Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap
It was a weekend of upsets with both Melbourne and Sydney having their unbeaten starts to the season wiped out by Queensland and Wellington respectively.
It was a weekend of upsets with both Melbourne and Sydney having their unbeaten starts to the season wiped out by Queensland and Wellington respectively. Adelaide continued on its high with a win over the hapless Champions, who lost four players in the match to injury, while Central Coast Mariners showed their credentials with a clinical display against Perth Glory.
Results - Round 5 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 4 beat Perth Glory 1 ADELAIDE UNITED 2 beat Newcastle Jets 0 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 2 beat Sydney FC 1 Melbourne Victory 0 lost QUEENSLAND ROAR 2
Game Wraps Its unfortunate that the main talking point from this game was not the clinical display by Central Coast in disposing of Perth-s challenge, but the injury sustained by Mark Bosnich. Bosnich was forced off with a hamstring injury after just seven minutes of his home debut, which is likely to see him not play again in his short-term stay with the club. The Bosnich injury aside, it was one-way traffic for the Mariners as they piled on three first half goals. Sasho Petrovski went straight down the middle to bundle home at the second attempt after nine minutes; Mile Jedinak curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner and Adrian Caceres waltzed through the defence to make it 3 just before the break. Nikita Rukavytsya pulled a goal back from close range in the 63rd minute, but Perth-s joy lasted just a minute when Matthew Osman capped off a good team move to sweep his shot home from 15 yards.
Adelaide finished a hectic schedule of five games in 15 days in perfect style, with a 2-0 win over Newcastle at Hindmarsh Stadium. Cristiano grabbed both goals in the final 15 minutes of the match, with Newcastle remarkably forced down to 10-men with half an hour to play after four players were forced off the field with injuries, including what looks likes a bad hamstring injury to key striker Joel Griffiths. Newcastle had the first real chance of the match, with Jin-Hyung Song denied by a close range save by Eugene Galekovic. Galekovic also produced a magnificent save to deny Tarek Elrich and with the Jets tiring, Adelaide-s persistence paid off when Cristiano nodded home after the ball had bounced down off the crossbar. With a minute to go of normal time, he then charged down a clearing kick by Ante Covic and stroked home into the empty net. While Adelaide will enjoy not having to play midweek, Newcastle will be anxiously awaiting the doctors reports, with Jason Hoffman almost certain to be out for the season with a knee injury.
Bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix finally gave their fans something to cheer about with a 2-1 win over Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium. It wasn-t looking good early though when Alex Brosque scored for Sydney with a looping header after 20 minutes. Sydney looked the stronger, but Wellington got themselves back into the match just before half time, when Shane Smeltz guided a header perfectly inside the far post. Vaughan Coveny looked in total shock when soon after the break, referee Chris Beath mistakenly gave him a red card, which was quickly changed to a yellow. Tim Brown then proved the unlikely Phoenix hero when he won the ball 30 out advanced forward and towards a central position and his well struck shot whistled past a slow-moving Clint Bolton. The win moved Wellington off the bottom of the table.
Melbourne for the third match in a row, were forced to battle away for a lengthy period of the match with just 10 men, but it wasn-t third time lucky with Queensland coming away with the points thanks to super-subs Tahj Minniecon and Michael Zullo. In fairness Queensland provided most of the goalmouth highlights, with Serginho van Dijk twice hitting the woodwork, while both he and Reinaldo were denied by young keeper Mitchell Langerak and Charlie Miller blasted two volleys over the bar. Eight minutes after the break, Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez was given a second yellow card for diving and Melbourne had to try and keep their nine-unbeaten run with just 10. The deadlock was broken with seven minutes remaining when Minniecon cut inside two Melbourne defenders, held off a third and then somehow picked his spot millimetres perfect inside the near post. With time seemingly up, Zullo sealed the points, when he held off the challenge of Kevin Muscat and slotted past Langerak.
Weekend Goals Tally: 12
Card Count: 21 yellows - 1 red
Attendance/Average: 45,212 / 11,303
Goal of the Week Mile Jedinak is fast becoming recognised for his free kick taking ability, as he is for his ball winning ability in the middle of the park. On Friday night, he scored a brilliant goal with a curling free kick that left Jason Petkovic bamboozled and nestled with the spiders in the top corner of the net. Could well be a contender for ‘Goal of the Year-.
Player of the Week He had the battle scars with his head bandaged up, but Tim Brown put in a herculean effort for Wellington and then came up with a rare goal to seal the much needed win for his side. Brown was everywhere and relished the chance to start and capped it off with a good run and shot.
One to Watch Mitchell Langerak is a young goalkeeper on the rise and while he was unable to hold Queensland at bay, he did produce several quality saves that kept Melbourne in the game for much longer than they probably should have been. Unfortunately once Michael Theoklitos returns from suspension, he will find himself out of the team.
Leading Goalscorers 4 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Charlie Miller (QR), Eugene Dadi (PG), Matt Simon (CCM), Shane Smeltz (WP), Cristiano (AU) 3 - Steve Corica (SFC), Archie Thompson (MV), Joel Griffiths (NJ), Alex Brosque (SFC)