In A-League of its Own: Round 6

Melbourne Victory has produced one of its greatest comebacks by coming from 2 down to score 3 times in the last 15 minutes to beat Sydney FC 3-2 at Allianz Stadium. Sydney were keen to get back on the pitch after their horrid 7-2 defeat at Gosford the weekend before, and looked the goods in the first half with Yairo Yau opening the scoring after a good bit of passing found Yau’s outstretched boot. Melbourne were reduced to long range efforts for the majority of the first half much to the frustration of myself. My frustration only grew when we conceded a 2nd goal when Pascal Boschaart scored his first goal in 378 senior games in probably the only one of those that I cared about. From there it appeared as though Sydney had put the cue in the rack, taking off a sore Del Piero on the hour mark and bringing on defenders. The Victory began to take advantage of this and had most of the territory as they peppered the Sydney defence with mainly hopeful balls and crosses which lacked any intent. Enter Andrew Nabbout. Petar Franjic was removed for the youngster 70 minutes in, and it was 8 minutes after his inclusion when he found space with the ball and curled it around Ivan Necevski and in off the post. This gave me hope as we again surged forward almost immediately after the kick-off and began testing the defence yet again. A Guilherme Finkler corner found the head of Mark Milligan, who pounded it down for Archie Thompson who stuck out a leg to deflect it into the net. It was at this point that I had moved off the couch and was now kneeling 2 metres from the TV in anticipation for, hopefully, another goal. Luckily I didn’t have to wait long. Nabbout delivered yet again when he headed home the winner in injury, sparking incredible scenes among the travelling contingent of Victory fans and the Riordan lounge room. The aftermath of the game prompted Ian Crook to apparently send CEO Tony Pignata a text at 1.38 am on Sunday morning telling him to organise a press-conference the next day so that he could announce his resignation. Sydney is now on the hunt for a new manager as former player Steve Corica looks set to take the temporary reigns before a manager is named. As for the Victory, well hasn’t their season completely turned around? Wins against Wellington and now Sydney have propelled them into 5th on the table and puts them in good shape ahead of their encounter with top of the table Central Coast this Saturday night at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne Heart has sent Brisbane to the bottom of the table for the first time in their history after a 4-1 thrashing at AAMI Park on Friday. The ruthless performance didn’t come without controversy however as a perfectly legitimate pass by Mitch Nichols, duly converted by Henrique, was ruled to be out of play when he played the ball. The score at that point was 1-0, and the Roar was far from out of the game; however the second half would prove a totally different story. 3 goals from the 62nd to the 74th minute mark put the game to bed. Richard Garcia, Josip Tadi? and then David Williams got on the scoresheet before a consolation goal for Henrique was scored with 8 minutes left. Heart sit 6th on the table and face a difficult trip to Adelaide next Saturday evening.

Emile Heskey and Ryan Griffiths have again scored for Newcastle while Mark Birighitti has sustained his brilliant form by keeping out several Western Sydney shots. The Wanderers’ Joe Gibbs opened the scoring 14 minutes in when he finished a beautifully flowing move involving Shinji Ono for his first senior goal. However it was two far more experienced campaigners who had the Jets in front at the break with Heskey and Griffiths outsmarting the Wanderers defence for each of their goals. West Sydney now drops out of the 6 but can get back in there with a win away to Perth next Sunday.

The much anticipated top of the table clash between Adelaide and Perth could barely have been more disappointing with the Glory holding on for a 1-1 draw. Billy Mehmet, keeping Shane Smeltz out of the starting line-up after the kiwi star was ruled fit to play, again proved his worth when he put the visitors ahead just before half-time. However it was Dario Vidosic who again scored an important goal when he controlled a lovely Marcelo Carrusca pass and nailed the finish.

Meanwhile Wellington’s season has taken another hit; losing 1-0 at home to Central Coast. In what was a poor quality game, Danny McBreen’s 4th goal in 2 games was the decider with Tom Rogic justifying his selection in the national squad with a wonderful assist.

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. Dennis Gedling says

    Mark Birighitti has done very well to move from Adelaide to Newcastle. A bit of luck with Kennedy being injured but it’s great to see the former Perth Italia keeper grab his chance. His old man back here in Perth is chuffed.

    Big BIlly will soon be either replaced or playing with SMeltz once the #9 with the frosted tips is fit enough to start again. Another entertaining weekend of games (with the exception of the Mariners game..again). ‘

  2. Birighitti certainly has been one of the surprise players of this season so far and Billy Mehmet has every right to start ahead of Smeltz this weekend. I’d say that Perth still look good for the title at this stage

  3. Thanks for the review Tom. Not so long ago that Brisbane were enjoying comebacks like that, including involuntary prayer as E Paartalu saved our bacon. Here we are in gutter looking up at the stars.

  4. Got home after a great win at cricket to turn on the TV and see the Victory 2-0 down in the 71st minute. It was 50-50 whether I kept watching, glad I did!! Nabbout looks a great prospect, great to see a local young player doing well.

  5. Victory seized the moment but, rightly, another Sydney meltdown was the story. They were so vulnerable and never really looked safe. “Good for football”!

    btw, any of the A-Leaguers have a serious impact for the Socceroos? I turned off at half time after some dismal skills. Ryan Mc looked effective.

  6. Des Sandercock says

    Keep up the good coverage Tom. Pleasing that the two high profile marquee players are playing their part & not simply here for an end-of-career “holiday”

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