In A League of Its Own – Issue 17

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

This week, the A-League returned to its goals. Not only did we see more great games and goals than last week, but we also experienced a few upsets as well. With no draws and no less than 3 goals in any of the games, it was arguably the best round of the A-League so far this season.

The first game came to us from Robina, where an in form Gold Coast hosted a rapidly improving Sydney. My tip prior to this game was 0-0, as I don’t like Gold Coast’s games usually, and Sydney have been out of sorts for most of the season, especially on the road. But I was wrong. Gold Coast won the contest 3-1, and have now convinced me that they can play. With Jason Culina utterly controlling the midfield, and the pace of James Brown and Anderson on the flanks, it’s no wonder that frontman Joel Porter snared 2 goals. Culina scored one of his own to cap off a brilliant first half for Gold Coast. Bruno Cazarine got the lone goal for the visitors in a disappointing performance from the Sky Blues.

Saturday’s two games were brilliant. The first – Wellington vs. Central Coast – made me think about a couple of things. Firstly – My pre-season tip for the title was Wellington, who on Saturday, showed absolutely no desire at all to win the ball and game. After Josh Rose launched one into the onion bag quarter of an hour in, the Phoenix seemed to give up. Although their usual hard-men still fought until the end – Tim Brown, Simon Elliot, Ben Sigmund – the rest just seemed to give way to a thankful Central Coast, who failed to score another until Josh Rose bagged his second in the 80th minute, followed by Adam Kwasnik’s goal soon after. And this has led me to my next point – Are Central Coast now a real title threat? Will they be able to challenge a seemingly unstoppable Brisbane? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Saturday’s second match was the upset of the round: Newcastle beating Adelaide 3-1. New signing Francis Jeffers helped his team into a new era that began about 5 minutes into the first half, when Nikolai Topor-Stanley headed the ball with power into the back of the net from a short corner. 10 minutes after, Marko Jesic made it two, surprising the visitors even further. The second half was alot more even, with it finishing 1-1thanks to a second goal from Jesic and another header from Iain Fyfe. Newcastle won the game 3-1, and if ever a team is about to launch, look out A-League.

Sunday saw the two Melbourne teams play. Heart played first and lost to Brisbane at home. In what was a more than brave performance, Heart scored first through a volley by Gerald Sibon, but couldn’t capitalise on lots of shots at Michael Theoklitos’ goal and went in to the break 1-0 up. The second half though, was a different story, Brisbane were the team dominating it, and got their reward 65 minutes in, when Kosta Barbarouses continued his great form to put the table toppers back on level pegging. Despite Heart’s defence putting up a brilliant effort, Barbarouses again played a nice one-two with Mitch Nichols, but then hit the upright. But like all good strikers, Juan Carlos Solórzano was there for the rebound, tapping in to hand Brisbane the win.

And then there was Victory. Travelling to Perth for what seemed like a guaranteed 3 points against a team (if you could call them that) who hadn’t won for 10 games. Despite this, our solid but fragile back 3 cracked early on, when Perth were through and in behind our defence. Roddy Vargas fouled Robbie Fowler inside the box, and a penalty was given. Fowler stepped up, and tapped it to a diving Michael Petkovic, who in surprise, might have had too much time for his own good in the end, and let it bounce free. Fowler was there again for the rebound, and made no mistake. Victory finished the half stronger, but went into the break down. Perth again came out firing, and this time they made the most of it, Fowler bagging another 2 goals to grab his first A-League hat trick. Mate Duganzic scored from a decent Diogo Ferreira cross, to hand the Victory their only goal for the game.

Next round, catch Melbourne Victory trying to regain some confidence against an in form Central Coast Mariners on Thursday night at AAMI Park. On the weekend, Melbourne Heart take on an out of sorts Adelaide. It might be a chance for Heart to regain some form before the run into the finals starts. That game is on Friday night and is also on at AAMI Park.

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
    I reckon the Heart would be extremely happy with where they are at present.
    Victory not so.
    For what it’s worth, I reckon Heart’s squad seems a little deeper
    than that of the Victory.
    Cheers
    Smokie Dawson.

  2. Smokie
    When Victory have their full squad at their disposal, then we have to place players like Billy Celeski, Mate Duganzic and Leigh Broxham on the bench; a place where they would not belong in most other A-League sides. Behind them on the priorities would be Geoff Kellaway, Diogo Ferreira, Matthew Foschini and Luke Pilkington. I’m not as familiar with the Heart squad, and I know that they go deep as well, but I’m not sure that any team eclipses the Victory’s squad depth.
    Thanks for the comment Smokie
    Tom

Leave a Comment

*