Hyundai A-League Weekend Wrap - Round 25
Gold Coast's ambitions of claiming the Premiers' Plate received a massive boost as the Hyundai A-League new boys defeated Melbourne 1-0, while the other contender for top spot, Sydney, slipped up against Brisbane.
Results - Round 25 GOLD COAST UNITED 1, Melbourne Victory 0 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1, Adelaide United 0 BRISBANE ROAR 1 Sydney FC 0 PERTH GLORY 3, Central Coast Mariners 1 North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets - postponed
Results - Round 19 MELBOURNE VICTORY 4, Wellington Phoenix 0
Game Wraps Gold Coast's ambitions of claiming the Premiers' Plate received a massive boost as the Hyundai A-League new boys defeated Melbourne 1-0, while the other contender for top spot, Sydney, slipped up against Brisbane.
Gold Coast has now joined Melbourne at the top of the table with just two matches remaining, while Sydney remains two points adrift, slipping to third after a 1-0 loss to Brisbane.
A niggly and physical first half at Skilled Park ended scoreless but with both sides having grievances over off the ball treatment handed out to Robbie Kruse and Jason Culina. Melbourne was already without Archie Thompson and when Kruse departed with a shoulder injury before half time, it was clear it was going to be an uphill slog for the visitors.
The decisive moment of the game came when Zenon Caravella, one of the unheralded stars of Gold Coast's campaign this year, hit a brilliant winner on 77 minutes.
Sydney had its chance to take top spot, but Brisbane bounced back to form with a last-minute winner from Sergio van Dijk at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Roar goalkeeper Matt Ham had kept his side in it with some good saves earlier in the game and his heroics proved crucial when Luke De Vere directed a shot goalwards and van Dijk did the rest with a deflection into the net in the 89th minute.
Earlier on Saturday, Wellington returned to winning ways in its first-ever match in Christchurch. A bumper crowd of nearly 20,000 turned out to see the Phoenix all-but book a spot in the top six thanks to a Jon McKain goal in the 21st minute.
Perth Glory secured its spot in the finals after a dominant performance against a struggling Central Coast Mariners, winning 3-1.
Daniel McBreen scored a goal in the opening minute and doubled his tally 13 minutes in. It was 3-0 by half time thanks to Andrija Jukic and while Adam Kwasnik pulled one back, the Mariners never looked likely from that point.
The other Round 25 match, between North Queensland and Newcastle in Townsville, was postponed until this Tuesday because of a torrential downpour on the day of the match.
Last Tuesday, Melbourne had beaten Wellington 4-0 at Etihad Stadium in the final Round 19 match of the season.
Weekend Goals Tally: 7
Attendances (total / average): 43280/10820
Goal of the Week - Zenon Caravella The Gold Coast midfielder chose the perfect moment to open his Hyundai A-League account in a crucial match against Melbourne Victory. With the game poised at 0-0 with 13 minutes left, Caravella unleashed a world class strike from outside the box which Mitch Langerak had no hope of saving.
Player of the Week - Daniel McBreen The 'One to Watch' last week, McBreen certainly made good on his promising form for Perth Glory with a first-half brace against Central Coast on Sunday. Clever with his feet or his head, McBreen has added an extra scoring dimension to the Glory heading into the finals.
One to Watch - Matt Ham Playing just his third game of the season, Ham was in brilliant form between the posts in Saturday's clash against Sydney. He produced a number of very good saves and enabled his team to record its best win of the season to date against a previously high-flying Sydney.
Leading Goalscorers After Round 25 19 - Shane SMELTZ
11 - Sergio VAN DIJK
10 - Carlos HERNANDEZ, Archie THOMPSON
9 - Robbie FOWLER, Paul IFILL
7 - Daniel MCBREEN, Mile STERJOVSKI
6 - John ALOISI, Mark BRIDGE, Michael BRIDGES, Alex BROSQUE, Steve CORICA, Nik MRDJA, Matt SIMON, Matt THOMPSON
5 - Tim BROWN, Dyron DAAL, Chris GREENACRE, Labinot HALITI, Branko JELIC, REINALDO
4 - Travis DODD, Robbie KRUSE, Kevin MUSCAT, Joel PORTER, Victor SIKORA, Jin-Hyung SONG
3 - CRISTIANO, Jason CULINA, Eugene DADI, Rostyn GRIFFITHS, HENRIQUE, Jamie HARNWELL, John HUTCHINSON, Adam KWASNIK, Lucas PANTELIS, Wayne SRHOJ, Nicky TRAVIS
2 - Leo BERTOS, Pedj BOJIC, Jacob BURNS, CASSIO, DANIEL CORTES, Luke DEVERE, Mate DUGANDZIC, Steven FITZSIMMONS, Jason HOFFMAN, Todd HOWARTH, Matthew KEMP, Mathew LECKIE, Adrian LEIJER, Jon McKAIN, Matt McKAY, Charlie MILLER, Adriano PELLEGRINO, Sasho PETROVSKI, Tomislav PONDELJAK, Kristian REES, Sean ROONEY, Nick WARD, Jobe WHEELHOUSE, David WILLIAMS
1 - ALEMAO, Danny ALLSOPP, Costa BARBAROUSES, Fabian BARBIERO, Andrew BARISIC, Nigel BOOGAARD, Grant BREBNER, Jeremy BROCKIE, James BROWN, Scott BULLOCH, Zenon CARAVELLA, Isaka CERNAK, Kofi DANNING, David DODD, Ahmad ELRICH, Ney FABIANO, Iain FYFE, Brendan GAN, Chris GROSSMAN, Troy HEARFIELD, Dean HEFFERNAN, Adam HUGHES, Andrija JUKIC, Karol KISEL, Dylan MACALLISTER, Terry McFLYNN, Michael MCGLINCHEY, Tahj MINNIECON, MILSON, Craig MOORE, Stuart MUSIALIK, Jason NAIDOVSKI, Mitch NICHOLS, Tommy OAR, Lloyd OWUSU, Chris PAYNE, Lucas PANTELIS, Naum SEKULOVSKI, Ben SIGMUND, John TAMBOURAS, Danny TIATTO, Rodrigo VARGAS, Alex WILKINSON