Round 4 Weekend Wrap
We review the Round 4 action from the Hyundai A-League.
Two weeks is a long time in football and after a couple of rounds where the goals were literally flowing, Round 4 saw goals hard to come by. Melbourne and Queensland were the big winners from the weekend, with Melbourne shooting away at the top of the table, while Queensland recorded its first win of the season, to again demonstrate their potential for honours this season.
Results - Round 4 MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 beat Adelaide United 0 Newcastle Jets 0 drew Sydney FC 0 0 Wellington Phoenix 0 drew Central Coast Mariners 0 Perth Glory 0 lost QUEENSLAND ROAR 3
Game Wraps Melbourne Victory shot to the top of the table after a battling 1-0 win over Adelaide United at the Telstra Dome on Friday night. Reduced to 10-men after Ney Fabiano-s send-off on the half four, Victory dominated the match from then on and were rewarded with a goal to Kevin Muscat in the 63rd minute. Muscat pounced on the rebound after his penalty kick was saved by Eugene Galekovic, following Sash Ognenovski-s foul on Archie Thompson in the box. Soon after the send-off, Carlos Hernandez struck the crossbar, although Travis Dodd should have scored right half time, but saw his shot saved by Michael Theoklitos. Adelaide only really came to life after the goal, but Melbourne held on for the win and moved ahead of their opponents by three points at the head of the table.
Newcastle Jets bounced back from its 5-0 humiliation to Melbourne a fortnight ago, to earn a point against Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium. Newcastle dominated for most of the match, but couldn-t find a way past inform FC keeper Clint Bolton. Sydney had substitute Mitchell Prentice sent off in the dying minutes after picking two quick yellow cards. After a dour opening half, Newcastle came out with more intent in the second half, with James Holland hitting the crossbar with a miscued cross, while Adam Griffiths had the best chance, but his glancing header went just across the far post. The draw was Newcastle-s third of the season, while Sydney remains unbeaten and two points behind Melbourne on the table.
Central Coast missed a golden opportunity to close the gap on the leaders, after being held to a 0-0 draw by Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. Despite playing away, it was the Mariners who enjoyed the majority of the chances, although Mariners keeper Mark Bosnich showed his class with the save of the day to deny a point blank shot from Troy Hearfield on the hour. Bosnich-s opposite Glen Moss was the busier of the two keepers, saving a third-minute bullet header from Sasho Petrovski, as well as several well struck shots in the second half. Mile Jedinak almost produced another magical free kick, however this time he couldn-t beat the woodwork. Petrovski should have sealed a win for the Mariners late in the match, but curled his shot wide of the far post, with only Moss to beat. The draw for Wellington saw them move off the bottom of the table, while the Mariners stay in fourth spot.
With one goal in three games so far for the round, it was up to Perth and Queensland to get the goals and it was Queensland that did just that with three unanswered goals at Members Equity Stadium. The Roar continued its amazing run at the ground, leading 3-0 at the break after goals from Craig Moore, Matt McKay and then a killer third goal right on half time to Charlie Miller. Moore broke the deadlock with a rasping low drive from the edge of the area after 14 minutes, which was followed by a terrific goal to McKay, after he raced through to meet a perfect pass from Serginho van Dijk. Perth ended the half strongly without causing Liam Reddy too many concerns and were made to pay seconds before half time, when Queensland broke quickly down the right through Reinaldo. He brilliantly swiveled one way and went the other to see off Jamie Coyne and threaded a pass to the charging Miller, who made no mistake and go into the record books with a goal in each of his first four games.
Weekend Goals Tally: 4
Card Count: 23 yellows - 2 reds
Attendance/Average: 51,478 / 12,869.5
Goal of the Week With only four to choose from and one of those from a penalty, not a lot of choice, but Charlie Miller-s goal was a terrific goal; in fact each of Queensland-s goals were terrific in their own way. Reinaldo-s skill to hold the ball up and then completely bamboozle Jamie Coyne, was magnificent to watch and his pass was perfect for Miller, who finished perfectly from about 15 yards.
Player of the Week Goalkeeper-s hardly get any recognition when it comes to looking at the best players each week, but Glen Moss- effort to hold out Central Coast was particularly noteworthy. He continually thwarted the Mariners attack and even when beaten, he made it difficult for them and forced shots wide, such was his performance. He single-handedly kept Wellington in the game and earned his side a valuable point.
One to Watch Luke DeVere is a defender on the rise and just another young product that Frank Farina has shown some faith in. Opportunities have come his way because of injuries early in the season and while he has made some mistakes, he is also showing maturity beyond his years.
Leading Goalscorers 4 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Charlie Miller (QR) 3 - Eugene Dadi (PG), Shane Smeltz (WP), Steve Corica (SFC)