensland had earlier taken the lead just three minutes into the second half, when Charlie Miller was given too much space to run at goal and duly buried his shot from just outside the box past the despairing dive of Clint Bolton. Miller should have put the game out of Sydney-s reach just minutes before Musialik-s equaliser when he was one-on-one with Bolton, but surprisingly sliced his shot well wide.
It was a see-sawing match at EnergyAustralia Stadium, with Wellington Phoenix grabbing a share of the points with a late penalty to Shane Smeltz in a 2-2 draw with the Newcastle Jets. After a fairly tame first half, where Smeltz came closest to opening the scoring when his shot hit the post, the second half came to life in the very hot conditions, which ironically finished with a fierce thunderstorm in the dying minutes. Wellington took the lead from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute, Smeltz making no mistake after Vaughan Coveny was judged to be fouled by Daniel Piorkowski. But that lead lasted just seven minutes, Tarek Elrich landing a 25-yard screamer that dipped over Mark Paston and into the top corner. Nine minutes later, a through ball over the top, saw Edmundo Zura nip in between Paston and Karl Dodd to head down for Kaz Patafta, who gratefully accepted the free shot into the empty net. But Wellington mounted a late charge and when Lei Lei Gao tried to make room for himself to shoot, he bundled over by Matt Thompson and Smeltz made no mistake for his 6th goal of the season and second penalty conversion of the match.
Weekend Goals Tally: 16
Card Count: 14 yellows - 0 reds
Attendance/Average: 48,005 / 12,001.1
Goal of the Week Some cracking strikes this week with several worthy winners. We give it to Tarek Elrich-s strike from distance, which although taking a slight deflection that certainly assisted in the goal, it-s as much for the tactical ploy of Gary Van Egmond to shift the fullback up forward in the hope he might get a goal, which went to plan.
Player of the Week Having being named in Pim Verbeek-s squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifier, Mile Jedinak was looking for a big game especially with the likes of Vince Grella and Carl Valeri possibly missing this game. Jedinak delivered with his usual tough midfield play and then kept his cool to score a penalty when his team desperately needed a goal; then unleashing a thunderous shot which proved too powerful for Eugene Galekovic and was the catalyst for Central Coast-s great comeback.
One to Watch Matt Mundy was thrown in the deep end by Frank Farina; up against the Sydney frontline of John Aloisi, Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque and had a terrific game and generally holding his own against his more experienced opponents. It was a shame that it was headed clearance that went Musialik who duly scored, but no doubt he will learn from that and be a better player for it.
Leading Goalscorers 6 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Shane Smeltz (WP) 5 - Charlie Miller (QR), Cristiano (AU), Matt Simon (CCM) 4 - Eugene Dadi (PG), Mile Jedinak (CCM)