In A League Of Its Own – Issue 5

Tom’s weekly outlook on the A-League

Another week of goals and excitement graced the A-League, proving that this season could be the most unpredictable, open fun one yet. Round three was kicked off at Hindmarsh Stadium, where Adelaide hosted the Heart in an absolute classic. There were five goals (all first touch finishes) and future Socceroo Matthew Leckie scored the opener in the 2nd minute. Fantastically named Rutger Worm levelled just before half-time with a well struck shot. Iain Ramsay scored either side of Eli Babalj’s goal for Heart to make it a morale lifting 3-2 victory for the Reds, who will now believe that they and go deep into the finals series.

Saturday saw two 1-0 wins to Perth and Brisbane in front of their home fans. Branko Jelic came on for Socceroo Mile Sterjovski early on in the game and scored on the stroke of half-time. Perth had to withstand a late flurry of shots towards the end of the game by Newcastle, but hung on for the three points and the top spot on the table on 7 points. Matt McKay scored a placed shot from the edge of the area to give Brisbane 3 valuable points and into the top 6 with a game in hand.

In a less muddy game at the cake tin in Wellington on Sunday afternoon, New Zealand held off Central Coast Mariners for a comfortable victory that saw Wellington’s two star players Paul Ifill and Leo Bertos score; with other quality forward Chris Greenacre playing a role in both. Wellington look well on their way to claim their first title, although they have only played two matches.

The game of the round, possibly season and according to Fox Sports’ Mark Bosnich, “That was the best game in the A-League that I’ve seen.” It was my first time at the new AAMI Park, and walking in through the turnstiles, it felt like I was walking into a proper stadium that you’d find in the Premier League. Our seats were at “The North End” (North-west corner really) and we got a good view of North Queensland’s first at the other end of the pitch; a scramble in the 6 yard box when Victory keeper Petkovic failed to punch clear, leaving Sseppuya to slot home the first. Melbourne were awarded a penalty which none other than Kevin Muscat scored. The Victory had an unbelievable chance on half-time, but Tommy Pondejlak failed to touch the ball from a foot out of an open goal. Muscat again scored a dubious penalty in the 75th to seemingly wrap up a dominant display from the 2-time champs. But the game then turned on its head. North Queensland were awarded a penalty out of sympathy (a biased view here) from the soft Scottish referee. Chris Payne was going to place the ball down, when everyone’s attention turned to a push and shove between Muscat and Eric Akoto. Akoto pushed Muscat and got a straight red card, leaving the Fury with 9 men. Payne scored the penalty, but the controversy still remains; Akoto wants to have his red card overturned, and two game ban removed. The atmosphere was fantastic even though there was an awful crowd of 13,000 there to see it.

You can help lift the crowd at AAMI Park this week, when Melbourne Heart take on Perth in what should be a cracker on Saturday at a great time of 5 pm. Make a night of it; go to the match, then stay in town for dinner afterwards. Tell your friends about the soccer as well, because it’s great entertainment, great atmosphere, and crowds of 13,000 for the world game in the world’s sporting capital is simply not good enough.

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. Sounds good Tom… I’m in… your shout for dinner Saturday? ;)

  2. Heartless.

  3. Tom,
    Having gone to the game on Sunday, how do you rate the stadium, the match itself and the players?
    Fury’s GK was pretty good, especially that late save. The guy who got sent off after Muscat threw himself backwards…he looks a star. I especially liked his nutmeg on Broxham.
    Hernandez has so much talent but is patently unfit.
    Your votes?

  4. Dad, um… I mean, Crio –
    The stadium, as I mentioned, is really good. The atmosphere, despite only 13,000 attending, is great. Apparently there are no bad seats in the house. Justin Passfield (Fury GK) performed brilliantly, and single handedly kept them in it until the end. He did concede two, but he was stiff that they were both penalties. Eric Akoto is a bad air-conditioner: Hot when you want him calm and Cold when you want him hot. He has been capped for his nation Togo and was on the bus before the African Cup of Nations tournament when they got shot at for half an hour. He’s done well to not only survive but get back onto the pitch.

  5. CORRECTION…Heart play Sunday at 5pm @ AAMI Park.

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