Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 22
Wellington Phoenix has powered its way into the top six of the Hyundai A-League after a stunning debut from Eugene Dadi, while Sydney now holds a four-point lead on top of the table.
Results - Round 20 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 3 Brisbane Roar 1 Central Coast Mariners 1 North Queensland Fury 1 Gold Coast United 1 Adelaide United 1 NEWCASTLE JETS 3 Melbourne Victory 2 Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 0
Game Wraps Wellington Phoenix has powered its way into the top six of the Hyundai A-League after a stunning debut from Eugene Dadi, while Sydney now holds a four-point lead on top of the table.
Dadi produced a remarkable first game after crossing from Perth Glory during the week, putting in his candidate for goal of the season with a sublime second half bicycle kick after Tim Brown had earlier given Wellington the lead at Westpac Stadium. Dadi then made it 3-0 with a classy finish just after the hour, while Brisbane's consolation came through Sergio van Dijk in the 88th minute.
The only other game which didn't result in a draw saw Newcastle put in one of its best efforts of the season to defeat Melbourne 3-2 at EnergyAustralia Stadium despite being down to 10 men for the final 60 minutes.
Skipper Matt Thompson opened the scoring on 26 minutes, but soon after Ben Kantarovski was shown a second yellow card after bringing Robbie Kruse down in the box. Kevin Muscat slotted the penalty, but the Jets would not be denied and Michael Bridges nipped it to make it 2-1 just before the break.
Melbourne continued to press forward, but it was the Jets who would score next when Labinot Haliti hit a sublime angled volley to make it 3-1. Carlos Hernandez pulled one back for the visitors in the final minutes of the match.
Melbourne has now lost back-to-back matches for the first time this season while Newcastle has cemented itself in fourth spot, just four points behind the defending champions.
Sydney had a chance to go six points clear of Melbourne when it travelled to Perth but while it stretched its run without conceding a goal to 479 minutes, it couldn't score itself, resulting in a 0-0 draw at ME Bank Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners and North Queensland shared a 1-1 draw at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night. Nik Mrdja scored his third goal in two games against the Fury in just the third minute before Jeremy Brockie replied in the 20th minute to earn a valuable point for the visitors.
Adelaide remains bottom of the table, but was unlucky to only get a point out of its trip to the Gold Coast. Travis Dodd scored in the 20th minute but Shane Smeltz equalised with his 19th goal of the season on 90 minutes.
Gold Coast is now within a point of Melbourne in second spot, while Adelaide is three points adrift in 10th place.
Weekend Goals Tally: 13
Attendances (total / average): 35284/7057
Goal of the Week - Eugene Dadi The former Glory striker made the best possible first impression on debut for Wellington against Brisbane. His marvellous bicycle kick on 56 minutes will live long in the Phoenix fans minds. The inspiration was there and the execution was brilliant giving Griffin McMaster no hope of stopping it.
Player of the Week - Eugene Dadi It's hard to go past the Ivorian for this category either. A two-goal effort on debut demonstrated what a valuable player he can be when given his chance. He looks to be an excellent foil for the impressive Paul Ifill and will be an important player in the Phoenix's charge to a first finals appearance.
One to Watch - Sean Rooney When Rooney came on for goalscorer Michael Bridges at half time of the Jets game against Melbourne, with his side leading 2-1 but down to 10 men it looked a risky move. But the youngster relished his chance, putting on an inspired performance up front and leading an 'attack is the best form of defence' mentality that helped the home side to a famous win.
Leading Goalscorers After Round 22 19 - Shane Smeltz
10 - Sergio Van Dijk
9 - Robbie Fowler
8 - Paul Ifill, Carlos Hernandez, Archie Thompson
6 - Mark Bridge, Alex Brosque, Steve Corica, Matt Simon, Mile Sterjovski
5 - John Aloisi, Michael Bridges, Tim Brown, Dyron Daal, Chris Greenacre, Labinot Haliti, Branko Jelic, Reinaldo, Matt Thompson
4 - Nik Mrdja, Victor Sikora, Jin-Hyung Song
3 - Cristiano, Rostyn Griffiths, Henrique, Jamie Harnwell, John Hutchinson, Daniel Mcbreen, Lucas Pantelis, Wayne Srhoj, Nicky Travis
2 - Leo Bertos, Pedj Bojic, Cassio, Eugene Dadi, Daniel Cortes, Travis Dodd, Jason Culina, Mate Dugandzic, Steven Fitzsimmons, Jason Hoffman, Adam Kwasnik, Matthew Leckie, Adrian Leijer, Matt Mckay, Charlie Miller, Kevin Muscat, Adriano Pellegrino, Sasho Petrovski, Joel Porter, Kristian Rees, Sean Rooney, Nick Ward
1 - Alemao, Danny Allsopp, Costa Barbarouses, Fabian Barbiero, Andrew Barisic, Nigel Boogaard, Grant Brebner, Jeremy Brockie, Scott Bulloch, Isaka Cernak, Kofi Danning, Luke Devere, David Dodd, Ahmad Elrich, Ney Fabiano, Iain Fyfe, Brendan Gan, Chris Grossman, Troy Hearfield, Dean Heffernan, Todd Howarth, Adam Hughes, Matthew Kemp, Karol Kisel, Robbie Kruse, Dylan Macallister, Terry McFlynn, Michael Mcglinchey, Tahj Minniecon, Milson, Craig Moore, Jason Naidovski, Mitch Nichols, Tommy Oar, Lloyd Owusu, Tomislav Pondeljak, Naum Sekulovski, Ben Sigmund, John Tambouras, Danny Tiatto, Rodrigo Vargas, Jobe Wheelhouse, Alex Wilkinson, David Williams