Weekend Wrap - Round 5
We take a snapshot of the Round 5 action from the Hyundai A-League
Melbourne Victory for the second week running have shown they have the mettle to be Champions once again, this time grabbing a share of the points after going down to 10-men against then Mariners. Sydney showed no mercy to a tired Adelaide; while Newcastle maintained its incredible record at Suncorp Stadium to beat Queensland. Perth gained a much-needed morale boost with an important win over Wellington Phoenix.
Results - Round 5 Queensland Roar 0 lost NEWCASTLE JETS 1 SYDNEY FC 3 beat Adelaide United 0 Central Coast Mariners 2 drew Melbourne Victory 2 PERTH GLORY 1 beat Wellington Phoenix 0
Game Wraps Newcastle Jets continued its remarkable record at Suncorp Stadium, making it five straight wins over the Roar, who again must be wondering what they have to do to win a game at home. The Roar had almost three times the shots at goal than Newcastle, but it was nemesis Joel Griffiths that once again popped up late in the game (83- minute) to stab home after a mini-scramble in the box following a corner. Queensland had their chances, but for reasons that nobody can really explain, they again failed to take them in front of their home fans.
Sydney FC showed no mercy to an Adelaide side that looked visibly tired after its mid-week sojourn to Japan for their Asian Champions League quarter-final, winning 3-0 at Sydney Football Stadium. A stunning Terry McFlynn volley from 20 metres after just a minute and a half of play, had Sydney on the front foot for the entire match yellow cards. Alex Brosque doubled the lead in the 34- showing great touch to first beat Sash Ognenovski, then Eugene Galekovic and finish into an empty net. Cristiano was unlucky to hit the post near the end of the first half that could have made it interesting in the second half. Brendan Santalab then saved the best goal for last, not long after coming on as a substitute, given acres of space and from 30 metres, striking a ferocious shot that Galekovic got a finger-tip to, but not enough to prevent going into the top corner.
Melbourne Victory again showed their Championship credentials, grabbing a precious point at Bluetongue Stadium Matt Simon looked to have given the Mariners all three points with a superb header with six minutes remaining, but despite being down to 10-men after Michael Theoklitos- red-card for stomping on Sasho Petrovski-s foot in the dying seconds of the game, Archie Thompson was fed a good ball by Grant Brebner; he beat one defender and guided his shot past Mark Bosnich. Simon gave Mariners an early lead when he chested down a long cross, beat Michael Thwaite and powered his low shot underneath Theoklitos. But that lead was short-lived when Thompson brilliantly turned Brad Porter on the six-yard box and gave Bosnich no chance. The Mariners had the better of it for the most part after that, although Bosnich did have to deny Danny Allsopp twice with excellent one-on-one saves.
Perth Glory secured all three points in a battle of the bottom two. After a lacklustre start to the season by both sides, the three points were highly valuable for both sides, but probably more so for Perth, who needed a win to lift spirits of not just the players, but for their long-suffering fans as well. In a game where clear cut chances were few and far between, the winning goal came with 12 minutes to play with Eugene Dadi winning and then scoring the penalty kick. Perth always looked the more likely to score with Nikita Rukavytsya and Scott Bulloch both having excellent chances in the opening 20 minutes. Perth upped the ante after substitutes Naum Sekulovski and Adrian Trinidad came on and when Dadi pounced on a poor clearance by Jon McKain, the Phoenix defender compounded his error by bringing Dadi. The match also saw Perth record its first clean sheet in 19 matches.
Weekend Goals Tally: 9
Card Count: 12 yellows - 1 red
Attendance/Average: 38,008 / 9,502
Goal of the Week He has only scored three goals in the Hyundai A-League, but all three have been world-class finishes and Brendan Santalab has another contender for goal of the year, after winning the award last year. His strike from 30 metres was truly unstoppable and put the icing on the cake of a terrific Sydney performance against Adelaide.
Player of the Week Nobody probably felt the gut-wrenching last minute goal by Archie Thompson more than Mariners striker Matt Simon. Simon looks to be finally realising the enormous potential that Lawrie McKinna believes he has, with two superbly taken goals in the 2-2 draw and was always a constant headache for the Victory defence that has looked in command for most of the season.
One to Watch Daniel Mullen is a young defender that is certainly having to come to grips with professional very quickly. The 18-year-old Qantas Young Socceroo from Adelaide, has had to step up quickly and was a solid performer at right-back in Adelaide-s loss to Sydney.
Leading Goalscorers 4 - Danny Allsopp (MV), Charlie Miller (QR), Eugene Dadi (PG), Matt Simon (CCM) 3 - Shane Smeltz (WP), Steve Corica (SFC), Archie Thompson (MV), Joel Griffiths (NJ)