In A League Of Its Own 11

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

In another week of the A-League, the 5 matches on offer continued a very good theme this season: open, exciting, attacking football with plenty of goals. Not only is there more excitement this year, but the standard is improving every week. The midweek game came to us from the SFS, where bottom of the table Sydney hosted an out of form North Queensland Fury. On a very wet evening, the contest was looking as if it might be physical, after numerous wild tackles in the opening half. Shannon Cole opened the scoring for Sydney half an hour in, with an unbelievable volley from 25 yards out. He chested it down after Terry McFlynn lofted it to him from the top of the 18 yard box. Cole then arched the ball expertly over helpless Justin Pasfield’s head. David Williams was vibrant for North Queensland all night, and he earned his team a point with a swerving long-range shot late in the game.

Wellington Phoenix made the hike up to Gold Coast, who had found some form after having a poor start to their campaign. New signing Bruce Djite made it two goals in 2 games, with a goal in the 5th minute. Paul Ifill equalised for the visitors, converting a penalty soon after Djite’s strike. But that man Djite proved his arrival to the Sunshine State again, scoring again 20 minutes from time. His teammate James Brown put the game to bed 12 minutes later, scoring to make the final scoreline 3-1.

Saturday night saw a fantastic A-League match between Central Coast Mariners and North Queensland Fury in again dreadful conditions. Simon Storey silenced the Bluetongue Stadium crowd 12 minutes in and giving North Queensland the lead going into half-time. A crazy second half was kicked off almost straight away when Matt Simon levelled things up 2 minutes after the teams returned from the rooms. Patricio Perez put the Mariners in front 10 minutes after, converting from the penalty spot. But North Queensland equalised through a Daniel McBreen own goal 12 minutes from time. The ball came in from the right, and McBreen launched at the ball, sending it into the onion bag instead of out for a corner. Dyron Daal got sent off soon after for dissent, allowing Central Coast to attack for the last 10 minutes. Zwaanswijk nodded home a great ball from the left, handing the Mariners a dramatic win in injury time. The final whistle sounded, and fans streamed onto the pitch. It seemed odd at first –  people patting players on the back, kids having shots at goal – but as the turf was being torn up within the month, it was a good gesture by the ground management, one that will stick in the minds of the young kids for the next few years.

The Perth Glory were back to their inconsistent best on Sunday, losing a very winnable game to Brisbane at home. The match started with a bang, Reinaldo tapping in from a yard after Thomas Broich took on 3 defenders to put the visitors 1-0 up 58 seconds in. That goal was soon cancelled out by Scott Neville, who scored 5 minutes after. Funnily enough, there wasn’t a goal for 90 minutes after Neville’s strike, Ricky Visconte putting home a late winner for Brisbane in the 4th minute of injury time.

Monday night had the two extreme ends of the table clash, with table toppers Adelaide travelling to the SFS to face winless Sydney FC. Alex Brosque got a midweek call-up to the Socceroos squad, and responded in fashion by opening Sydney’s scoring with a penalty, awarded to him under controversial circumstances. The second half started with Adelaide piling on the pressure, getting their reward 10 minutes after the break, when Shannon Cole scored an own goal, levelling things up. Although the Reds were constantly attacking, they continued to waste opportunities until the Sydney defence finally cracked a minute into injury time, when Iain Ramsay ensured that Adelaide stayed at the top 6 points ahead for another week. Sydney are still searching for their first win, and the longer the drought continues, the harder it will become to pick up that first scalp.

You may have noticed that neither of the Melbourne teams featured in this week’s games. That is because the first ever Melbourne derby is coming up this Friday night from AAMI Park. As a Victory supporter, I can’t wait for the game, and as we are in some sort of form and Melbourne Heart are not, then I’d give us a fairly good chance of getting the 3 points. Even though Heart have the home game rights, Victory will probably boast more supporters at the ground, because of the membership numbers. My final verdict: 3-1 Victory in a very open game, with Ricardinho getting 2, Muscy a penalty and Gerald Sibon with the lone goal for Heart.

About Tom Riordan

Tom Riordan is in his second year of a Bachelor of Journalism at Swinburne University. He loves all sports, and plays for Brunswick Cricket Club. He supports the Western Bulldogs and can be found on weekends among half a dozen others in Q38 on the top level of the MCC.

Comments

  1. Tom… love those verbs – feels like I was at all the matches. I hope the Victory gets plenty of hits into that “onion bag” ;)

  2. Ian Syson says:

    I remember seeing Storey as $17 for first goal scorer in teh game preview and thinking “now why would they put that up there?”

  3. Anyone know of tkts for the Derby?

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