We take a look at a thrilling Round Five of the Hyundai A-League.
We take a look at a thrilling Round Five of the Hyundai A-League, where the highlight was Sydney FC's win over Melbourne Victory, a match that will go down as an all-time great.
Melbourne Heart 0-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
A first half Shannon Cole goal proved the difference as Western Sydney Wanderers nicked a valuable win on the road. Wanderers extended their unbeaten run to 12 matches, but for Melbourne Heart, it was the fourth time this season that they have drawn a blank on the scoresheet, and they remain winless. Heart dominated possession at home with 58% of the ball, but as against Brisbane in Round Four, they failed to take advantage. Of their 19 shots, just two hit the target. Wanderers coach Tony Popovic sprung a number of selection surprises, with Matthew Spiranovic coming in for his debut and Cole preferred to Mark Bridge. It was a decision ultimately vindicated as Spiranovic helped Wanderers to a clean sheet, and Cole scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half, to send them to a clear second place.
Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Perth Glory
Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory both scored in the first half, ultimately sharing the points at AMI Christchurch Stadium. An error from Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic was the catalyst for Andrew Durante-s fourth minute goal for the Phoenix, but a fantastic dribble and cut-back from Sidnei set up Ryo Nagai for the equalising goal. It was an even match, with both sides keeping an even share of possession. The match wasn-t short on shots, but not enough tested Vukovic and Phoenix ‘keeper, Glen Moss. Perth was able to welcome Shane Smeltz back into the starting line-up, which will fill them with optimism for the rest of the season.
Adelaide United 1-2 Newcastle Jets
Gary van Egmond-s Jets put their season back on track, beating Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium. As they have for much of the season, Adelaide looked comfortable in possession and Josep Gombau will take heart from the manner in which they kept the ball. But, Newcastle was able to score twice with their 37% share of possession, with Kuw Jaliens and Adam Taggart scoring. Taggart-s goal in particular was a delightful chip over Mark Birighitti. Fabio Ferreira-s goal gave Adelaide a lifeline, but any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out when Nigel Boogard was sent off in the final minute for a rash tackle on Newcastle-s returning marquee star, Emile Heskey. Adelaide will have to work hard to find a way to make their possession count in their next few matches.
Sydney FC 3-2 Melbourne Victory
Sydney FC beat Melbourne Victory in the “Big Blue”, prevailing in incredible circumstances. The match will go down in history as a classic. All five goals were scored in the first half, Sydney FC racing to a 2-0 lead thanks to an opportunistic goal from Richard Garcia and a “falcon” from Sebastian Ryall. Pantomine villain Archie Thompson nicked one back before Marc Warren was sent off. From the resulting free kick, James Troisi equalised, but Sydney FC-s main man, Alessandro Del Piero, won and scored a penalty shortly before half time to give the Sky Blues a match-winning lead. A defiant rear-guard effort in the second half saw Frank Farina-s side cling on for a fanastic victory. Sydney FC had just 27% of second half possession and 33% overall, but ‘keeper Vedran Janjetovic and his defence stood defiant in front of waves of Victory attacks. The win could spur Sydney FC on to greater things after a poor start to the season, but Melbourne Victory-s new coach, Kevin Muscat, will need to work on his side-s cutting edge in front of goal.
Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Brisbane Roar
Brisbane Roar substitute Kwameh Yeboah scored a late rocket to give his side a 1-0 win at Bluetongue Stadium. The match was into its final minute when Yeboah latched onto a through ball and thrashed a stunning finish into the roof of the net. Mariners coach Graham Arnold made a big selection call, preferring Liam Reddy in goal to the “rattled” Justin Pasfield. Reddy made a number of excellent saves to keep Roar at bay and there was nothing he could do about Yeboah-s winner. The Mariners were able to call upon the services of Daniel McBreen, who returned from his loan stint in China but the match was decided by the young Roar sub Yeboah, who had been on the field just three minutes when he scored. In truth, Roar was the dominant side. They had 65% possession and would have banked the three points earlier, were it not for the form of Reddy.