In A League Of Its Own

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

This A-League season continues to throw up surprises and upsets every weekend. Last season’s dominance of Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC is now a thing of the past, with Sydney winless and rooted to the bottom, and Melbourne on just 5 points from as many games. Last season’s two worst performers Adelaide and North Queensland are up near the top of the table, and have both knocked off Sydney.

The first match of the round came to us from Gosford, where the Central Coast Mariners hosted a lacklustre Melbourne Victory on Friday night. Victory dominated proceedings early on, but didn’t have anything to show for it in the first 20 or so minutes. Central Coast scored through Daniel McBreen in the 21st, the goal immediately putting Melbourne for some reason on the back foot. The Mariners added a second after half-time, and despite plenty of late attacks from the Victory, the scoreline stayed 2-0.

I went for the third week in a row to AAMI Park hoping to add to my tally of 5 penalties in two weeks, to see Melbourne Heart take on North Queensland Fury. The only goal of a very entertaining first half came from the head of Nick Kalmar, following a short corner where Alex Terra and Dean Heffernan combined to get the ball into the area. In an ordinary second half, it was easy to notice Heart’s Alex Terra, who was very quick on the flanks and nearly got in behind the Fury’s weak defence a few times. No penalties, but not a bad game by A-League standards.

Up in Sydney on Saturday night, the reigning champions Sydney would have been confident of getting their first win of the season against Adelaide United. Sydney gave away a clumsy free-kick on 10 minutes about 25 yards out, and Sergio van Dijk made Sydney pay, with a dipping shot finishing in the bottom corner of the net. Future Socceroo Matthew Leckie made a dashing run on the right, before cutting inside and scoring to make the half-time score 2-0. Sergio van Dijk made it 3-0 and game over in the 53rd, only for the margin to be whittled back down to two goals thanks to a consolation goal from Sydney’s Stephan Keller.

Sunday’s first game came from EnergyAustralia Stadium on Newcastle and provided all viewers with one of the most bland, boring games I have ever seen. It did end 0-0. Usually, to refresh my memory, I watch small highlight packages of each game on Fox Sports’ website. Well for this game, there was about 35 seconds worth of highlights. Newcastle are in deep financial trouble, but they still need to put performances up on the pitch. To park the bus in front of goal for a home game against an ordinary team, wasn’t good enough.

The last game of the round came from NIB Stadium in Perth, where the undefeated home team Glory picked up a 2-1 win over Wellington in front of a near full house. The whole game was controlled by Perth, although Wellington occasionally counter-attacked and had periods of utter dominance throughout mainly the second half. The in form Mile Sterjovski opened the scoring very early on, and Marquee Robbie Fowler made it 2 for the home side in the 61st. Ben Sigmund scored the final goal of the game 20 minutes from full-time, to give Wellington a goal and a 2-1 loss.

This week’s AAMI Park game has Melbourne Victory as the hosts, playing Brisbane Roar, who will be looking to score some goals with their new look squad. The match begins at 3pm on Saturday, which is a perfect time for soccer, allowing you to get home in time for the AFL or other soccer if you want. I’ve been to AAMI Park the last three weeks, and it is a brilliant stadium for soccer.

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.


  1. I’m confused Tom. Isn’t the VPL GF on Saturday night at AAMI?

  2. The A-League soccer is in fact on Sunday at 3pm at AAMI Park, my fault there. Who’s in the VPL final Ian?

  3. Another good and to-the-point round-uo – no stacking the defence in Tom’s reviews. Watch Adeleide United.

  4. Green Gully are Playing Richmond at 7pm — Box Hill are playing Heidelberg earlier in the day in the women’s comp. Melissa Barbieri is in goal for Box Hill.

    It’s a shame that two very poorly drawing teams have made the GF. I can’t see it getting more than 2K. A South Melbourne v Melbourne Knights GF would have got about 7K. In 2006 when South won the crowd was well over 5K at Bob Jane against the poorly drawing Altona.

    If you’ve never been to a local game in Melbourne, check this out because the standard will surprise you (though there will be a competing attraction over the road!). It’s the league from which the A League draws its reserve talent. Kalmar for example was playing VPL (and not killing it either) before he went to Heart.

  5. dont be fooled by the reds this season.adelaide are really switched on at the moment and as a one team town after years of such dissapointment everyone is excited and right behind them so watch this space !

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