Stats Review: Le Fondre is king of fast starts, Sydney FC make McDonald Jones home
If any team is going to topple Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC, they will have to stop Adam Le Fondre striking while the iron is hot.
The Sky Blues frontman notched his 11th first-half goal of the campaign in the Champions’ 2-1 away win against the Newcastle Jets. That’s more goals in the opening 45 minutes of games than any other player, bar Jamie Maclaren, has across 90 minutes all season.
The English marksman now has 13 for the season, one goal ahead of City’s Socceroos striker, and Le Fondre leads his Golden Boot rival by four goals in the first-half scoring stakes, 11 to seven.
The 33-year-old’s 14th-minute effort put the league leaders on their way at McDonald Jones Stadium, which is fast becoming a home away from home for Steve Corica’s side.
In fact, Allianz Stadium is the only venue where Sydney FC have won more games (88) in Hyundai A-League history than in the Hunter, as Kosta Barbarouses struck the second to make it 13 all-time wins at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Jets, now coached by interim boss Craig Deans, are winless in their last six. That is Newcastle’s longest run without a victory since a 10-match drought in 2017.
Mariners mayhem sees history made
There was carnage in the closing stages at Central Coast Stadium as the Mariners completed only the second post 94th-minute comeback win in Hyundai A-League history in a 3-2 thriller against Melbourne Victory.
Back in January 2012, Ange Postecoglou’s Brisbane Roar came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 against Sydney FC, thanks to stoppage-time goals from Mohamed Adnan and Besart Berisha, but Matt Simon’s penalty double matched that sensational finish.
The winner arrived in the 100th minute, levelling another record as only one other 100th minute goal had ever been scored in competition history. Aaron Mooy got the goal, for Melbourne City, in a 4-1 win against the Mariners in February 2016.
Amid the chaos, the Wizard of Woy Woy became the first Mariner to 50 goals, after picking up his 50th competition booking. Adam Kwasnik (35), Daniel McBreen (29) and Bernie Ibini (21) are the only other players with more than 20 goals in Yellow and Navy.
Alen Stajcic’s side may have grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat but it was not a complete fluke. Their 21 shots was their most in a match this season, and their most since the 5-3 loss to Brisbane Roar in February 2019.
Their first three points against Victory in 2,464 days – since April 2013 – after 18 matches without a win in the fixture, makes it three home wins out of four for the Gosford side. Marco Kurz’s team have only won one of their last five on the road.
TALKING POINTS: Can the Mariners kick on after 2,464 day drought-breaker?
MATCH REVIEW PANEL: Victory coach Kurz banned for one match
Outlook looking brighter for Roar and City
Robbie Fowler’s Brisbane Roar and Erick Mombaerts' Melbourne City shared a 2-2 draw at Suncorp Stadium, which keeps alive a solid run of form for both teams.
The Queenslanders are now unbeaten in three matches (one win and two draws) – they have not been on a longer run without a defeat since a four-match streak in March 2018.
City keep picking up points on the road. The draw means the visitors have only lost two of their last seven on their travels, winning three and drawing two, and have averaged more than two goals per game in that time (2.1).
Roar’s Brad Inman made it four goals in three games with a double, while City’s Nathaniel Atkinson smashed in his first Hyundai A-League goal in his 42nd appearance.
Craig Noone pounced to score City’s first equaliser, meaning the Englishman has now been involved in three of his team’s last six goals. Noone has also created the joint fourth most scoring chances in the competition.
TEAM OF THE WEEK: Who made our best XI for Round 14?
REPORT: In-form Inman strikes twice but City fight back to draw with Roar
Glory on a record high, Reds sink to a new low
Perth Glory hit the kind of form which saw them crowned Premiers eight months ago during a 3-0 win against a free-falling Adelaide United on Saturday.
Tony Popovic’s side streaked to a fifth straight Hyundai A-League win, matching a club record, while staying unbeaten against Adelaide in their last five matches and shutting out the Reds in four of them.
Gertjan Verbeek’s team have now lost four in a row, equalling a club record losing run. Despite racking up another defeat, they logged 20 shots. Adelaide had only had 20 or more shots without scoring a goal on two occasions in the past seven years.
A pair of set-ups from Diego Castro means the Spanish master opens up a lead in the competition assists table, with six.
Records set in in NZ as Davila strikes again
Ufuk Talay’s Wellington Phoenix are on the brink of greatness following their 2-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers.
One more match unbeaten will set an outright club record undefeated streak after they tied Phoenix’s best run of nine games without a loss on Saturday.
Markus Babbel’s Wanderers have now only won one of their last 10 Hyundai A-League matches, drawing twice and losing seven, despite only trailing at half-time twice in that spell.
A ninth goal of the season for Mexican magician Ulises Davila, to go with his two assists, means that only two players have more goal involvements in the competition this season – Le Fondre, with 13 goals, and Maclaren, with 12 goals and one assist.