A-LEAGUE: REVIEW OF ROUND TWO

Adelaide will need more work if they’re able to retain their A-League title

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Explore Football, Hyundai A-League

Adelaide United 1-2 Western Sydney Wanderers, Coopers Stadium, 14 October.

It was a first home fixture for Adelaide United since they won the Grand Final last season, as they took on their Grand Final opponents at Coopers Stadium. Neither side got the result they were looking for in the opening round, with Adelaide drawing away to Newcastle and Western Sydney losing the derby to Sydney FC. It proved to be a very fiery start to the game, as Jack Clisby was booked inside the first minute for a challenge on Sergio Cirio. The Wanderers would have the first chance of the game on 22 minutes, when Jumpei Kusukami turned inside of his man on the outside of the area, but his resulting shot was over the goal. Adelaide would end up taking the lead on 43 minutes though, as Ryan Kitto cut back to Henrique, who turned and slotted home from 10 yards. It took until the 67th minute for the Wanderers to equalise, when Mitch Nichols laid the ball off to Brendon Santalab, who slotted home from close range. On 91 minutes, it would be those two players again who linked up to give the Wanderers a late winner. Nichols would deliver a low cross across the six yard box, which Santalab duly hit into the corner of the goal. The Wanderers will come away from this pleased at having bounced back from their derby loss; while Adelaide will need more work if they’re able to retain their A-League title.

Sydney FC 4-0 Central Coast Mariners, Allianz Stadium, 15 October.

It was two positive performances for these two sides in round one, as Sydney won the derby against Western Sydney, while the Mariners came from 3-0 down to get a point away to Perth. Sydney FC would take the lead on 18 minutes in this game though. Milos Ninkovic delivered a long ball from halfway into Filip Holosko, who deftly put the ball over the oncoming Ivan Necevski and into the net from 18 yards. After a series of half-chances, Sydney would double their advantage on 38 minutes. Ninkovic intercepted the ball and delivered a through ball to Bobo. Jacob Poscoliero lobbed the ball over his own keeper Necevski, before Bobo tapped in from 2 yards. The Mariners nearly pulled a goal back on 59 minutes when Trent Buhagiar’s cutback to Roy O’Donovan resulted in a shot from 15 yards, but Danny Vukovic got down well to save. On 64 minutes, Jake McGing conceded a penalty for contact on Bobo, which was calmly slotted home by Holosko. Alex Brosque would put the game beyond doubt on 70 minutes, when poor control from a throw-in by Necevski played in Brosque, who tapped home from the edge of the area.

Melbourne Victory 1-4 Melbourne City, Etihad Stadium, 15 October.

After the Sydney Derby last weekend, it was Melbourne’s turn this weekend as 43,188 people turned out to watch Melbourne Victory take on Melbourne City. Bruce Kamau created a chance on 5 minutes when he turned around the defender and crossed in, with Alan Baro deflecting the cross straight at Lawrence Thomas. On 27 minutes, Tim Cahill showed why he is Australia’s most reputable footballer, as he delivered a sublime strike from 40 yards into the top corner of the goal. Three minutes later and it was 2-0, as Nicolas Colazo delivered a cross to Bruno Fornaroli, who headed home from six yards out. 51 minutes in and Bruce Kamau made an excellent run down the left flank, turning around the defender and cutting the ball back to Luke Brattan, who struck the ball into the bottom corner from 12 yards out. Marco Rojas gave the Victory hope on 61 minutes, when he showed excellent technical ability to dribble past two City defenders and slot the ball home from 12 yards. Barely a minute later, though, Fernando Brandan shrugged off the challenge of Jason Geria and ran in on goal, slotting into the bottom corner from 12 yards out. City would go on to run out 4-1 winners, as Tim Cahill got to introduce himself to the Melbourne footballing community in the best way possible.

Newcastle Jets 4-0 Brisbane Roar, McDonald Jones Stadium, 16 October.

Both of these sides drew their opening games of the round, with Newcastle splitting the points with Adelaide and the Roar drawing at home to the Victory. Newcastle would take the lead on 8 minutes in this game though. Andrew Nabbout delivered a good run down the right flank, before his low cross into the box was turned into his own net by Jack Hingert. The Roar went close to equalising on 24 minutes, as Tommy Oar saw his 25 yard strike cannon off the crossbar following Jack Duncan’s save. Newcastle would double their lead on 62 minutes, as Nigel Boogaard headed home Ben Kantarovski’s deep cross from 6 yards into the back of the net. Newcastle added a third on 71 minutes, as the Roar failed to clear the ball effectively, making it only as far as Steven Ugarkovic on the edge of the area. He stepped up and delivered a low driving shot into the bottom corner of the goal. Things only got worse for the Roar as their former player, Devante Clut, added the fourth for the Jets on 86 minutes. Nabbout got onto the end of a through ball, before selflessly playing in Clut. Clut was able to tap in from 6 yards against an empty net to complete the rout.

Perth Glory 2-0 Wellington Phoenix, NIB Stadium, 16 October.

It was the “Distance Derby” to close out round 2, with these two sides being separated by 5,255km of distance.  Perth Glory come into this game after a 3-3 draw at home to the Central Coast Mariners, while the Wellington Phoenix suffered a 1-0 home loss to Melbourne City last time out. It took until the 46th minute for this game to really kick into action. After making a good run to keep the ball in play, Diego Castro delivered a cross to Chris Harold, but Harold’s shot from 6 yards ended wide of the goal. Just after the restart, Andy Keogh delivered a cross into the penalty area, where Chris Harold was fouled by Adam Parkhouse for a penalty. Diego Castro stepped up and slotted home the penalty to give Perth the lead. Perth would receive another penalty on 59 minutes, when Glen Moss brought down Andy Keogh inside the box. Keogh would take the penalty, but it was massively underhit and sent straight at Moss for the save. On 66 minutes, Josh Risdon made a run down the right flank, before cutting back to Nebojsa Marinkovic. Marinkovic blasted his shot from the edge of the area and into the goal, to double Perth’s lead. On 75 minutes, Wellington had a chance to draw one back, but Roy Krishna’s header from 6 yards was saved by Liam Reddy for a corner. From the corner, Marco Rossi had an attempt on goal from 12 yards out but it was sent wide. Perth picked up their first win of the season, while Wellington have nothing to show for their efforts over the last fortnight.

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