War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 12

Melbourne bragging rights handed over, Wanderers shirts handed over (and then handed back) in Newcastle and the annual ’12 Pubs of Lochhead’ pub crawl for the Phoenix fans. It’s Round 12 of the A-League.



BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Maccarone 38) PERTH GLORY 2 (Keogh 80 Castro 82)


Glory’s returning stars were the difference in a rare win in Brisbane over the Roar. The first half was a general painful experience to watch with both sides struggling to have any consistency in a hardly populated Lang Park. Roar had the returning Dane Thomas Kristensen back in the side with the hard running Dimi Petratos giving support. Glory again went with Nicholls and Knowles up front but there was no cohesion and the final ball for Glory was costing them opportunities.


On 38 minutes it was 1-0 when Massimo Maccarone controlled a long pass brilliantly before turning and sneaking the ball past some completely lost Glory defenders and Liam Reddy in goal. 1-0 with the Glory’s makeshift defence again ball watching. In the second half Andy Keogh was brought on after recovering from injury and made an instant impact, his hard running and acting as a focal point up front making the Glory look way sharper.


Liam Reddy made two very important saves to deny Roar as the half went on, the game now a lot more entertaining and end to end. Reddy then had to be subbed when he copped a knee to the face dazing the veteran, his replacement being Nick Feely who had played all of two games in two years.


With 10 minutes to go it was 1-1 and it was that man Keogh. The Glory skipper just had to tap the ball in after a long ball from the back was controlled brilliant by Castro who squared the ball. A deserved equaliser. Then just two minutes later Glory had the lead. The left Joey Mills made a dashing run at the tiring Roar defence and sent a lovely ball over to Keogh who managed to clumsily backpass the ball past the onrushing keeper to Castro who tapped the ball in to the empty net.


Despite amateur foul throws by Glory and a heap of added injury time due to Liam Reddy almost having his face split in half Glory held out. A priceless win for Glory with returning stars and Castro now hitting that form which makes him one of if not the best player in the league. Roar fans got in to a spat with assistant coach Ross Aloisi, the firebrand older brother of senior coach John gesturing the crowd and having to be pulled away. Scenes!


NEWCASTLE JETS 4 (Koutroumbis 11 Hoffman 60 Kantarovski 69 Ugarkovic 84) WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0


The Jets continued their sublime form with a comfortable 4-0 against crisis club Western Sydney Wanderers. It only took the Jets 11 minutes to hit the lead with lovely build up work getting the ball to 19 year old Johnny Koutroumbis who lashed the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. The Jets looked for a second goal as the Wanderers barely held on and had to wait until the second half to make it 2-0.

On 60 minutes more short sharp passing let Hoffman steam in to finish powerfully past the Wanderers keeper Janjetovic. The former Sydney FC keeper then made a double save to try and stop the rot but the Jets would not be denied a big win. On 69 minutes Kantarovski had it 3-0 heading in to an empty net, Janjetovic coming off his line. In the final 5 minutes Ugarkovic wandered in to the penalty area unopposed after the Jets broke from the other side of the ground and made it 4-0 to finish the rout. Such a tremendous team to watch and a credit to the league. You also remember their star midfielder and striker are out injury along with the experience of Georgievski still out too.


For Wanderers they are now in full crisis. It seems the players have not taken to Josep Gombau’s way of doing things and the interim coach before Josep arrived, Haydyn Foxe, quitting the club as an assistant immediately after the game. Then there was the rumous of Josh Risdon looking for a move back to Perth Glory after a spat with the coach and the players shirts being thrown back at them by fans after the players had attempted to give them away as a peace offering at full time.


WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Kaluderovic 44) SYDNEY FC 4 (Bobo 17, 58, 86 Mierzejewski 25) 


Sydney FC continued their domination of all and sundry with a 4-1 win in Wellington. The game was over as a contest early with the champions scoring twice in the first 25 minutes. Bobo had the first goal thanks to a lovely Michael Zullo cross and then set up Adrian Mierzejewski for the second. Just the before the break there was hope for the Phoenix (and the league in general) with Andrija Kaluderovic scoring to have it 2-1 at half time.


The Phoenix (backed by a small but fiercely devoted crowd) pushed Sydney and had a chance hit the woodwork but on the hour their race was run with Bobo turned home his second to have it 3-1. Late in the game Bobo had his perfect hattrick heading home to complement the left foot and right foot finishes for his other goals.


An easy result for Sydney FC and winners all over the pitch including the midfielder Brandon O’Neill and of course, the hattrick scoring big Brazilian with a name that should be given to a cat or small dog.




Victory have the bragging rights in Melbourne again after late drama saw them snatch a late 1-0 win in a pulsating derby.


Leroy George was again dangerous for Victory and had the biggest chance of the match as City decided to try and park the bus at home against their arch rivals, disappointing to say the least. Troisi was also lively for Victory testing Bouzanis in the city goal Geria also proving to be a handful.


Warren Joyce was able to sub on the somehow fit again large Scot Ross McCormack who was supposed to miss the rest of the season as both sides had shots blocked or sail over the crossbar. With the game seemingly heading for the first 0-0 draw in quite some years in these fixtures Bouzanis had a brain snap and bundled in to the back of Victory captain and Socceroos vice captain Mark Milligan.


Milligan didn’t miss from the spot to win it for Victory who are slowly getting their season back on track. For City they attempted to sneak away with a point by putting 10 men behind the ball even with the array of talent they have so there were no tears for their late loss.




United got the chocolates in a tense 1-0 win on boxing day against the Mariners. The goal came in the 14 minutes and was created and finished by three young South Aussies. Ryan Strain and Nikola Mileusnic took the ball up the right wing with a set of lovely little one-twos. The final cross from Strain was just in the right spot for Kitto to slip in front of the Mariners defenders to finish off.


While United struggle to score at times their defence is much better and kept the Mariners out. Paul Izzo, a former Mariner, made two excellent saves to deny the visitors while at the other end United had a bullet header somehow cleared off the line by a Mariners player’s rather large head getting in the way.


Another win for United as they consolidate and move on under the tutelage of Marco Kurz.




Sydney FC                                                   +17       31 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +16       26 pts

Melbourne City                                          +2        19 pts

Adelaide United                                          –          17 pts

Melbourne Victory                                    -1         16 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -4         16 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -4          12 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -10           11 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -4           10 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -10            6 pts




SACRED COW OF THE ROUND – The Yellow Fever and Dario Vidosic.


The Phoenix have had flashes of happiness in the A-League but it’s mainly been a struggle. That doesn’t seem to stop their group of supporters ‘The Yellow Fever’ from always having a sunny spin on things. Their Christmas pub crawl ‘The 12 pubs of Lochhead’ is a great chance for them to, well, have a Christmas drink but also raise money for Fever Dreams, the charity arm of the supporters group raising money for Ronald McDonald House.


Adding to the mix this year was Dario Vidosic (seen above third from the right standing). The former Adelaide United and Wanderers star left the club along with his father Rado in controversial circumstances in the previous week. Despite all that he decided to come along for the first three pubs and to drink with supporters as a thank you for their support.


It things like this that make you never want to see the Phoenix be removed from the league despite their struggles and geographical location. You can donate online to Fever Dreams at www.givealittle.co.nz


ARSECLOWN OF THE ROUND – Western Sydney Wanderers


The team that the Jets spanked 4-0 up in the Hunter on Friday night have a lot of issues. Gombau has seemingly put the squad offside with his ways after taking over. One win and a host of questionable performances has seen calls for his head already with Popovic now no longer coaching in Turkey. The embarrassing shirt throwback was one thing but the distinct lack of effort must be alarming for their many fans. The transfer window is just around the corner so Gombau may be able to cut away the rotten fruit that isn’t seeing it his way but this season has been a disaster for the FFA’s poster boys so far.


TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 14 (Season Total 156. Av 2.64 goals per game)


WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – Victory are trying to claw back some consistency after last weeks big win over City and will host a red hot Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Friday night to open Round 13. A massive clash and test for the Jets with Merrick up against the man who captain his two Victory title wins. If you love watching teams get humiliated then Sydney FC v Perth Glory may well be the one to watch for that on Saturday.





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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