We take a look at a fascinating Round Six of the Hyundai A-League.
We take a look at a fascinating Round Six of the Hyundai A-League, which saw Western Sydney Wanderers climb to the top of the table.
Melbourne Heart 0-2 Sydney FC
Melbourne Heart-s winless start to the season continued as they went down at home to a resurgent Sydney FC. Even more worryingly, they drew another blank in front of goal, unable to breach Sydney FC-s defence who were aided by a strong performance by goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic. He made a crucial one-on-one save from Michael Mifsud when the scores were level, setting a platform for the Sky Blues. Sydney FC was missing Marc Warren and Tiago Calvano through suspension but it mattered little, as they scored twice in the first half.
Alessandro Del Piero, playing in midfield, was pulling the strings. It was his pass that drew Rob Wielaert into fouling Joel Chianese. Del Piero made no mistake from the spot, and Chianese himself made no mistake when his opportunity came, tapping in at the back post after Ali Abbas, redeployed at left back, crossed through the six yard box. Heart rallied in the second half, but they will need to find their shooting boots soon.
Perth Glory 1-1 Adelaide United
Both sides defied the searing heat at nib Stadium to put on a dynamic spectacle. Indeed, a share of the points seemed a fair result after 90 minutes of serious exertion. Glory-s new marquee man, William Gallas, was named as a substitute and would eventually play the final half an hour. Adelaide United-s Osama Malik was playing his 50th Hyundai A-League match. He had never scored, but that changed early in the second half when he headed in a free kick from Fabio Ferreira.
The lead lasted just 16 minutes though, as Glory substitute Chris Harold, scored the equaliser. He was criminally unmarked at the back post and was left with the simple task of heading past Eugene Galekovic. The pace understandably relented as the match entered its final throes and it was left to Glory-s ‘keeper, Danny Vukovic, to have the final say as he saved from Adelaide substitute Jake Barker-Daish in the final minute.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 Melbourne Victory
Western Sydney Wanderers just know how to win. In appalling conditions at Pirtek Stadium, Wanderers snatched the win late on and went to the top of the table. Melbourne Victory arguably had the better of the play in the opening half an hour, but their attacking trident of Connor Pain, James Troisi and Archie Thompson couldn-t find the way to goal. Wanderers- fourth win in a row was built on the foundations of a clean sheet and Matthew Spiranovic was at the heart of it, preferred again to club captain Michael Beauchamp in the centre of defence.
The winner came late, when substitute Labinot Haliti did brilliantly to beat Adrian Leijer and set up Mark Bridge, who kept his composure to tap in at the back post. It left the 15,000 odd fans at Wanderland singing in the rain and singing from the table-s summit.
Newcastle Jets 2-1 Brisbane Roar
The Newcastle Jets staged a dramatic comeback to beat Brisbane Roar with Adam Taggart the centre of attention, netting a brace. Amidst apocalyptic weather at Hunter Stadium, an enthralling football match broke out. Brisbane Roar took the lead when a weak punch from Mark Birighitti fell to the feet of Luke Brattan, whose shot skipped and skidded along the sodden surface and into the back of the net. Newcastle though, dealt with the conditions much better than their visitors and Taggart stepped up to the plate as they chased the points. His harassing of Matt Smith led to an error by the Roar captain and Taggart took advantage, dinking the ball over the advancing Michael Theo to level the scores.
Emile Heskey came off the bench and added a focal point to the Jets attack, but it was Taggart who had the decisive say. He intercepted a misplaced pass and lashed a left footed shot high into the net, giving Theo no chance. It was an inspired performance from a playing group oozing confidence and he gave the Jets a win that will put their season back on track.