Almanac Soccer – War and Peace (and A-League): Rounds 22 and 23 Part II

 

 

 

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 4 (Santalab 39 Hamill 68, 78 Ikonomidis 89) WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Singh 42)

 

A not so great Wanderers side took advantage of a Phoenix side in disarray picking apart the Kiwis 4-1 to consolidate their finals spot.

 

It was the usual eye bleeding styles for the first 30 minutes between the sixth placed Wanderers and bottom placed Phoenix until a free kick from Socceroo Chris Ikonomidis hit the crossbar with the following header from Brendan Hamill coming off the side of his head and going out for a thrown in of all things.

 

On 39 minutes Wanderers had the lead and it was a simple tap in for Brenton Santalab after being set up by Mark Bridge who in turn had received a wonderful pass from Josh Risdon to put himself in a dangerous position. It only took a few minutes for the Wanderers to remind everyone about how poor they’ve been this season with Phoenix equalising through young star Sarpreet Singh who lashed the loose ball home after a strike at goal by Roy Krishna saved by the keeper wasn’t dealt with.

 

Eventually Wanderers had the lead back and forced open the floodgates on 67 minutes when Hamill headed home a corner with some ferocity. 10 minutes later it was Hamill again sliding the ball home after the ball was headed down to him from another corner. With a minute the go the fourth goal came and it was a shocking one for the Phoenix to conceded. First the back four stopped to a complete halt letting the Wanderers player through on goal. An onrushing Tando Velaphi in the Phoenix goal tried to stop a goal but managed to get himself stranded before the ball was squared to Ikonomidis who danced around a training cone like defender to finish.

 

Good result for Wanderers but the Phoenix are (again) likely to be collecting another wooden spoon for the cabinet in Wellington.

 

 

PERTH GLORY 3 (Chianese 29, 61 Torres 89) CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1 (Hoole 72)

 

Perth Glory are continuing to meekly hold on to a chance of playing finals defeating the out of sorts Central Coast on a warm and windy night in Perth.

 

The first half was piss poor to say the least between two sides really struggling for large parts of the season. In front of the shed captain Andy Keogh had a chance that hit the upright as Glory tried to create a goal out of something. From the resulting corner speedy winger Joel Chianese headed home at the far post to put Glory ahead.

 

The second half was far more entertaining with Glory going 2-0 up on 60 minutes. Keogh again collected the ball with his back to goal before doing a lovely Bergkamp/Cryuff like turn to bamboozle his marker and shoot at goal. The shot bounced off the upright and in to the path of the unmarked Chianese who tapped the ball home at the far post.

 

The Mariners weren’t done though and proceeded to try and craft a goal to back in to the game. On 70 minutes they got it with Andrew Hoole receiving the ball at the edge of the penalty area and curling in a very decent shot that eeked past Glory keeper Nick Feely and in to the back of the net. One of the better goals of the season for the Mariners. The Glory persisted though and had a third when Chris Harold headed in a very well worked goal. Unfortunately as spectacular as the cross and finish were VAR was called in and struck the goal off due to a foul being carried out by Keogh in the lead up to the goal. A baffling decision that had Glory players surrounding the ref with much gesturing and hands on headed. The Glory fans merely booed, a traditional past time of the WA sports fan.

 

After Harold went close again lashing a bullet of a shot millimeters past the far post Glory had a third and a sealer with a couple of minutes to go. A lovely free kick from the diminutive Spaniard Xavi Torres beat the Mariners keeper Ben Kennedy at his near post to give three points to Glory. The Mariners continue to give the Phoenix hope they may not finish bottom yet but the end of the season can’t come quick enough for both.

 

 

TABLE

 

Sydney FC                                                   +37       52 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +21      44 pts

Melbourne City                                          +2         33 pts

Melbourne Victory                                     +2           32 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers*                   -6           30 pts

Adelaide United                                          -5         29 pts

Perth Glory*                                                 -14         26 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -7           25 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -10          20 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -21           17 pts

 

* Have played one game more.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – The bizarre split round of Rounds 22 and 23 concludes next week with some vital games. Adelaide United are in real danger of missing out on the finals as they continue to struggle and host another desperate side in Melbourne City on Friday night. Victory are eyeing off City’s third spot and will host the Mariners hoping their crosstown rivals slip up while the Jets travel to New Zealand hoping to keep some momentum from the Sydney FC and despite losing one of their stars Andrew Nabbout to the $ of the Urawa Red Diamonds in the J-League.

 

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.

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