War and Peace (and A-League): Goals! Goals! Goals!

Both top teams dropped points, the gap between the top 3 and the rest of the league grew and there were GOALS GOALS GOALS in the latest round of the A-League.

 

 

BRISBANE ROAR 3 (Papadopolous 4, Franjic 60, Holman 73) PERTH GLORY 2 (Harold 11, 68)

 

The two worst coached clubs bereft of any morale faced each other to open the round in what ended up being a very entertaining contest.

 

Roar’s signings in the off season were questionable along with some of their tactics as the club is nowhere near their Ange Postecoglou heydays. Glory (who played Roar in the 2012 Grand Final) are also having yet another barren season with a vast majority of the fans wanting coach Kenny Lowe gone along with most of the backroom. It was the giant douche v shit sandwich showdown.

 

The giant douche (Roar) went ahead after only 3 minutes with Avraam Papadopolous putting away a free kick. It was a fine return for the Greek International who had spent 7 weeks on the sidelines after spitting at Matt Simon last month. It didn’t take long for the Shit Sandwich (Glory) to get back on level terms and it was through Chris Harold who received an excellent pass from Castro on the right before using his pace to get away from his defender, run in and score.

 

the second half it was still very evenly matched in a way where neither side could really hold on to possession but the Giant Douche got the lead back on 59 minutes in similar style to their opener. This time it was injury prone Socceroo Ivan Franjic who managed to get on to the end of a free kick to head past Liam Reddy in the Shit Sandwich goal. Franjic giving the suffering home support some memories of when he did that under Ange in those wonderful 2010-2014 years.

 

Once again the Shit Sandwich rallied and only took 8 minutes to get it back to 2-2 and again it was Harold. The speedy winger managed to control and shoot from close range after a cross from Andy Keogh managed to get past some poor defending. It was a welcome return to form for Harold who has struggled this season without Josh Ridson helping him out on the right wing. The Shit Sandwich has that name for a reason though and could only keep it level for 5 minutes. This time former Socceroo Brett Holman lashed home the winner after Maccarone had held the ball up and passed off.

 

An entertaining game with two teams at their wits end. The Giant Douche bagged only their second home win of the season while the Shit Sandwich chalked up a fifth loss in a row.

 

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0 MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 (Barbarouses 36, 92 Berisha 68)

 

Victory’s hot and cold season continued with their best performance of the campaign wiping the floor with a very disappointing Western Sydney Wanderers at the Olympic Stadium.

 

Victory were all over the Wanderers from the start asking questions of the red and black defence but it took until 36 minutes to take the lead with Barbarouses again using his pace on the right to get in to a position to score and that he did with a carbon copy of his goals from the previous two games. Early in the second half Wanderers had a goal ruled offside and apart from speculative shots from outside the area they were limited.

 

It was 2-0 on 67 minutes when Leroy George had another assist passing off to Berisha for another goal, the Wanderers defence a shambles. the best was saved for last though with Barbarouses scoring one of the goals of the season right on full time. The Wanderers defence backed off the Kiwi International on the edge of the area so he unleashed a shot of power and beauty screaming past the Wanderers keeper.

 

A very decent win for Victory who are dealing with the possible loss of Mark Milligan to an Asian club while the Wanderers are just pants.

 

NEWCASTLE JETS 2 (Nabbout 48 Petratos 86) WELLINGTON PHOENIX 3 (Ljujic 28 Mullen 36 Krishna 58) 

 

Phoenix halted the Jets hot-streak and gave their fans hope of not collecting another wooden spoon with an upset 3-2 win in Newcastle.

 

The Jets had been in fantastic form and a win here would see them set a record of most home wins in a row in the A-League. Phoenix though had not lost in three games and were up for this one from the get go. The scorer of last week’s ‘Thunderbastard’ shot Matija Ljujic put Phoenix ahead when his powerful shot from outside the area bounced through a static Jets defence and past back up keeper Jack Duncan in goal. It was Duncan who again was to blame for the second goal for Phoenix when from a corner he lost to the ball in the sun coming off his line with Daniel Mullen taking advantage.

 

In the second half the Jets seemed to have a bit more urgency and it only took three minutes for their first goal through Nabbout was set up after some trickery from Rodriguez making his first start. The come back was seemingly on but then it definately wasn’t when on 58 minutes the exciting Roy Krishna took advantage of Jets captain Nigel Boogard being off to get stiches when he collected the ball in the area, took one touch, and buried the shot.

 

A late penalty was converted for the Jets but awful defending cost them a chance of closing the gap on Sydney FC and Phoenix again impressed with another win against a decent side.

 

SYDNEY FC 1 (Bobo 61)  CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1 (Powell 7)

 

While the Jets stumbled Sydney FC could only extend their lead at the top by a point after being held to a 1-1 draw against a spirited Central Coast who backed up their win against the champions earlier in the season. The Mariners went ahead from the penalty spot early in the game when Appiah had been brought down with a rash challenge by the Sydney keeper Redmayne. Blake Powell converted the penalty.

 

There was no reaction from Sydney though and the Mariners were the better side missing a couple of excellent chances where it was easier to score than miss. Appiah not giving the ball off and having a selfish shot for goal resulting in a spat between teammates. Sydney FC came back in to the game as was eventually expected with Bobo scoring yet another goal on 61 minutes looping his header past Kennedy after a pinpoint cross from Mierjeweski.

 

The Mariners did get a point in the end when maybe they could have won showing that they are kryptonite to the Sky Blue Supermen. Graham Arnold claimed that the team had got gastro from the water in Adelaide the previous weekend, an excuse mocked by all and sundry on social media.

 

MELBOURNE CITY 5 (Budzinski 30, 35 Vidosic 89, 92 McCormack 96) ADELAIDE UNITED 0

 

With Sydney FC players apparently pooing like ducks due to the Adelaide water there may have been some truth to the claim with the effort Adelaide United also put in for the final game of the round.

 

City were merciless against United smashing them 5-0. While United did have an early chance they wilted once the Polish star Marcin Budzinski scored with a deflected shot from way out. It was 2-0 and again it was Budzinski before half time finishing from close range after being set up by Dario Vidosic.

 

In the second half United did have a couple of chances but excellent keeping kept them at bay and the score at 2-0. With a few minutes left though the bottom fell out of the side and City scored at will and with some incredible skill. Vidosic’s goal was a volley worthy of any league in the world and from an acute angle, again a contender for goal of the season. Vidosic had a second in injury time when he cleaned up some poor passing by the United defenders before Mars Bars McCormack finished off the rout with a spectacular goal. The big Scot shot from at least 35 yards with the keeper having no chance to try and saved the savagely curling ball. The third contender for goal of the season in this round alone.

 

A wonderful win for City but the loss of young starlet Nathanial Atkinson to what looks like a broken leg put a dampener on probably their best win of the season. A rough day for United after drawing with Sydney FC the week before.

 

TABLE

 

Sydney FC                                                   +26       40 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +17      33 pts

Melbourne City                                          +9         29 pts

Melbourne Victory                                     +3           23 pts

Adelaide United                                          -3          22 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -10           19 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -6          16 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -8           16 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -13         16 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -9           14 pts

 

 

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND – Ross McCormack

 

When Ross first came to Melbourne City from Aston Villa it was met with derision. The 31 year old Scottish International was brought in to replace City’s star man Bruno Fornaroli and was seen as a rather chubby stop gap rather than one to take the team to the next level. Come two thirds of the way through the season and McCormack has been a massive addition to the side rivalling the impact of Fornaroli. There was still derision though with a lot of his goals coming from penalties or wonderful free kicks. Not to worry for Ross he is now scoring from open play and on Sunday it was some aplomb. 16 games and 14 goals so far this season for the big man.

 

CLOWN OF THE ROUND – Mark Milligan and his agent. 

 

The loss of Socceroos vice captain Mark Milligan will be a blow for Melbourne Victory and the league in general but did he want to come back in the first place? Milligan re-signed for the club after playing overseas for a season and all things pointed to the on-field general to finishing his career in Australia. Turns out he never wanted to come back and it was only because big money offers didn’t come in from bigger Asian clubs. Now an offer has come in he’s seemingly off. A blow for Victory but this will mean they can spend the spare change on someone that perhaps wants to play in the league and drive them up the table and in the Asian Champions League.

 

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 20 (Season Total 217. Av 2.58 goals per game)

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – The round kicks off on Thursday with a huge clash between third placed City and second placed Newcastle. Being Australia Day on Friday ‘The Big Blue’ will be on again between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. The game was shifted from the controversial date to alloy things like the Asian Cup etc but now it’s back and will hopefully stay a tradition in a league light on tradition. On the field it’s huge for Victory as they try (again) to get some consistency and Sydney FC try and get back to winning ways.

 

 

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

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