It has been a record-breaking week in the Hyundai A-League as Adelaide United kept up their good form and Wellington Phoenix continued to make Westpac Stadium a fortress.
Friday’s match saw Perth Glory’s new manager Ian Ferguson taking on his former club North Queensland Fury. Perth’s slide continued as they failed to get that change on manager bounce as they lost 2-1, to a North Queensland side with its manager serving a suspension. Chris Payne scored a superb goal to put the Fury in front on the 16th minute but Michael Baird struck back for Glory on the 22nd minute. Perth made plenty of chances but were punished for not putting any more away on the 72nd minute as David Williams won the match for North Queensland, pushing them above the Jets.
Next it was a rematch of last season’s Grand Final as the hopeless, winless Sydney FC headed to Melbourne to take on a Melbourne Victory side determined to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week in the Melbourne derby.
It was an impressive turn-around from Melbourne Victory, who put Sydney to the sword, winning 3-0, in a match thy dominated and could have won by much more. Carlos Hernandez set up Roddy Vargas for the first goal in the 20th minute with a wonderful free-kick. It was then Hernandez who turned into a scorer, taking a great cross from Tom Pondeljak, in the 48th minute before Robbie Kruse wrapped up the match in stoppage time.
Sydney FC are in deep trouble, only 4 draws, still winless, and certainly the worst title defense in Australian History, Sydney are only 8 winless games away from being the most winless side in A-League history.
Brisbane continued their undefeated streak, against a very lucky Newcastle Jets with a 1-1 draw. It was a complete domination from the Roar, who continued to be unable to score, except in their own net as Michael Smith, scored an own goal. It was Reinaldo who saved Brisbane’s blushes, scoring with a header 78 minutes from time, Brisbane will certainly feel like they lost two points in this match following their complete domination of the match.
The A-League went back to Wellington as the club sought to set an Australian record of 24 games undefeated at home as they took on the resurgent Melbourne Heart. Chris Greenacre put the hosts in front on the sixth minute, only for the defense to allow John Aloisi to score from the spot just seven minutes later. Matt Thompson put Melbourne Heart in front just before half time with a wonderful goal, with the record threatening to be lost, Wellington’s famous wind helped the hosts, as Leo Bertos’ shot curled wickedly to score the equalizer on the 60th minute.
Finally it was to the leaders to try to equal the undefeated record, which they achieved but missed the chance to extend their lead as they were held to a 0-0 draw in the Gold Coast. With Sergio Van Djik suspected to handle the ball late in the match, Adelaide may have been lucky to keep their run intact.
It was over to Adelaide’s nearest rivals on Wednesday as Brisbane Roar hosted the Central Coast Mariners and it was the hosts running out 2-0 winners. The Mariners, who have just had 18 days off, looked out of form, however were perhaps a little unlucky. The Mariners had a chance in the 20th minute as Matthew Rose sent the ball over the bar, before Brisbane took the lead in the 21st minute, with Thomas Broich sending in a ball from the left that fooled Matthew Ryan and went in the back of the net. Brisbane doubled their lead on the 58th minute, as the Mariners only half cleared corner, to Ivan Franjic who sent a great strike through a crowded penalty area to double the lead.
There are two burning questions facing the A-League, can anyone stop Adelaide and when will Sydney win a game?