A-League

(V)A(R)-League Review: Matchday 13

The circus came to Melbourne town

Some call it wogball.

Some call it soccer.

All I know is, it’s the A-League.


Wednesday

Brisbane Roar 2 defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 1 @ Bankwest Stadium

After experiencing the chilling, uncomfortable feeling that comes with an unexpected victory, the Wanderers decided it was too much, and as part of some New Years’ Resolution, reverted back to type.

Prior to this game, the Roar hadn’t won on the road since February of last year (Which must have been that blowout win against the Mariners in Gosford), which was their only win in their last 21 attempts away from the Sunshine State.

I guess that’s now Chew from Twenty Chew.

Friday

Melbourne City 3 defeated Western United 2 @ AAMI Park

The latest Victorian Derby was still half a chance of being called off as late as an hour before kick-off due to the remnants of the bushfire smoke, but thank goodness it went ahead, because hilariously, for the second week running, the Friday night A-League game had 2 penalties conceded in the space of 5 minutes.

It nearly rendered City’s utter domination of the match completely useless, having opened the scoring in the 5th minute, and then adding 2 more in the 10 minute period before the half, the 3rd (Jamie Maclaren’s latest brace) was a classic piece of A-League comedy – Filip Kurto charged out of his own area to play sweeper keeper, only to completely miss the ball, run into his teammate, and gift Maclaren a cherished 25 yard tap in.

That healthy lead remained until more hilarity ensued.

The first penalty decision was brought on by City keeper Dean Bouzanis bringing down Joshua Cavallo with a silly challenge (There were a few classic keeping decisions on Friday), which Besart Berisha took great delight in, performing some of those world famous Albanian torture methods (I think the car battery to the privates got a run) before pegging a goal back from the spot in the 75th minute.

The second occurred barely a minute later, when United got an intercept deep in City’s half, had a 3 on 1 on goal, only for Harrison ‘Danny’ Delbridge to block Dylan Pierias’ pass with his arm in a rather unnatural position.

It was called correctly as a penalty + a yellow card, before the VAR decided to give a royal visit before the attempt, and sent Delbridge off for an early show, and this time it was Alessandro Diamanti who made no mistake from 12 yards, which served as a 24 volt shock to the chest of this corpse of a match.

In the end though, Sheikh Mansour’s Financial Group held on and claimed all 3 points.

Saturday

Wellington Phoenix 2 defeated Central Coast Mariners 1 @ Westpac Stadium

Considering the caliber of teams the Phoenix have been matching wits with of late, a Mariners team coming off 3 days rest after playing in conditions the equivalent of Mordor shouldn’t have presented too many problems to a team on a 7 game unbeaten run.

Within half an hour, the Mariners weren’t quite presenting too many problems – They weren’t presenting any.

2-0 after goals to former FIFA 14 bargain buy Gary Hooper and Speedy Gonzalez himself Ulises Davila (Originally credited to David Ball, but it appears to be Ulises), and it looked like that would be the score heading into the break, only for the Mariners to earn a corner, and then from nothing, peg a goal back when Phoenix Luke DeVere executed a textbook header into his own net.

Ball was forced off with a hip problem early into the 2nd Half, and after that, the Phoenix seemed to lose a bit of creativity in attack, but fortunately for them, the Mariners never had any to begin with.

The Phoenix are up into 4th place, and they’ve got a superb run through the rest of the month – 4 games against teams in the current Bottom 4.

Kia Ora, Cuzzy Bros.

Sydney FC 2 defeated Adelaide United 1 @ Kogarah

The Sky Blues had a 10 game unbeaten run against the Reds, and a perfect record at home to boot before Saturday.

In short, that run is now at 11, and that record in St George is still perfect, and has apparently set a new A-League record for the most consecutive wins at home – 10, extending the record they broke last weekend.

Some utterly awful conditions – Even in the darkness, it was 34 degrees with a choking bushfire smoke.

Paulo Retre only re-signed with the Sky Blues on Thursday, despite having scored only one goal in his short time in blue prior to Saturday – He doubled that tally in the space of 6 minutes to begin the game.

Riley McGree returned from injury and pegged a goal back in the 38th minute to give the Reds a bit of hope, and despite never seriously looking like cracking it for the 2nd goal against the Blue Wall, United coach Gertjan Verbeek made the comment that despite the massive lead at the top, the Sky Blues can be taken down, referring back to the narrow result on the opening night of the season.

We have to learn from this game and until now I have not seen a better team than Sydney in this league,

I think we showed in our home game and now again that they are beatable.

Even for us, even for less quality, we can beat them.

I think they’re the best chance to become champions this year but you never know in the playoffs.

Sometimes you have to be lucky and today we weren’t lucky at all.

From SBS The World Game

Considering Sydney have been defeated this season, this comment seems on a par with “The ceiling is the roof.”

And he does need something to use as a deflector shield to the fact that the Reds have now lost 3 games, and 4 of their last 5.

Start growing eyes in the back of your head Gertjan…. I hear hash brownies are good for that.

Sunday

Melbourne Victory 4 defeated Newcastle Jets 0 @ AAMI Park

The rain was a welcome relief to parts of Victoria, and so was the feeling of Victory to the Mexican faithful, despite the fact their Volvo of a captain in Ola Toivonen was watching from the sidelines due to a suspension.

You know, I think I’ve written Ola’s surname as ‘Tovionen’ for the last year, and only now have I realised that was incorrect.

That’s the sort of quality you get on this website.

Robbie Kruse opened the scoring 9 minutes in, and after hammering the Jets without further success up until the hour mark, Migjen Basha, celebrating his 33rd birthday, lived up to his surname and bashed home a second in the 61st minute, and 3 minutes later, Andrew Nabbout added the third goal thanks to a solid build-up from Kruse down the right wing, teeing up Nabbout’s strike past Phil Moss.

After shooting down the Jets with several SAMs, the Victory did the equivalent of lobbing a hand grenade at the wreckage just to make sure they couldn’t get back up, when Jets defender Matty Millar turned an Anthony Lesiotis cross into his own net with a perfect header.

The Victory go up to 7th on goal difference from the Wanderers, and the Jets are back in the warm, comforting confines of being stone motherless last.

Categories: A-League

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