War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 11

It was Spanish round for Round 11 of the A-League. Perhaps with the current goings on at board level at the moment it should be more a Spanish Civil War themed round. Make your own mind up who Franco is.

SYDNEY FC 3 (Mierzejewski 44 Bobo 48 PEN Brosque 96) MELBOURNE CITY 1 (Brattan 36)

They Sydney FC juggernaut rolled on on Friday night eventually doing away with Melbourne City.

The visitors took a surprise lead to liven up a lackluster first half after 36 minutes with midfielder Luke Brattan lashing a shot home from just inside the penalty area. The goal had to be reviewed by VAR of course, the referee initially not calling it a goal.

City’s inability to not foul in dangerous areas would be their undoing though. Two needless fouls from the normally unflappable Dutch defender Bart Schenkeveld saw Sydney 2-1 up at half time. The first goal came from one of the free kicks through Adrian Mierzejewski. Then deep in to time added on the in first half Schenkeveld’s second tackle resulted in a penalty that was put away by Bobo.

With Ross McCormack off with a season ending knee injury City lacked potency against the stoic Sydney defence although a red card should have been issued to Bobo for a stamp on a City player. When VAR was supposed to be used to catch such incidents it was of course not used. A late Alex Brosque goal deep in to injury time in the second half sealed the win for Sydney, their fifth in a row, seventh in eight games and ninth out of the 11 games this season.

For City their season of two steps forward one step back continues with McCormack’s injury a huge blow considering Tim Cahill left the club because of being kept out of the side by the love handled Scottish International.

 

NEWCASTLE JETS 2 (Nabbout 55 Petratos 89 PEN) ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Blackwood 67)

The Newcastle Jets kept up the chase of Sydney FC with a controversial last gasp win at home to Adelaide United. The Jets were rocked by another injury to star striker Roy O’Donovan who is now out until February as both sides struggled in the heat.

A forgettable first half saw the game heading towards a 0-0 draw but just 10 minutes in to the second half Andrew Nabbout opened the scoring for the Jets. A smart finish from Blackwood had United back on level terms, Blackwood having his second goal in a row after wasting a heap of chances earlier in the season. With the heat still eminent even after the sun had gone down it seemed a 1-1 draw would be fitting but, of course, VAR would influence the result.

With minutes to go a United player was adjudged to have handballed in the area and a penalty was awarded to Newcastle by the ref. VAR was called and replays clearly showed the ball from different angles not hitting the hand yet it was judged to be too inconclusive to reverse the decision. A complete farce. The assistant coach at United thought so too and was sent to the stands. The penalty was converted by the Jets to take the win. Another match ruined by a flawed and ridiculous system.

 

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 (Santalab 28 Cejudo 59)

Wanderers finally had their first win under Josep Gombau upsetting the Mariners in Gosford with another game influenced by the VAR. The contest was physical with Brendan Santalab in a rare start putting in a not so rare boot on to an opposition players ankle that should have resulted in a red. It was Santalab who scored on 27 minutes shooting past a static and out of position Ben Kennedy. With the Mariners missing one of their key Dutch midfielders the Wanderers had control of the game in the middle and made it 2-0 on 50 minutes, a first goal in Wanderers colours for Spanish winger Alvaro Cejudo.

With the Mariners chasing a deficit frustration set in resulting a red card. Wout Brama was initially given a yellow for his harsh tackle on fellow Dutchman Roly Bonavoccia but VAR intervened and the card was changed to a red. Baffling and needless with even one of the Wanderers defenders protesting the card. Then towards full time another red was given in exactly the same circumstances, defender Jake McGing initially given a yellow before it was changed to a red. Paul Okon, the commentators and social media were apoplectic tarnishing the deserved win for Wanderers.

 

PERTH GLORY 1 (Castro 59) WELLINGTON PHOENIX 0

An injury hit Perth Glory squeezed out a win against the Wellington Phoenix on a largely uninspiring night in Perth.

The game was never really expected to hit any lofty heights with a first half being one of the most forgettable in recent times. With key player Dario Vidosic injured early Phoenix showed no real attacking intent and failed to have one of target. On the hour though the breakthrough came when a surprisingly hard working Mitch Nicholls broke down the right and put a lovely cross in for Diego Castro to control and finish. Castro one of the only real game changers in either line up.

A clean sheet and 3 points for the under pressure Kenny Lowe though and with some key players back on the training pitch they can hopefully turn it around. Phoenix are just a largely uninspiring team.

 

BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Maccarone 56) MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Williams 12 Barbarouses 19)

Victory’s stop start season took a step forward again in the final game of the round with a 2-1 win up at Lang Park.

Victory were the better team from the start with flowing attacking football. Former Glory and Boro defender Rhys Williams got his first game for the club heading in an early corner. 10 minutes later the Kiwi International Kosta Barbarouses made it 2-0 tapping on a cross from Leroy George who was again a stand out for Victory.

Victory had other chances denied by Jamie Young in the Brisbane goal with Victory having to endure some squeaky bum time conceding a goal to Massimo Maccarone and having to defend deeply for 35 minutes. Probably the best performance by Victory so far this season which isn’t saying much.

It won’t be easy looking for a second win in a row for the first time this season with the Melbourne Derby against City up next weekend for Muscat’s men.

 

 

TABLE

Sydney FC                                                   +14       28 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +12       23 pts

Melbourne City                                          +3        19 pts

Adelaide United                                         -1          14 pts

Melbourne Victory                                    -2         13 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -5         13 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -3          12 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -6           11 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -3           10 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -7            6 pts

 

 

 

 

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND-Both sets of players in the Newcastle v Adelaide game.

Horrible heat and a complete nonsense of a video review system meant it wasn’t a great night for the players who had to deal with many difficulties. At least the Jets could celebrate a win I guess.

 

ARSE CLOWN OF THE ROUND-VAR (again)

 

Have already gone on about the system once and again on the weekend it directly affected the results of two matches and could have done for a third. The only ones that don’t seem to realise it’s a farce is the FFA who are again completely removed from the reality of the issues the league has this season.

 

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND-13 (Season Total 142. Av 2.62 goals per game)

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK-The Melbourne derby will be worth a look with Victory looking to try and claw up the ladder while City adjust to a post Tim world. The Jets hosting Wanderers on the Friday night could also be worth the watch.

 

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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