HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE: ROUND 3 REVIEW

Newcastle have outperformed the expectations of many headed into the season

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Melbourne City 2-3 Perth Glory, AAMI Park, 21 October.

Melbourne City went into this game looking to capitalise on their huge derby win over the Victory the previous week. It was Perth that got the better start though, as they took a seventh minute lead. Nebojsa Marinkovic delivered a free kick from 40 yards to Chris Harold, who immediately cut back to Andy Keogh for a tap-in from 6 yards. City would manage to find themselves level on 44 minutes, when Dino Djulbic brought down Bruno Fornaroli in the penalty area. From the penalty, Liam Reddy dived early and Fornaroli had an easy task of placing it into the net. Perth were extremely unhappy with the penalty decision, as two of their players were booked in the aftermath. At half-time, Perth coach Kenny Lowe entered the field and confronted referee Alan Milliner; his actions resulted in him being sent from the technical area. It mattered little as on 49 minutes, Perth would retake the lead. Marinkovic delivered a corner from the right flank, which was headed around the penalty area before Keogh headed home from 4 yards through Dean Bouzanis’ gloves. Just before the hour mark, City levelled again. Fornaroli took possession off a turnover, before passing to Tim Cahill. Cahill lays the ball off to Fernando Brandan, who slots into the bottom corner from 12 yards. City nearly took the lead on 70 minutes, as Fornaroli’s shot from 6 yards deflected of Alex Grant and onto the post. Perth would make them pay on 85 minutes, as Josh Rose failed to deal with a ball, clearing to Keogh who managed to lob Bouzanis from 20 yards to give Perth the lead. Despite having 63% of possession, City struggled to make clear chances going forward – only 6 of their 17 shots were on target.

Central Coast Mariners 0-1 Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Stadium, 22 October.

It was a battle of two winless sides looking to bounce back from 4-0 defeats when the Mariners took on the Roar. The first clear chance came on 24 minutes, when Brett Holman played a ball across to Jamie Maclaren, but his shot from 6 yards is well blocked by Paul Izzo. The Roar would take the lead on 33 minutes, as Izzo failed to deal with a Tommy Oar chance. Izzo punched the ball into the path of Thomas Kristensen, who shot home from 18 yards through a sea of legs. The Roar nearly added a second on 91 minutes, as Paul Izzo’s clearance was charged down by Brandon Borrello, but his shot from 12 yards was off balance and went over the goal. Joey Katebian found himself in space on 92 minutes, but his shot from 6 yards was off target. In truth, it was a game of few chances. Brisbane Roar will travel home happy with a first win of the season.

Adelaide United 1-2 Melbourne Victory, Coopers Stadium, 22 October.

It was a matchup of two sides wanting to bounce back from poor results – Adelaide losing late on against Western Sydney and Victory losing to Melbourne City. Adelaide would have the first clear chance of this game on 11 minutes, as Ryan Kitto delivered a ball across the penalty area, which was met by Henrique but he saw his shot from 18 yards saved. It would be the Victory, however, that opened the scoring. Marco Rojas delivered a cross into Besart Berisha, who controlled and turned inside the area, before calmly shooting home from 15 yards. On 41 minutes, a defensive mishap placed the ball at Sergio Guardiola’s feet twelve yards out from goal, but his shot was saved by Lawrence Thomas. Three minutes later, Ryan Kitto struck a shot from exactly the same spot, but it was low and Thomas saved comfortably. Victory had a chance to go 2-0 up on 66 minutes, but Mitch Austin blasted his shot over the goal from 15 yards. Adelaide made them pay two minutes later, when Tarek Elrich turned inside the box and curled a shot across the goalkeeper and into the top corner of the goal from 15 yards. Berisha nearly added a second on 81 minutes, as he tried a cheeky shot from 6 yards that went just wide of the goal. Danny Choi would come on at 87 minutes, and in the 89thminute, struck a shot from outside the area that drilled out off the post. Thirty seconds later, Guardiola had an effort from twelve yards that also came back off the post. That counted for nothing as Adelaide again conceded a late goal. On 93 minutes, Sebastian Pasquali played the ball in to Rojas, who tapped in from 6 yards to give the Victory the win. Adelaide may have had twice as many shots in the game, but Victory came away with twice as many goals.

Wellington Phoenix 0-1 Sydney FC, Westpac Stadium, 23 October.

Last placed, and goalless, Wellington Phoenix took on first placed, 0 goals conceded Sydney FC. The Phoenix would find the back of the net on 14 minutes when Michael McGlinchey tapped in Kosta Barbarouses’ pass from close range, but the goal was ruled out for offside. Wellington went close again on 36 minutes, when Tom Doyle rifled a header at goal from 12 yards, before Danny Vukovic palmed the ball onto his post and out for a corner. On 42 minutes, Wellington Phoenix should have opened the scoring. A through-ball into the box was collected by Roy Krishna, before he played it into the back of the net. The referee incorrectly adjudicated that he was offside. On 60 minutes, Krishna’s looping header from 6 yards sailed narrowly over the goal. Sydney’s best chance of the game to this point came on the 77th minute, when David Carney turned inside the penalty area and drilled a shot from 12 yards out wide of the goal. Despite the dominance Wellington showed going forward, it was Sydney who scored a 92nd minute goal. Michael Zullo played a ball into the penalty area, which Matt Simon headed forward. Milos Ninkovic got on the end of it and tapped home from 6 yards. Wellington remain goalless, while Sydney FC maintained their perfect defensive record. Wellington will feel very disappointed not to have picked up a point in this one.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2-2 Newcastle Jets, Spotless Stadium, 23 October.

Western Sydney Wanderers had their first game at their new home, Spotless Stadium, taking on a resilient Newcastle side that have outperformed the expectations of many headed into the season. Wayne Brown nearly gave the Jets the perfect start on 5 minutes, but his shot from well outside the area narrowly went over the bar. Wanderers opened the scoring on 24 minutes however, as Aritz Borda headed home Dimas’ corner from 10 yards into the bottom corner. Wanderers would add a second in first half injury time, as Ben Kantarovski was adjudged to have handled the ball in the penalty area. Dimas would step up and take the penalty, sending it into the back of the goal to double the Wanderers advantage. Newcastle managed to pull a goal back on 81 minutes, as Nigel Boogaard headed home a deep Andrew Hoole free kick from 6 yards out. The Jets would end up equalising on 88 minutes. Morten Nordstrand was brought down by Andrew Redmayne outside the box for a free kick and yellow card. From the free kick, Andrew Hoole would deliver it low and at the corner of the goal, which Redmayne fumbled with as it tricked across the line.

A-League betting for Round 4.
A-League betting for Round 4.
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