In A-League of Its Own 3 (2011/12)

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Both of Melbourne’s teams are already in trouble.  In the aftermath of the weekend’s derby, it seems that both Victory and Heart are in for horror seasons if nothing changes. For the Victory, their wealth of quality players in the final third of the pitch has brought them a grand total of no goals so far this season, whereas their apparently unstable defence has only conceded 1. Heart also has issues, but theirs is more to do with their lack of team unity, and their inability to fight it out until the end and scrape a win. The derby itself was a very poor game. The standard was considerably low, and despite Heart having 20 shots on Victory’s goal, they couldn’t manage to get one past the in-form Ante Covic, who picked up another man-of-the-match award. In what was a lacklustre game, former Victory player Mate Duganzic looked the most likely to break the deadlock for the Heart, while half-time substitute Carlos Solórzano was promising for the hosts. The Victory now have to travel to the Cake Tin at Wellington, where 3 points are always unlikely, and the Heart host a rejuvenated Sydney on Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park.

The “F3 derby” was another rivalry match in rivalry round which also had plenty at stake. I was confident that Central Coast would get the win against Newcastle who on paper looked like they would get beaten by anyone in the A-League. Although I tipped Central Coast to win the title at the beginning of the season, I’m starting to wonder why following their sub-standard opening 3 games. The Jets though, are a strong club. Their fans stick by them, and although I wrote them off at the start of the year, they have the resilience that may well see them win more games than I expected them to. The only goal of the game came half an hour in, when Jeremy Brockie pounced on an uncharacteristic pass by Bradley Porter to go through 2 defenders and dink the ball over an advancing Matt Ryan.

 

Adelaide hosted Sydney on Saturday afternoon, in the playoff to be the Victory’s biggest interstate rival. Adelaide started the stronger, and found the lead 30 minutes in when Dario Vidosic found the net after a stray header by Michael Beauchamp in his own 6-yard box. Jamie Coyne equalised for the visitors after the break when he nailed a cutback by Nicky Carle. Carle then got the winner at the 82 minute mark when he managed to squeeze one past Eugene Galekovic. Adelaide will have a nervous wait to find out if Dario Vidosic is ok for next week after he was forced off with a suspected knock to the knee during the second half.

 

Brisbane Roar confirmed themselves as one of the best teams ever to take the pitch in a national competition on Friday night when they completely dominated rivals Gold Coast United to win 3-0 at Suncorp Stadium. Erik Paartalu, Berat Berisha and Mitch Nichols all managed to get themselves on the scoresheet in an outstanding team performance which has left many pundits wondering how the Roar would go in a league like the Serie A or Eredivisie. Would they avoid relegation? How well would they go?

 

Elsewhere, the stupidly named “distance derby”, which makes no sense at all, was played out at NIB Stadium in Perth where the Glory took on Wellington Phoenix. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, the whole of their country had their eyes glued to the All Blacks’ World Cup win, so the interest wouldn’t have exactly been at an all-time high for an already struggling Wellington. Ironically, A Kiwi scored the winner for Perth, Shane Smeltz getting his 52nd A-League goal 33 minutes in. Smeltz is now just one goal behind Archie Thompson in the A-League goal scoring charts, and the way Victory are going, Smeltz could pass him within the month.

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. Martin Reeves says:

    Tom – was a bit of a stinker on Saturday night, Heart didn’t look like finishing off their dominance, and MV were utterly inept. One of the worst displays I’ve seen from them.

    Ante Covic aside, improvement needs to come from all over the park. Our midfield concerns me a bit.

    Wellington away and Brisbane at home to come. Hard to see us earning more than one point from six on current form.

    Perth tracking along nicely – Smeltz was a great signing by them. Brisbane look to have picked up where they left off, which is good to see.

  2. It hadn’t crossed my mind before, Martin, that it is good to see a dominant Brisbane again, but you are right. They play a great “brand” and still turn players over…look at Matt McKay’s move for example. They deserve to be the benchmark in so many ways.

  3. Just seen the Roar’s result tonight. There’s a standard to be sought by other clubs. Magnificent!

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