In A-League of its Own – Round One

The A-League’s 8th season began with an upset on Derby night as John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart registered a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory. The hype surrounding the game was mainly to do with the Victory’s marquee signing Marcos Flores as well as new manager Ange Postecoglou. From the outset it was clear that Aloisi had told his men to nullify the Postecoglou passing game by harassing the Victory defensive pairing of Adrian Leijer and Mark Milligan whenever they had the ball. 15 minutes in the Heart had a goal to show for their hard work. Richard Garcia’s enticing ball found its way to the back post where David Williams volleyed just his second goal in 2 seasons at the Heart. The goal sparked the Victory into gear and it wasn’t long before the game was again tied up. Marcos Flores found Archie Thompson who was able to whip in a cross to Marco Rojas who expertly deflected the ball past Clint Bolton. Flores almost put the Victory ahead before half-time when his shot came off the underside of the crossbar. Heart then took the lead when Michael Marrone flicked the ball on to Mate Duganzic who drilled a perfect cross to Dylan Macallister. After half-time the Heart’s persistent aggressive attitude nearly paid off on multiple occasions, most notably when David Williams had an open goal to hit, but instead decided to take an extra touch and give it to Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas. The Heart weren’t able to extend their lead though, and the game finished 2-1. The Victory faces an almighty task this weekend when they travel to Brisbane to face a Roar side formerly coached by Postecoglou himself.


Alessandro Del Piero’s A-League debut was already somewhat dampened due to the fact that Sydney FC’s opening encounter was being played offshore in Wellington, however the 2-0 loss to the Phoenix added further sourness to what could have been a memorable first game. Sydney failed to capitalise on many of the wonderfully accurate passes produced by Del Piero and weren’t helped by sloppy defending at the back. Goalkeeper Ivan Necevski pulled off some blinding saves but wasn’t able to stop Wellington’s Belgian forward Stein Huysegems’ shot late in the first half. Louis Fenton doubled Wellington’s advantage 15 minutes from time when he headed home Manny Muscat’s precise cross. Wellington faces the shocking situation of being without 7 players and their manager for this weekend’s clash with Heart because of their two World Cup Qualifiers against Tahiti.


Western Sydney has managed to hold last season’s Premiers Central Coast to a 0-0 draw in their first competitive match. Young midfielder Aaron Mooy was a particular highlight for the Wanderers, showing that he is more than capable of matching it with the best that the Mariners had to offer. Western Sydney’s Labinot Haliti spurned some opportunities while the Mariners have every reason to be unhappy with their performance in front of a good crowd of 10,458 at Parramatta Stadium. Both keepers had claims for Man of the Match, both making crucial stops at certain stages of the game.


Adelaide United was able to go some way to erasing their 3-2 Asian Champions League loss to Bunyodkor midweek by claiming an away win at Newcastle. Jeronimo Neumann’s brilliant lead-up work enabled Dario Vidosic to get the Reds off to a perfect start when his shot found the net less than one minute in. Jets keeper Mark Birighitti was wrongly adjudged to have handled the ball outside the 18 yard box and was given a red card, making for a less than suitable situation for Newcastle who was 1 goal down at the time. Iain Ramsay put the game to bed when he converted Dario Vidosic’s cross into a goal with just 15 minutes remaining. Newcastle’s draw doesn’t get easier with a clash against Sydney next week at the SFS before they host local rivals Central Coast the following week.


Perth Glory was able to put some bad memories to rest on Sunday when they managed to beat Brisbane 1-0 in the Grand Final rematch. 15,000 turned put in the wonderful Perth sunshine to watch Billy Mehmet head home the winner in injury time. The Glory fans showed that they can hold grudges, generally hating against Berisha all game through chants and banners in response to the controversial decision to award him a penalty in last season’s Grand Final. Both sides had their chances throughout the game, but it was Mehmet who scored the game’s only goal. Former Gold Coast star Ben Halloran came closest to scoring for the visitors when he rattled the crossbar soon after Mehmet’s goal. Perth must now gear up for a tricky away trip to Gosford next Sunday evening to play what will be a fired up Mariners outfit.

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. Strangely, Tom, even usually bullish Heart fans have commented at how toothless the Victory were. I saw bits of several games and, other than the last moments in WA, it was a disappointing round of football after such a huge build-up.
    Heart have a great draw this week, hosting Wellington who will be without their rep players (playing Tahiti or someone) as well as their boss, Rikki Lee Herbert.

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