Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 2
Round 2 of Season 5 produced one of the all-time classic matches so far in the brief history of the Hyundai A-League.
Round 2 of Season 5 has produced one of the all-time classic matches so far in the brief history of the Hyundai A-League, while Gold Coast United made an emphatic home debut with a 5-0 thumping of fellow new boys North Queensland Fury; Shane Smeltz grabbing four goals in the process.
Results - Round 2 Central Coast Mariners 1 drew Newcastle Jets 1 GOLD COAST UNITED 5 beat North Queensland Fury 0 Melbourne Victory 3 drew Brisbane Roar 3 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 2 beat Perth Glory 1 SYDNEY FC 1 beat Adelaide United 0
The first of the F3 derby games this season and it finished in a fairly tame 1-1 draw in the end at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford. The hosts though will rue the fact that they weren-t able to capitalise on a dominant first half display that should have seen them go into at least a goal up. Matt Simon saw a goal ruled out for offside, while Simon, Dylan Macallister, John Hutchinson and Adam Kwasnik all saw chances not taken. They were made to pay straight after half time when Jin-Hyung Song finished superbly giving the Jets the lead. That lead however was short-lived, when a Michael McClinchey free kick to the back post was headed home by birthday boy Nigel Boogaard, his 1st goal in the competition. Newcastle were a much better side in the second half and both teams had a couple of chances to grab all three points, but a point was probably the right result in the end.
Shane Smeltz gave a master class in finishing, as he posted four goals in Gold Coast United-s 5-0 thrashing of North Queensland Fury at Skilled Park. Jason Spagnuolo should have given Fury an early lead but shot over the bar in the 4th minute. Gold Coast though dominated play from there on and opening goal for the home side was always inevitable and came after 29 minutes, when Smeltz controlled a brilliant through ball by Jason Culina and raced away and gave Paul Henderson no chance. At 1-0 at half time, Fury were still in it, but nine minutes in a charge into the box by Michael Thwaite resulted in a penalty and Smeltz- spot kick was too powerful for Henderson. Smeltz had his hat-trick nine minutes later, although his shot took a slight deflection and then 60 seconds later he placed his shot in exactly the same spot to take his season tally to 5 goals. Tahj Minniecon added a fifth goal late in the game as Gold Coast once again showed just why they should be a feared side this season.
What a game, arguably the best match ever witnessed in the Hyundai A-League. Melbourne twice came from two goals down to eventually grab a draw with Brisbane Roar at Etihad Stadium, but it was the quality of the goals that will have many people talking about this game for years to come. Danny Tiatto kicked things off for Roar in the 22nd minute with a 30-metre thunderbolt and then two minutes later Sergio van Dijk showed just how to finish from the spot with a powerful shot. Carlos Hernandez with a goal of pure class lashing onto Nick Ward-s low cross and almost bursting the seams of the net open in the top corner. Roar-s Henrique then produced a fine solo goal after a run from halfway and delightful finish after cleverly leaving two Victory defenders for dead. Melbourne though can never be discounted and when Danny Allsopp volleyed home on the turn in the 64th minute it was game on. Hernandez kept the amazing goals coming six minutes later, when he curled in an exquisite free kick from just outside the corner of the penalty box to make it 3-3. Both sides had good chances to grab a winner, but these easier chances proved too difficult to take and it finished all square.
A Leo Bertos 35-yard thunderbolt has given Wellington Phoenix a valuable 2-1 win over a luckless Perth Glory in atrocious conditions at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Played in driving rain, Perth took the lead as early as the 3rd minute when Victor Sikora won possession, burst forward and slid his shot past Mark Paston. Phoenix-s English recruit Paul Ifill leveled it up midway through the half, heading home a Bertos cross. Glory were forced to make two early substitutions, but it they who dominated the second half, with a number of chances including Mile Sterjovski and Todd Howarth both hitting the crossbar. With five minutes remaining, Bertos stepped up and rifled a free kick from distance, which took a deflection off Jacob Burns and gave Tando Velaphi no chance.
Mark Bridge came off the bench to earn Sydney FC a 1-0 win over Adelaide United and join Gold Coast United as the only two teams with a 100% record after the opening two rounds. It was a deserved win for Sydney, who had the better of the chances in the match, especially in the first half. John Aloisi and Steve Corica both saw efforts saved by Eugene Galekovic, the second especially an excellent save with his legs. Sydney always looked the more likely to score in a tough contest and it was Bridge who started and finished the move for the goal 11 minutes after coming on for Corica. Breaking forward, he cleverly flicked the ball to Alex Brosque and kept running, getting a headed pass back into his path and he smashed a left foot volley past Galekovic.
Weekend Goals Tally: 17
Attendances (total / average): 60,650
Goal of the Week How can you choose a Goal of the Week, when you have five goals of equal world class in just one game as we had in the Melbourne v Brisbane match. Danny Tiatto-s 30-yard rocket, Henrique-s individual run and finish, Carlos Hernandez- cracking first time shot and then curling free kick and also Danny Allsopp-s volley on the turn. All were superbly taken goals of the highest quality that any league in the world would have in their goals of the week. Leo Bertos- stunning free kick winner might have joined them, but for the deflection off Burns that made it impossible for Tando Velaphi to save.
Player of the Week Only one player for the award this week with Gold Coast United-s Shane Smeltz showing once again why he is regarded as the best striker in the Hyundai A-League. His four goals in Gold Coast-s 5-0 demolition of North Queensland was one of the most clinical displays of finishing witnessed in the four and a bit years of the league. He already has five goals for the season and is odd-s on to make it back-to-back Golden Boot Awards.
One to Watch Miron Bleiberg might not be everybody-s ‘cup-of-tea-, but he knows how to pick his talent and in Adama Traore he might have found a gem. The Ivorian left-sided fullback was full of class in his debut match for Gold Coast and is set to be an electrifying player this season.
5 - Shane Smeltz (GCU) 2 - John Aloisi (SFC), Jason Hoffman (NJ) , Sergio Van Dijk (QR), Carlos Hernandez (MV) 1- Travis Dodd (AU), Danny Tiatto (BR), Henrique (BR), Matt Simon (CCM), Michael McClinchey (CCM), Nigel Boogaard (CCM), Jason Culina (GCU), Robson (GCU), Tahj Minniecon (GCU), Danny Allsopp (MV), Jason Naidovski (NJ), Jin-Hyung Song (NJ), Robbie Fowler (NQF), Royston Griffiths (NQF), Victor Sikora (PG), Kofi Danning (SFC), Mark Bridge (SFC), Ben Sigmund (WP), Chris Greenacre (WP), Paul Ifill (WP), Leo Bertos (WP)