An Alessandro Del Piero-less Sydney FC has fallen victim to a lethal Central Coast Mariners attack in front of 16,000 fans at Bluetongue Stadium. Del Piero’s replacement Yairo Yau scored an impressive opener 8 minutes in to which the Mariners replied with 3 goals of their own before the end of the first half. Tom Rogic levelled the score when he poked the ball past a disappointing Ivan Necevski. The second goal came after Necevski parried a Rogic shot, which came straight at him, into the path of Danny McBreen and Seb Ryall, who unfortunately had the last touch when the ball went in. McBreen got himself on the scoresheet soon after to make it 3-1 at halftime. Sydney cam out of the sheds a more desperate team, and Yau’s delightful dink over Trent Sainsbury found an airborne Ali Abbas who volleyed the ball over Necevski from close range to give the visitors some hope at 3-2. 15 minutes later it was 7-2. A mix of crafty attacking and completely disjointed defending saw Mike McGlinchey waltz in from the wing and blast one past Necevski, Rogic receive a throw-in goal side of his man, round Necevski with ease and walk the ball in and McBreen complete the first hat-trick in the club’s history. The result forced Sydney manager Ian Crook to apologise for the fans who had made the trip up the highway. Del Piero has shaken off his hamstring soreness and looks set to take part in this Saturday’s huge Big Blue against the Victory at the SFS while the Mariners face a difficult trip to Wellington.
Melbourne Victory has put in their most impressive performance of the season defeating Wellington 3-2 at Etihad Stadium on Cup eve. The first hour was full of chances and positive play which restricted Wellington to just the odd opportunity in front of goal. The combination of Archie Thompson and Marco Rojas was the ingredient for the first and third goals and almost produced another as well. Wellington’s high line of pressing didn’t go to plan, as they allowed the Victory through too easily. The pace of Thompson and Rojas was too much for the kiwis to handle, and twice it was Thompson who drew the keeper Mark Paston out of goal and squared it across for Rojas to bury an open goal. The second Victory goal was courtesy of 3 brilliant one-two’s between Gui Finkler and Marcos Flores, who ended up expertly toe-poking the ball around Paston for the Victory’s second. Archie Thompson had a decent chance to make it 4-0 an hour in but failed to do so; mishitting his shot over from 15 yards out. The game seemed to be beyond all doubt at that point and the substitutions of Flores, Rojas and Finkler indicated that the management agreed. This triggered a change in mentality and the Phoenix eventually capitalised through Jeremy Brockie who scored initially by hitting one from 25 yards on a sharpish angle first time as the pass was coming across his body into the far top corner and then again from a free-kick from a similar position on the other side. Luckily the Victory hung on however Ange Postecoglou was visibly unhappy after the game that the 3 points were in question after Victory were so dominant for the first hour.
Brisbane find themselves second last after another disappointing loss, this time at home to Adelaide. New manager Rado Vidosic is struggling to fill the giant shoes Postecoglou left behind at Suncorp, and fell victim to his own son’s free-kick in the 3rd minute. Brisbane had far more chances than the previous week against Western Sydney however still couldn’t get on the scoresheet. Besart Berisha grew more and more frustrated as the game wore on due to the lack of supply coming his way. Reds’ keeper Eugene Galekovic was again in top form as he pulled off some outstanding saves to put his name back in lights.
Meanwhile Melbourne Heart has continued their slide down the table to the point where they can slide no more as they became the first team to lose at Parramatta Stadium. Mark Bridge again found the net while Patrick Gerhardt became the Wanderers’ second goal scorer when he scored a horrific own goal. Heart looked good for 10 minutes after that and new recruit Josip Tadic scored his first goal through a lovely volley and then Richard Garcia hit the upright after some promising lead-up play. That was all though and the Heart now look to Vince Grella to get back on track over the most important 5 weeks of their season.
Perth and Newcastle continued the high scoring trend of round 5 with a 3-2 win for the Glory at home. An influential Emile Heskey had a hand in both of the Jets’ goals however goals from Steven McGarry, Nick Ward and Josh Mitchell secured the 3 points for Perth.