Weekend Wrap - Round 3
It was a goal bonanza for football fans in Round 3.
It-s a goals bonanza in the Hyundai A-League, with the last two weeks producing a staggering 40 goals at an average of five goals per game. Round 3 saw 21 goals scored, equaling the record for the most number scored in a single round and if this is a taste of things to come throughout season 4, then fans have a lot to look forward to.
Results - Round 4 MELBOURNE VICTORY 5 beat Newcastle Jets 0 ADELAIDE UNITED 3 beat Wellington Phoenix 0 SYDNEY FC 5 beat Perth Glory 2 Queensland Roar 2 lost CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 4
Game Wraps Melbourne Victory put on a clinical display for its first home game of the season, routing defending Champions Newcastle Jets 5-0. While it took 40 minutes before the first goal arrived from Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez, with a well taken shot from 12 yards out, from there it was one-way traffic. A terrible blunder right on half time gifted Archie Thompson Victory there second goal, as the Jets suddenly found themselves down two goals at the break and facing a mountain to climb. Victory-s confidence was evident and a quick double to Danny Allsopp in the 60- and 63- minutes had Victory fans in party mood. Grant Brebner though stole the show in injury time, coming on and literally scoring with his first touch of the ball, scorching a 20 yard low shot through a crowded box to make it 5-0.
Adelaide United joined Melbourne Victory at the top of the table, with a comprehensive 3-0 win over a disappointing Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium. Adelaide took the lead after a thunderous shot Lucas Pantelis in the 15th minute and should have increased that lead further but wasted several chances to add to their goal tally before half time. After a lacklustre first half, Phoenix were needing a big lift in the second half, but Adelaide got the second goal their play deserved with Cristiano on the spot to stab home, after Paul Reid-s shot was parried down by Glen Moss into his path. The Brazilian then made it a double on the hour when he prodded home Pantelis- low cross and should have had a hat-trick soon after but skewed his chipped shot horribly wide.
Sydney made it a three-way tie at the top of the table, with a comfortable 5-2 win over 10-men Perth Glory. The game was delicately poised after Perth-s Eugene Dadi had cancelled out Alex Brosque-s quick opening goal, when it all went pear-shaped for the visitors at the Sydney Football Stadium. A lunging challenge by Adriano Pellegrino felled a surging Steve Corica as they went for the loose ball in the penalty box, incensing Glory defender Dino Djublic. His protestations earned him a yellow card, but his subsequent actions at getting the yellow card saw him brandished with a straight red card and from there, there was no way back. Corica made no mistake from the spot to make it 2-1 and goals from Mark Bridge (although it did look like an own goal from Perth-s Jaime Coyne) and Shannon Cole had Sydney looking well placed for a huge win at half time. But Sydney-s intensity levels dropped after the break and to Perth-s credit they showed some fight and were rewarded with a penalty of their own, when Simon Colosimo shoved Dadi away from a cross into the box. Dadi stepped up and made it 4-2. The introduction of John Aloisi and Tony Popovic in the second half had Sydney fans smiling and but for Glory keeper Frank Juric who made a string of fine saves, Aloisi might have had an opening goal. He was robbed of that goal with just minutes to go, when Nikolai Topor-Stanley got a touch to a cross just in front of him, resulting in an own goal.
A goal fest was needed at Suncorp Stadium if the record round goal tally of 21 was to be bettered. Given Queensland-s attacking instincts in the opening rounds nobody was betting against it and fans were treated to an exciting match, albeit once again to their frustration as Central Coast Mariners won 4-2. Matt Simon almost gave the Mariners the perfect start with a goal just minutes into the match, but his shot was cleared off the line by Luke DeVere, but he wasn-t to be outdone in the 32nd minute. He capitalised on hesitancy between Liam Reddy and DeVere on the edge of the box, nipped in and stole the ball and from the narrowest of angles, somehow guided his shot home. Mile Jedinak doubled that lead soon after half time with a thunderous free kick from the edge of the box and debutant Dylan Macallister, on for Simon, again capitalised on an error from Reddy to turn and shot home into an empty net and have Mariners up 3-0. Charlie Miller then gave Roar fans hope with a magnificent free kick that gave Mark Bosnich, playing his first official top flight match in over seven years, no chance. But Roar were their own enemy and gave Macallister too much space in the penalty box and he brilliantly curled his shot past Reddy. Three minutes later the scoring continued with Bosnich bringing down Massimo Murdocca in the box and Serginho van Dijk stepped up to get his first goal of the season and give fans more hope. Macallister should have had a hat-trick when teed up by Sasho Petrovski, but skewed his shot wide from directly in front.
Weekend Goals Tally: 21
Card Count: 14 yellows - 1 red
Attendance/Average: 54,338 / 13,584.5
Goal of the Week So many to choose from especially from the Queensland and Central Coast match. Two free kicks from Mile Jedinak and Charlie Miller were exceptional pieces of finishing, with Jedinak just getting the nod for the sheer ferocity and accuracy of his shot to get it past the wall; past Liam Reddy and into the top corner.
Player of the Week Having missed the opening two games of the season and having to settle for a place on the bench, it was probably with some relief that Ernie Merrick was forced to put Archie Thompson on early in the game after Michael Thwaite-s injury. Once Thompson entered the fray, things started to happen for Melbourne and suddenly Victory looked the team most likely. He scored one and set up another two of Victory-s five goals and was a menace all night for the Newcastle defence, showing just why he is still one of the best strikers in the Hyundai A-League.
One to Watch If there is one player that has set the competition alight after just three games, it has to be Sydney FC-s Shannon Cole. He already has a cult status with The Cove and his ability at set pieces and willingness to take on defenders and be creative has won him rave reviews. Most are asking why he hasn-t been picked up before now, given he is 24 years of age.
Leading Goalscorers 4 - Danny Allsopp (MV) 3 - Charlie Miller (QR), Eugene Dadi (PG), Shane Smeltz (WP), Steve Corica (SFC)