War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 16

A weekend where the best young talent was off playing in the Australian U-23 side but there was still a heap of drama from the fill ins and old stagers.

 

 

NEWCASTLE JETS 1 (Hoffman) BRISBANE ROAR 0

 

The Jets closed the gap on Sydney FC with a  1-0 home win over the struggling Brisbane Roar. The only goal in the match came after 11 minutes when a long ball was controlled wonerfully by Andrew Nabbout who got the ball on to Hoffman to finish Route One style.

 

After a penalty shout for the Roar was turned down it was all Jets for the rest of the half as they toyed with John Aloisi’s men. Two crosses to the far post maybe should have been in to the back of the net with Nabbout setting up Hoffman again for one of the chances while Dimi Petratos had a rocket of free kick saved by ex Roar teammate Young.

 

Young then made a great save near post to deny Nabbout and in the second half and managed to tip over a curling shot from Georgievski from way out. The Jets were toying with the Roar with only their veteran English keeper keeping them in the game. It almost came off when youngster O’Toole missed a free header for Roar, the returning Ivan Franjic setting him up with a pin point cross.

 

Then Roar’s other huge chance came when Franjic was the one on the end of a decent cross, the Socceroos’ athletic header being denied by an even more athletic save by Moss in the Jets goal, the keeper’s swapping vital saves. The Jets kept another clean sheet at home (their third in a row) and held on to win. The Roar again out of luck and second bottom on the table.

 

WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Ljujic 75) WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1 (Santalab 28)

 

Bottom of the table Wellington Phoenix backed last week’s shock win with a handy 1-1 draw again Western Sydney Wanderers.

 

Phoenix had the early chance with Krishna’s run and shot in the area saved at the near post but Wanderers hit the lead on 28 minutes when veteran striker Brendan Santalab slid home the loose ball after a free kick was headed down to his feet. Bridge went inches wide and Italiano denied Riera as the Wanderers turned the screws for the rest of the first half but Phoenix stayed in the game.

 

The second half was starved of chances with the Wanderers happy to sit back and let Phoenix’s most of the time blunt attack try and pull a goal from somewhere and that’s exactly what they did in spectacular fashion. With 15 minutes to go the signing from Serbia Matija Ljujic in only his second game collected the ball in his attacking half and took one touch and then another as the Wanderers defenders chose to back off. Ljujic decided to have a crack after not being closed down and crack he did, sending the ball rocketing past his countryman Janjetovic in goal with one of the strikes of the season. A 30 yard thunderbastard.

 

From here it was all Phoenix for the final 20 minutes or so. Janjetovic rushed off his and was caught in no mans land but an attempt to get the ball in to the empty net went wide. Then with Wanderers down to 10 men after second yellow for Hamill young Phoenix player Matt Ridenton was put through on goal. With two Phoenix players waiting for the ball to finish easily Ridenton danced around a defender and panicked shooting instead of passing off to the groans of the vocal local crowd. An awful mistakes to make. 1-1 and a great bit of drama across the ditch.

 

MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 (Triosi 27 Milligan 47 Barbarouses 90) PERTH GLORY 2 (Neville 1 Castro 83)

 

Melbourne Victory just got over the line against an out of form Perth Glory in an exciting game at a rain sodden AAMI Park.

 

Under fire Glory Kenny Lowe had been caught on camera giving his players an expletive filled gobful at training during the week and this seemed to work initially when they hit lead in the first minute. A cross from young left back Walter Scott (not the Scottish poet) was pinpoint for Scott Neville to head in. This fired Victory up in a disjointed half arsed kind of way and were level on 26 minutes thanks to a scrambled ugly goal to James Troisi with the Glory defence once again at sixes and sevens thanks to Leroy George who was awarded with the assist.

 

Glory almost had back the lead with a cross Italino on the right perfect for Adam Taggart for the Socceroo managed to shoot straight at the keeper when it was easier to score. Glory, being Glory, were made to pay minutes in to the second half when from a free kick Mark Milligan thought quick to deflect the ball past Liam Reddy and in to the net. Normal service had resumed.

 

Victory now looked for the goal to finish Glory off but Glory held on and then somehow equalised with some 8 minutes left. Star Diego Castro received a ball from his countryman Andreau in the midfield. With the keeper Matt Acton rushing off his line Castro chipped the keeper from the edge of the area and putting the ball in the back of the net in world class style. A finish to more than make up for his mistake which cost them the first Victory goal.

 

It seemed as though Glory would have their first point in 4 games but Victory still had one bullet in the chamber. With a minute to go Leroy George again set up a teammate, this time it was Barbarouses who, much like last week, used his pace to out sprint his marker and then shot past the keeper to score. From here the bottom fell out for the visitors, Alex Grant lucky to stay on the pitch with a rash tackle and another loss for the Perth side, their fourth in a row. Victory managed to get a win after struggling again in the past couple of weeks.

 

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 2 (Baro 13 McGinn 47) MELBOURNE CITY 2 (McCormack 43 Budzinski 86)

 

Even with a host of young stars missing due to international duty the Mariners still managed to score a point in their courageous and entertaining 2-2 draw with Melbourne City.

 

The Mariners had the lead on 18 minutes when from a free kick the former Victory player Alan Baro sent in a looping header past the City keeper. Things weren’t going for well for City and they were down to 10 men on 26 minutes when Harrison Delbridge decided to try and break the ankles of a Mariners player when going for a 50-50 ball and was rightly sent off.

 

This didn’t seem to deter City who had a goal right near half time. Left back Scott Jamieson dashed down the left and passed the ball to the deep fried Scot Ross McCormack who collected the ball spun and finished with aplomb in a Dennis Bergkamp kind of way. Yet another goal (13 for the season) and one not a penalty or a free kick for once for McCormack.

 

On the other side of half time the Mariners reclaimed the lead and in similar fashion to their opener. A corner this time was blocked and not cleared but a Mariners player managed to pounce and ex United starlet Jake McGing got the ball in to the back of the net at the Sauce Bottle End of the ground. From here the Mariners went in to their shell for the rest of the game with their young fill ins starting to tire and City stoically trying to find their second goal.

 

With 5 minutes to go it came and it was a rare goal from marquee signing Marcin Budzinski. A cross in to the area was cleared but only to the Polish midfielder who struck home from the edge of the area saving City a point and denying a brave win for the Mariners.

 

ADELAIDE UNITED 0 SYDNEY FC 0

 

Adelaide United showed that they’re no pea hearts with a tense and fraught 0-0 draw with the league leading champions Sydney FC. Much like the Mariners Adelaide had been decimated by call ups for national duty of their young stars so facing the champs wasn’t something they really wanted right now.

 

Still technically and physically they stood up to Sydney FC’s usual bullying and general dominance with the German toe cutter Daniel Adlung back in the side and ruling the midfield with an iron fist. the red hot Mierzejewski also missed with a shot that went millimeters wide. This was followed up by United hitting the crossbar as Sydney tempers reached the level their local weather did last weekend unable to rise above the niggling from United with star Milos Ninkovic even putting in some tackles that could only be down to frustration.

 

Sydney perhaps had the better chances in the second half with fill in Adelaide keeper Daniel Margush making a fine save to deny a rocket of a free kick. 0-0 at full time with United’s coach Marco Kurz gesturing to both the fourth official and Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold through pure emotion at the end. Kurz had been told during the game by a fourth official to not speak in German to his German midfielder, something almost White Australia Policy-like. Then there were verbal bombs being thrown by Arnold towards the riled former Kaiserslautern and 1860 Munich boss.

 

United kind of got the last laugh staring down the arrogant kings of the league and showing that if it bleeds you can kill it. Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque sarcastically clapped the United fans at full time for celebrating the draw, tall poppy syndrome towards the champs in full effect if they act like that.

 

 

TABLE

 

Sydney FC                                                   +26       39 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +18      33 pts

Melbourne City                                          +4         26 pts

Adelaide United                                          +2          22 pts

Melbourne Victory                                     –           23 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -7           19 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -12         16 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -6          15 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -9           13 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -10           11 pts

 

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND – Marco Kurz and Paul ‘That’s Criminal!’ Okon

 

Well done to two coaches trying to build something with sides who had bottomed out in previous years. With a host of their young players off overseas with the U23 Australian side both Adelaide United and the Mariners took on title challengers and managed to get results. United should play finals, when they have their best team on the pitch can beat anyone and while the Mariners are not as consistent they have definitely turned a corner both on and off the pitch reengaging with the Gosford community.

 

Another highlight with the two of them was there emotion on the weekend. Kurz being told by some amateur official to not use his native language on the sidelines while Okon was caught by the effects mike after the horror tackle on one of his players going spare at the third official and continually yelling ‘That’s criminal’ about the foul with the odd ‘f*** off!’ thrown in there.

 

The players that came in for these games should also be commended all standing up and further strengthening the calls for more clubs so more players get opportunities.

 

CLOWN OF THE ROUND – Kenny Lowe

 

Pressure continues on the affable Kenny Lowe. Four losses in a row and caught on camera going off at his players in a way that shouldn’t be considered fair. He must be hoping Tony Sage’s cutting off of funding means that he won’t be sacked before seasons end as the club can’t afford to pay him out.

 

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 12 (Season Total 197. Av 2.49 goals per game)

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – All the games seem a little one sided this round although City v United may have its moments. Victory’s visit to Wanderers may well be game of the round with both sides needing a win.

 

 

 

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.

Comments

  1. Thunderbastard to me is:

    -Has to be from at least 25 yards out.
    -Has to not spin as it goes through the air.
    -When hitting the back of the net has to bounce back out due to the force of the shot.

    This is the Ljujic goal from Sunday.

  2. Luke Reynolds says:

    Enjoyed the Victory’s win but wasn’t a real high standard game. The big names for MV get the job done but this squad could have the lowest depth of any in the club’s history.

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