Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap
We take a quick look at the weekend's Round 10 action
What an action packed weekend of football we had in Round 10, with plenty of goals, controversy, comebacks and good crowds. Melbourne went to Adelaide and came back from a 2-1 deficit to grab all three points, while Central Coast Mariners came from three goals down to draw with Sydney FC. Queensland also came from a goal down to extend their unbeaten away record this season and win 2-1 at Newcastle, while Perth Glory moved off the bottom of the table with their third win at home in a row, defeating Wellington Phoenix 2-0.
Results - Round 9 Adelaide United 2 lost MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 Sydney FC 3 drew Central Coast Mariners 3 Newcastle Jets 1 lost QUEENSLAND ROAR 2 PERTH GLORY 2 beat Wellington Phoenix 0
Adelaide went into the 1st leg of the AFC Champions Final against Gamba Osaka on Wednesday night, having given away a 2-1 lead midway through the second half, to go down 3-2 to an angry and fired up Melbourne Victory. Adelaide went into the half time break with a one-goal lead, thanks to a controversial penalty awarded to Cristiano, which was calmly converted by Travis Dodd. The ledger was all squared up nine minutes into the second half, when this time Cristiano gave away a penalty, with Kevin Muscat making no mistake. Cassio then finally scored his first goal for Adelaide, curling a delightful free kick past Michael Theoklitos to give the home side the lead once again. But with less then ten minutes of normal time remaining Evan Berger decided to use his pace in the box and was brought down by a tired Robert Cornthwaite and Muscat slammed his second penalty straight down the middle to level it again. Two minutes later, Melbourne took the lead when Billy Celeski was on hand to poke home from close range and give Victory the lead for the first time. The win saw Melbourne go back to the top of the table, ahead of Adelaide on goal difference.
For the second time this season, Central Coast has come from three goals down early in the second half to earn a share of the spoils, this time against neighbours Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium. Sydney took the lead after 27 minutes through a terrific strike by Mark Bridge from near the top corner of the penalty box. While the Mariners were being frustrated by Sydney keeper Ivan Necevski, Sydney doubled its lead in the 39th minute, when Adam Casey cut inside and delivered a beautifully left foot shot past Danny Vukovic. The game looked over when Terry McFlynn hammered an unstoppable shot past Vukovic in the 56th minute and Stu Musialik should have made it 4-0 minutes later, but somehow contrived to hit the crossbar from just 3 yards out. That miss proved crucial, as Matt Simon beat the offside trap on 62 minutes and placed his shot past Necevski. Substitute Nik Mrdja then pulled another goal back in the 76th minute, which was brilliantly set up by Brad Porter from deep inside his own half. With nine minutes left and the Mariners on the charge, Simon made the comeback complete when he headed home a corner.
Charlie Miller scored his sixth goal of the season, to lead Queensland Roar to its 4th win on the road this season - 2-1 over a disappointing Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium. In a lively opening, Edmundo Zura saw a goal disallowed for clear offside, while Roar-s Massimo Murdocca hit the post with a curling effort from the edge of the box. A goal was not far away and it duly arrived when Zura played a delightful through ball to Joel Griffiths, who cut back onto his right foot and curled a magnificent shot past Liam Reddy, his 7th goal in 7 consecutive games against the Roar. But the Jets joy was short-lived as Queensland worked the ball down the right, with Murdocca cutting back to midfield partner Matt McKay, who slid his shot past Ante Covic. Queensland continued to attack and Murdocca was again at the thrust of it and it was his neat cross that saw Tim Smits glance on for a free Miller, who was never going to miss from 8 yards out. Newcastle dominated the second half, but never really seriously threatened Reddy-s goal, apart from one save in the dying stages of the match to deny Griffiths a second goal.
Nikita Rukavytsya once again outlined his enormous potential to steer Perth Glory to its third consecutive home win of the season. Rukavytsya scored both goals in the 2-0 win and saw them move off the bottom of the table, swapping places with opponent Wellington Phoenix, who were disappointing, especially in the attacking third of the pitch. Rukavytsya was a constant menace, especially with his pace and opened the scoring after 15 minutes, when he nipped in to steal the ball from Andrew Durante and beat Mark Paston with his angled shot. Wellington enjoyed good passages of possession, but didn-t really test Tando Velaphi and with 20 minutes remaining, Rukavytsya put the game beyond Phoenix-s reach, racing onto a Eugene Dadi through ball; outpacing Tony Lochhead and steering his shot past Paston.
Weekend Goals Tally: 16
Card Count: 10 yellows - 0 reds
Attendance/Average: 49,177 / 12,294
Goal of the Week A lot to choose from this week, as there were some pretty special goals. All three of Sydney-s were terrific, but hard to go past Terry McFlynn-s rocket. A quick counter was set up perfectly on the edge of the box and McFlynn let fly with a bullet of a shot from 20 metres that whistled past a stunned Danny Vukovic.
Player of the Week Would be easy to give it to two goal heroes Matt Simon or Nikita Rukavytsya, but we will with a young player who rarely is in the spotlight, but played a major role in Melbourne Victory-s win over Adelaide. Evan Berger was outstanding for Melbourne and constantly harassed the Adelaide defence with his direct and quick running in and around the penalty box. Earned Victory-s second penalty when he went past Cornthwaite and was chopped down and that proved to be the inspiration to go on for the win.
One to Watch He was one of two debutants last week for Sydney FC last week and was again in the thick of it against the Mariners on Saturday night. Beau Busch is not exactly a young debutant, but he certainly showed his courage after a very nasty head clash with Pedj Bojic midway through the first half. With his head heavily bandaged, Busch went back out and played strongly, although there was nothing he could do to prevent the Mariners comeback. At 24, he is trying to make every post a winner in his short spell with Sydney and earn a full-time contract.
Leading Goalscorers 7- Matt Simon (CCM) 6 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Shane Smeltz (WP), Charlie Miller (QR), 5 - Cristiano (AU), Nikita Rukavytsya (PG), Travis Dodd (AU) 4 - Eugene Dadi (PG), Mile Jedinak (CCM), Joel Griffiths (NJ)