Stats Review: First-half records fall in attacking Round 13 frenzy
Jamie Maclaren led Melbourne City to break a four-year streak while Sydney FC and Adelaide United set an all-time record in a pair of high-octane first halves.
Maclaren’s double, making it 12 for the season for joint lead of the Hyundai A-League's top scorers charts, and Adrian Luna’s strike put second-placed City three goals to the good at half-time against Western United on Friday.
That’s the first time City had scored three first-half goals at AAMI Park since a 5-1 win against Perth Glory back in November 2015.
But it was not plain sailing for City. They conceded two penalties in the same game for the third time in their history, and the second time this season, as Harrison Delbridge saw a red card and Besart Berisha and Alessandro Diamanti pulled it back to 3-2.
Those two penalties in the space of five minutes was the quickest any Hyundai A-League team had scored two spot-kicks since Berisha netted a double for Melbourne Victory in October 2016 within three minutes of each other.
City snapped their two-game home losing streak with the win and maintained their 100% record from their two matches against their Victorian rivals, outscoring them by a margin of 5-3 across those meetings.
End-to-end first half sets new Hyundai A-League record
Paulo Retre gave Sydney FC a spark before Riley McGree struck back in a wide open first stanza as the Champions edged Adelaide United 2-1 at Netsrata Jubilee Stadum.
The 25 shots shared between the Sky Blues and Reds went down in competition history as the highest shot-count through 45 minutes since those record began being collected by Opta in the 2012/13 campaign.
The runaway leaders set a new record of 10 straight home victories and maintained their 100% winning record in Kogarah.
That result also means Steve Corica’s side are now undefeated in their last 11 matches against the South Australians dating back to Round 26 of the 2015/16 season, when Adelaide won 2-0 at Leichhardt Oval.
Despite his best efforts, Hyundai A-League joint top scorer Adam Le Fondre could not get on the scoresheet. His five efforts on target is the most he has attempted without scoring his season, and the second most without a goal during his time Down Under.
Wellington on the verge of greatness
Another team on the brink of history are Wellington Phoenix, who beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1 to stretch their strong run of form to eight games unbeaten.
That’s one game off the club’s all-time longest undefeated streak of nine, set last season, and it was the Kiwi club’s fourth straight win against the Gosford side.
Alen Stajcic’s travel woes continued, with the Round 4 upset against Perth Glory being their only win from their last eight road games.
The Mariners have scored more goals from outside the box than any other Hyundai A-League club in 2018/19 and they rained in 10 long rangers at Sky Stadium on Saturday. That’s only the fourth time a team has hit double figures in that category all season.
A footnote as goals from Gary Hooper and David Ball rendered Luke DeVere’s own goal meaningless, Matt Simon came on to become only the 12th player to appear in 250 Hyundai A-League matches.
Birthday boy Basha adds name to exclusive list
Melbourne Victory dominated Newcastle Jets 4-0 at AAMI Park in what would be Ernie Merrick’s final match in charge of the Hunter club, but it was a happy birthday for midfielder Migjen Basha.
The Albanian international made it 3-0 to became the 13th player to score a Hyundai A-League goal on his birthday while Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout were more than keen to join the party.
Kruse created a total of five scoring chances in the lop-sided contest, a season-high for Melbourne Victory, while the home side’s six shots on target was their most on their own turf since this time last year against the Phoenix.
This was the third time that Newcastle had conceded four or more in their last four league matches, as many as they had done so in their previous 66 Hyundai A-League encounters.
Roar end winless drought against Wanderers
It had taken Brisbane Roar seven attempts across 25 months but the Queenslanders finally got one over Western Sydney for the first time since December 2017.
The 2-1 reverse at Bankwest Stadium made it four home matches without a win for Markus Babbel’s struggling side and not once have they been ahead at half-time during that period.
Mitch Duke gave the Red and Black the lead on New Year’s Day but Scott Neville squared the game up, netting Robbie Fowler’s outfit’s first goal in the opening 45 minutes since April 2019 after blanking in 10 straight first half.
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