War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 13

 

 

MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Barbarouses 33 Berisha 53) NEWCASTLE JETS  1 (Hoffman 45)

 

Victory are slowly starting to get some decent consistency in to their season with a huge 2-1 win over the high flying Jets in Melbourne.

 

In a game that was a huge test to see if Victory were on the way back to be a possibly challenger to the robotic runaways Sydney FC the Victory had to fight for the three points. After 10 minutes Hoffman almost put the Jets ahead heading at the far post. Then on 33 minutes Victory had their lead when wonderful lead up work got the ball to Geria who squared it for Kosta Barbarouses to lash home. It should have been 2-0 minutes later when Leroy George’s shot from the left beat the keeper but deflected off the up right.

 

Right on the edge of half time the Jets got an equaliser in one of the better goals of this season. An end to end break with some wonderful passing let Hoffman in on goal and he managed to slide it past the keeper echoing his goal from the previous week.

 

Victory started to get on top of the injury hit Jets in the second half as Mark Milligan began to run the show in midfield. George was again a threat seeing his perfect cross not put in the back of the net by Berisha but then setting up the rather passionate striker from Albania minutes later after the Jets lost possession in the midfield. The finish from Berisha was exquisite as it was powerful. Mark Milligan managed to have a penalty saved for the first time in the league and Berisha had a goal ruled offside but it was still a decent win to the home side who now consolidate their ladder position finding some form.

 

ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Blackwood 69) BRISBANE ROAR 2 (Ben Khaffalah 32 Maccarone 45)

 

Adelaide United’s decent run of late was ended by a dogged Brisbane Roar. In front of a fairly healthy crowd at Hindmarsh United were the better team in the first 30 minutes but (like most of the season) couldn’t finish great work from their midfielders.

 

On 32 minutes a mistake at the back let former Victory star Ben Khaffalah to swoop in and round the stranded keeper to tap the ball in to an empty net to make it 1-0. Then right on half time his lovely pass to Massimo Maccarone was outdone by the delicate chip by the Italian over keeper Paul Izzo to double the lead and shock United.

 

The Reds did get a lifeline though when Roar captain Matt McKay was sent off for kicking out after a rather meaty tackle. With the superior numbers United tried to find a way passed a rarely organised for once Roar. Marrone made a jinky run and then saw his shot rocket off the crossbar but finally on 69 minutes the Reds had a goal thanks to a tap in from Blackwood but that would be it, a mighty win for Roar against the odds and after their pathetic showing against Glory in the previous round.

 

SYDNEY FC 6 (O’Neill 21 Mierzejewski 57 Brosque 59 Bobo 67, 90, 95) PERTH GLORY 0

 

Speaking of the words ‘Glory’ and ‘Pathetic’ the team from Perth were completely obliterated by a machine like Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium. Glory actually started off the better side managing to put a few dangerous balls in to the box but that’s where it ended.

 

On 21 minutes a poor ball giveaway by Glory was punished by Sydney on the counter with Ninkovic unselfishly giving the ball off to former Glory youth product Brandon O’Neill to score. Glory survived until half time 1-0 but then the floodgates did open. On 57 minutes the on fire Adrian Mierzejewski saw his shot deflect off Alex Grant and past Liam Reddy for 2-0, an excellent finish. Then Alex Brosque scored just minutes later with a wonderfully taken diving header, Mierzejewski the provider.

 

Then on 67 minutes the all at sea Jacob Posciliero dragged down the Brazilian Bobo and a penalty was given and then put away by the big #9. Bobo had a second near full time when Mierzejewski’s deft pass got to him and he scored from a tight angle. The final humiliation for Glory was complete when another penalty was given and put away by Bobo again for yet another hat-trick.

 

Merciless from this awe inspiring Sydney FC side that just wipe the floor with teams at will at the moment. Even if they were playing Sydney FC this was an unforgivable effort from Glory. Missing their best defender to yet another injury didn’t help but the loss heaps more pressure on Kenny Lowe, long suffering fans again critical of the constant two steps forward one step back nature of the club.

 

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 0

 

The Mariners’ traditional New Year’s Eve clash saw a healthy crowd in a jovial mood in front of the harbour that would see fireworks later that night. A shame they had to watch so a ridiculously awful game.

 

Wellington were probably the better side testing Ben Kennedy twice but there were few chances and even less highlights. Would have been nice to be on the Coast at this time of year I guess.

 

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 2 (Riera 30 Bridge 32) MELBOURNE CITY 1 (McCormack 25)

 

City’s winless run continued going down to Wanderers 2-1 at the very empty looking Olympic Stadium. Under the any more conservative and he’d be Margaret Thatcher English boss Warren Joyce City actually took the lead when the Plumpish Scotsman Ross McCormack managed to get in right place at the right time to clumsily tap home young starlet’s Atkinson’s low cross.

 

With Spanish star Alvaro Cejudo off injured early it was looking bleak for the struggling Wanderers but much like the Roar they rallied. Now ex Wanderers Jumpei could have scored on 26 minutes but had his shot rocket off the upright. It didn’t matter then just two minutes later Wanderers equalised thanks to Riera having all the time in the world to collect the ball turn and shoot. For a side so conservative and looking to always shut the other team’s attack down the City defending was abysmal.

 

Wanderers made it 2-1 to go in to the sheds with the lead when Riera’s very decent pass outwide to Mark Bridge was put away expertly by the much loved Wanderer. On 38 minutes a very soft penalty was awarded to City after someone breathed on Scott Jamieson but McCormack’s attempt was thankfully saved. In the second half the only real chances came from City thanks to creativity of Fitzgerald but McCormack had a shot blocked and Brattan’s free kick was stopped by the Wanderers keeper.

 

A pressure relieving win for the literally wandering Wanderers and the 11,000 or so fans that did actually rock up for this New Year’s Day clash.

 

 

TABLE

 

Sydney FC                                                   +23       34 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +15       26 pts

Melbourne City                                          +1         19 pts

Melbourne Victory                                      –          19 pts

Adelaide United                                          -1          17 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -10         16 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -9           14 pts

Brisbane Roar                                            -3           13 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -4          13 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -10            7 pts

 

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND – Bobo

 

13 goals in 13 matches including two hat-tricks so far this season. Fair to say the big Brazilian striker is enjoying the service provided to him in this Sydney side. His 8 goals in 5 games in the FFA Cup also shows how lucky we are to have such a prolific striker in our midst.

 

 

ARSECLOWN OF THE ROUND – The Transfer Period

 

One of the many gripes stakeholders have with the FFA at the moment is the fact that the same players seem to be recycled around the clubs. Dario Vidosic (mentioned last week) is now at City, his fifth club. Liam Reddy has also played at more A-League clubs than not. The lack of talent not being given the chance just to someone who knows the League well can have another chance is worrying. It also doesn’t bode well for the culture of ‘playing for the shirt’. It’s a flawed transfer system in a league currently run by very flawed suits in the boardroom.

 

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND – 15 (Season Total 171. Av 2.67 goals per game)

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK – It’s 1 v 2 with the Jets heading to Sydney to take on the champs Sydney FC. With so many injuries to the Jets it may take some miracle to get anything out of this game but all the Jets have done this year is prove 99% of the footballing crowd in this country wrong. Both Glory and United will also want to bounce back from their respective humiliations in Perth on Friday night.

 

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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