In A League of Its Own – Issue 20

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Week after week, A-League matches are affected or decided by refereeing decisions or the lack of them. To be honest, I’m not sure how to fix the problem, but it needs to be addressed quickly by the FFA. This weekend, Brisbane Roar travelled to AAMI Park to face Melbourne Victory for what shaped up to be a really good clash. Last time the two met in Melbourne, the Victory gave Brisbane a good walloping, winning 3-0. But since then, Brisbane have risen to the top and asserted themselves as the best quality team in the A-League.

Melbourne Victory welcomed back Matt Kemp, who after a long time on the sidelines, scored first, but unfortunately it was for Brisbane Roar instead of his Victory. Juan Carlos Solórzano continued his awesome form when he scored on the stroke of half-time to put the visitors in yet another position where most thought they’d go on to make the final margin 3 or 4 goals. In a 15 minute period of utter domination, Melbourne Victory snared 3 goals – 2 by Kruse, 1 by Thompson – to put them in front. The crowd was up, and Melbourne looked likely to bang in 3 more by the end of the game. But, in injury time, former Victory keeper & cult hero Michael Theoklitos picked up the ball, and went on to take it outside the box. Theo was at least 2 feet outside the box, with both feet and his whole body over the line. How the referee or assistants missed the incident, I really do not know. I’m not just saying this because I’m a Victory man, but honestly, it’s a joke. Theo and Brisbane took the ball up field, and Captain Matt McKay salvaged an equaliser. All Victory players, staff and especially supporters were totally shocked and outraged. I was too, and although Muscy took it too far by pushing the Roar’s goalkeeping coach in the aftermath of the game, I had a right to be.

The other gameweek 17 matches had plenty to live up to after this clash, and most did. Central Coast and Gold Coast were the 2 big winners of the round. Central Coast continued on their winning ways, smashing Sydney FC, who themselves thought that they might have returned to being a decent team again. The Mariners scored 3 in the first 25 minutes to bury the visitors, with Matt Simon scoring in the middle of 2 Adam Kwasnik goals. Seb Ryall scored an own goal just 38 seconds into the second half to cap off a very poor match for last season’s champions. Gold Coast also continued to show their title credentials with a 3-0 win over a hapless Melbourne Heart. In front of the A-League lowest ever crowd in Australia, defender Bas Van Den Brink opened the scoring for Gold Coast. Jason Culina made sure that his team got a goal difference boost by scoring a second half double himself.

The Newcastle Jets story kept their new chapter positive, overcoming North Queensland 2-0 on Saturday night. Nikolai Topor-Stanley scored another header to put his team in the lead 75 minutes in, which was followed by a Sasho Petrovski goal in injury time. The club are on their way back up the table, and have rapidly improving crowds. Midweek signing Chris Payne from North Queensland should bolster the depth of the squad, and Payne should be in the starting 11 when Francis Jeffers departs.

Wellington hosted Adelaide in Christchurch on the weekend (as you do?!?) and were searching for some form that might get them close to the finals. Sergio Van Dijk nailed a header from a good 12 yards to put the visitors in front just quarter of an hour in. It was a while coming, but Tim Brown equalised just after the two sides returned from the sheds – continuing his form of scoring within 5 minutes after a break – and that was followed up by Ben Sigmund in injury time. Sigmund – who I dropped to the bench in my fantasy team – handed his side a much needed win, and it gives them some hope of reaching another finals series.

The second Melbourne Derby is on this weekend (Friday night) at AAMI Park. In what should be a cracking match, Victory are trying to become the first team to win the A-League outside the four, while the Heart can sneak their way in the four with a win on Friday night. Get down there to support the two clubs and experience a real derby atmosphere. Come On Victory!!!

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. My mistake – Melbourne Derby is on Saturday night at AAMI Park, not Friday, so don’t go to AAMI Park in the wet on Friday night wondering where everyone is…

  2. After tonight’s performance, Heart would struggle to front by Friday. Lose this week and they are GONE!
    Jets and Phoenix are now pretty level on the ladder. What contrasting seasons for them!

  3. Martin Reeves says

    Tom – the late equaliser was disappointing last week, but the defence was completely asleep. The three goals we conceded were relatively soft, but Brisbane probably deserved a share of the points.

    Important for MV to notch our first win over the Heart this week. We have the form, but, like any form of derby, that doesn’t always count for much.

    Victory 3-0.

  4. Djarindjin Jerker says

    So here’s the story, Trio.

    I am a guy who grew up with the oval ball and never looked at wogball until I realised you could put it in multis. So….now living in a remote Indigenous community where no one cares about the Perth Glory,( and that goes for the majority of the state as well), my gambling on A League soccer is a bit like backing against the Harlem Globetrotters. So take my tips from last week, bet against them and watch the TAB account grow.
    Melbourne Victory FC v Brisbane Roar FC – 0-2 Result 3-3
    Central Coast Mariners FC v Sydney FC – 1-3 Result 4-0
    North Queensland Fury v Newcastle Jets FC – 1-1 Result 0-2
    Gold Coast United v Melbourne Heart FC – 1-2 Result 3-0
    Adelaide United FC v North Queensland Fury – 3-1
    Melbourne Heart FC v Melbourne Victory FC – 2-2
    Gold Coast United v Wellington Phoenix FC – 0-1
    Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC – 1-2
    Perth Glory FC v Central Coast Mariners FC – 2-3

    I’ve got a good feeling about the Generals this week…..

  5. DJ #4,
    Poor form shown by you last week with your multi, but I agree with most of your predictions this week. Victory might get up over Heart, and Gold Coast won’t lose at home to Wellington.

  6. Tom

    Theo was outside the box, but was all of the ball — which it needed to be for it to be called handball?

  7. That was an insipid game tonight. Can NQ be relegated now??

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