Almanac Soccer: War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 15

The Rounds come thick and fast this time of year during the ‘Summer of Football’ with 25 games in 25 days. Didn’t realise because the A-League didn’t market it? That’s okay, here’s the wrap.

BRISBANE ROAR 0 – SYDNEY FC 3 (Bobo 18, Mierzejewski 50, Carney 86)

Sydney FC was doing the robot up at Lang Park to open the round on Tuesday night, easily doing away with a struggling Brisbane Roar 3-0. It was machine-like from the runaway leaders with Sydney FC’s big three (Ninkovic, Mierzejewski, Bobo) linking up to open the scoring after 18 minutes, with Bobo scoring his 15th of the season.

The Roar did have a shot in anger though. Maccarone, playing a deeper role in this match, made a run at the Sydney defence and had a shot parried away by the Sydney keeper near half time. That was really the only chance Roar had and were made to pay early in the second half. Mierzejewski, now fully fit and even outshining Ninkovic, scored a spectacular curling goal from the edge of the area when given the space by an intimidated Roar defence.

Minutes later Mierzejewski almost had a double and the three points for Sydney when he was put through on goal and managed to slide the ball past the Roar keeper who was again let down by his static defence. Luckily for Brisbane, VAR stepped in and had judged Bobo to be offside when passing to the Polish star and the goal was chalked off. This seemed to give Roar some hope having a penalty claim turned down when Maccarone had been dragged to the ground. The rout was completed with five minutes to go, Carney putting away a loose ball after a sloppy attempt at clearing the ball from the Roar defence.

Sydney doing it easy again after their Newcastle Jets scare. The Roar nowhere near a decent team.

NEWCASTLE JETS 2 (Petratos 82, Rodriguez 92) – CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0

The F3 Derby continued to return to its good old days of the first years of the A-League with the game of the round seeing the Jets luckily get past the Mariners in the Hunter. With a storm rolling in and on a Tuesday night a decent crowd was in attendance and it was a cagey at first before the Mariners’ Appiah was put through on goal but his shot was saved by Kiwi international Glen Moss.

Missing key players Wout Brama and Connor Pain (the latter going down with a hamstring injury in the first half) the Mariners were the better side getting behind the defence and making the Jets work. All of this hardwork unraveled though when Josh Rose received a needless second yellow card to leave the Mariners with 10 men for the final 20 minutes. The Jets readjusted and were on top instantly having only four minutes before they were ahead 1-0 when Petratos lashed home from the edge of the area.

In injury time, a poor pass in defence was pounced upon by the Jets and Patito Rodriguez, the exciting new signing from Argentina, took the loose ball and streamed into the area before scoring past a hapless Kennedy in the Mariners’ goal to seal the win. The Jets keep the only pressure on Sydney up top while the Mariners’ season continues to unravel despite their vast improvement.

PERTH GLORY 0 – MELBOURNE CITY 2 (McCormack 8, 36)

Melbourne City solidified its spot in the Top 3 with a safe and rare 2-0 victory over Perth Glory in Perth on a decent Tuesday night.

Glory were getting back a lot of their first team players into the side but were still in awful form with no movement on or off the ball and long balls to Keogh or Taggart hoping for the best. On the right for City the young stars Daniel Arzani and Nathan Atkinson were merciless, making poor Glory fill-in Jeremy Walker have kittens and drawing fouls off the 19 year old.

It was from one of these fouls after eight minutes that the large-sized Scot, Ross McCormack, scored from an excellent free kick past a statuesque Liam Reddy in the Glory goal. Keogh could have done better with a chance that fell to him but City could block and clear. On 36 minutes, Arzani again asked questions of the Glory defence and was brought down in the box to earn City a penalty. Local fans were incensed at the decision but an initial foul by Andreau sending Arzani over with his momentum was enough for the spot kick to be awarded. The penalty was put away by McCormack, effectively killing the game.

The second half was nothing to write home about. Glory with no real answers putting a right winger on the left as a sub and other baffling moves that ended with a chorus of boos at full time. A decent win for City.

WELLINGTON PHOENIX 2 (Krishna 64, Milligan OG 83) – MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Barbarouses 43)

Victory have again stumbled this season going down to the bottom placed Phoenix in Wellington. I guess it didn’t really help that Victory had Rhys Williams sent off after only seven minutes when he was deemed to be the last defender dragging down Kaluderovic who was through on goal. Initially Williams was only given a yellow but VAR stepped in (of course) and changed the decision to red.

Having only 10 players didn’t seem to harm the Victory’s chances. They soaked up the pressure and then some five minutes from half time were ahead when one time Phoenix winger Kosta Barbarouses used his trickery on the right to dance around two defenders and then finish brilliantly to make it 1-0. Perhaps the Wellington keeper Italinio could have done better. The whole ‘no celebration against your old team’ notion was lost on Kosta who punched the Victory badge in pride.

Phoenix finally made their numerical advantage count some 20 minutes in to the second half but the equaliser was mainly thanks to the ineptitude of Lawrence Thomas in the Victory goal who spilled a Burns shot he should have held onto, the ball slipping out to Krishna who tapped in. Phoenix smelt blood with a rare sense of increasing self esteem and pushed for a winner. With 10 minutes to go the ball somehow stayed out when Phoenix had the ball in the penalty area. This didn’t deter the Phoenix though, dominating the left through their new signing Nathan Burns who was the provider of the winner with eight minutes left, his cross straight to Kaluderovic who scored with a header yet again this season with the help from Victory captain Mark Milligan.

Big moral booster for Phoenix having a horror season. Victory grounded again and struggle to find form when it looked like they had turned the corner.

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1 (Clisby 52) – ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Stametelopolous 87)

One of the more intriguing games was going to be at the Olympic Stadium between two teams in some form that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Desperate defending from United meant it stayed 0-0 18 minutes in, with two chances cleared off the line as the Wanderers’ Mark Bridge had the only other opportunities in the first half. Six minutes into the second half Wanderers were ahead. A great break from defence meant Wanderers attackers outnumbered United defenders – the move ending with Jack Clisby scoring a rare goal, easily tapping in at the far post.

Handbags between Herd and O’Doherty saw a yellow given to the former as United clawed back into the game. Ochieng was millimetres wide with his chance as the minutes melted away and it seemed Wanderers would win three in a row. With three minutes left though, a corner from United spilt to the far post. The ball was cut back to Apostolos Stametelopolous, the youngster burying the shot to rescue a point for United.

Wanderers really had no one to blame for the draw, they looked sluggish towards the end with some questionable subs made. United would take that and continue to impress.

 

TABLE

Sydney FC                                                   +26       38 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +17       30 pts

Melbourne City                                          +4         25 pts

Adelaide United                                          +2          21 pts

Melbourne Victory                                     -1          20 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -7           18 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -12         16 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -6          14 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -8           13 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -10            10 pts

 

Image result for Adrian Mierzejewski twitter

Adrian Mierzejewski hanging out with a local in between starring in the A-League this season. (From Twitter)

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND – Adrian Mierzejewski

The Polish international arrived at Sydney FC with much fanfare and even did alright when half fit, making appearances off the bench and making an impact. Now he’s fully fit and has the opposition on a string. Looking at Twitter he’s enjoying his time in Sydney as well taking in fireworks and zoo visits etc. On the pitch his goals have been spectacular, celebrations memorable and influence on this Sydney FC team far outweighing the impact Slovenian international Filip Holosko had in his position last season which is scary.

CLOWN OF THE ROUND – The 25 Days of Football

Into its third year now this is the A-League’s attempt to get the kids along during school holidays and take on The Big Bash. I’m not in to code wars at all but wouldn’t it be good if the A-League actually promoted the games, the free entry for kids and the other incentives so people know it’s on.

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 12 (Season Total 197. Av 2.66 goals per game)

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – Everything is back to normal after the Xmas/New Year Period with Round 16 kicking off on the usual Friday. United are a good chance against Sydney on Sunday evening and will be a good test for the Reds.

 

Less than a month until the 2018 AFLW starts – get your 2017 Footy Almanacs here.

 

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

Leave a Comment

*