Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brisbane Roar to win over Phoenix

Brisbane Roar moved from bottom place to seventh on the A-League ladder with a 4-1 win over sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane this evening.

The result dropped Newcastle Jets a place to eighth after they had temporarily moved from last place to seventh earlier this afternoon after beating Sydney FC 3-1.

Adelaide United are now in last place.

Reinaldo put Brisbane ahead in the 17th minute. Charlie Miller released Tommy Oar down the left and, when Wellington keeper Reece Crowther could only parry Sergio Van Dijk’s header from the cross, the ball fell to Reinaldo, who headed home from close range.

Chris Greenacre equalised in the 26th minute, heading home Leo Bertos’s right-wing cross.

Reinaldo restored Brisbane’s lead in the 56th minute, running on to Charlie Miller’s pass and shooting home.

A minute later, Wellington went down to ten men when Manny Muscat was sent off for violent conduct.

In the 79th minute, Brisbane won a free-kick just outside the box when Miller was fouled and Van Dijk scored direct from the set-piece to make it 3-1 for the home side.

A minute into stoppage time, substitute David Dodd added the fourth from Mitch Nichols’s pass, his shot going through Crowther's legs.

The attendance was 6,307.

Newcastle win for the first time in Sydney and move off foot of ladder

Newcastle Jets moved off the foot of the A-League ladder and into seventh place this afternoon after beating Sydney FC 3-1 away at Sydney Football Stadium before a crowd of 10,114..

Sydney remain second.

It was the first time Newcastle have beaten Sydney at their home ground since the inception of the A-League.

The Jets took the lead in the 24th minute through a penalty, awarded for Ryan Grant’s foul on Song. Michael Bridges converted the spot-kick against his former club.

Sean Rooney almost added a second in the 34th minute from the edge of the box, but his attempted chip hit the advancing goalkeeper Clint Bolton in the head and looped over the bar for a corner.

Bridges made it 2-0 in the 50th minute. Matt Thompson won the ball in midfield and put Bridges through with a precise pass and the striker slotted the ball low past Bolton and just inside the net from the left of the box.

Thompson added the third in the 58th minute.

Sydney survived a scare in the 70th minute when some brilliant goalkeeping by Bolton and desperate defending prevented Newcastle from adding a fourth.

Sydney applied tremendous pressure on the visitors in the closing stages and, although Alex Brosque pulled a goal back in the 75th minute from John Aloisi’s sharp cut-back from the left, they were unable to make up the leeway.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fury crowd cry Fowler as captain inspires them to second home win

North Queensland Fury moved off the foot of the A-League ladder and into seventh place after beating eighth-ranked Adelaide United 2-1 at home at Dairy Farmer Stadium in Townsville before 5,356 fans tonight.

The Fury took the lead in the 38th minute when Robbie Fowler crossed from the right and Daniel McBreen controlled the ball expertly and turned to beat Robbie Cornthwaite and score from the edge of the box.

Fowler made it 2-0 in the 67th minute when his shot took a slight deflection off Cornthwaite and rocketed into the net at keeper Eugene Galekovic’s near post.

Adelaide pressed strongly in the closing stages and had several chances to score.

They were rewarded two minutes into stoppage time when substitute Cristiano netted with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

It was interesting that referee Peter Green allowed Fury goalkeeper Mark Pasfield to wear a purple top with black shoulders and black shorts.

Adelaide were wearing their away strip of red shirts with black shoulders and black shorts and it was quite confusing at times when the ball was in the Fury penalty area.

Melbourne Victory go 5 points clear at top of A-League

Melbourne Victory moved 5 points clear at the top of the A-League ladder with a convincing 4-0 win over fourth-placed Gold Coast United at Etihad Stadium this evening.

The atmosphere was terrific and the chanting crowd of 20,537 sounded more like three times that number.

Melbourne is definitely the heart and soul of the A-League at present.

The only dampener to Melbourne’s win was a serious injury to Grant Brebner, who may have broken his ankle.

Nicky Ward was the man-of-the-match and he was a central figure in most of the Victory’s attacking moves.

Ward scored a superb goal and made another for Archie Thompson.

Gold Coast might have taken the lead in the 9th minute when Jason Culina jinked and feinted on the right before beating his man and crossing to the far post, but Shane Smeltz headed wide from close range.

In the 12th minute, Carlos Hernandez went close for Melbourne when he fired just wide.

Hernandez had two other good chances in the match but was always just off target.

Thompson also had an eventful game, scoring twice and going close on two other occasions.

In the 26th minute, Ward fed Thompson on the right, but the striker’s shot flew wide of the far post.

Two minutes later, Robbie Kruse put Victory ahead with an excellent right-foot drive from 30 metres after a clinical build-up through the middle by the home side.

In the 33rd minute, Ward forced an outstanding save from Gold Coast keeper Scott Higgins.

A minute later, Thompson fired straight at Higgins when he might have scored, while in the 39th minute, Thompson again placed an effort wide of the target.

A minute into stoppage time, Ward capped off an accomplished first-half performance with an excellent goal, his shot from 28 metres flying in off the base of the left-hand post to send Victory in to the break leading 2-0.

Nine minutes after the resumption, Ward played Thompson through down the left of the box with a perceptive pass that cut our five defenders and the striker slipped the ball under the advancing Higgins to make it 3-0.

The cream of the crop in terms of goals came in the 68th minute when Kruse played a one-two with Rodrigo Vargas and then passed to Thompson on the left and he scored with a curling shot inside the far post to make it 4-0.

In the 73rd minute, Gold Coast had a rare chance when James Brown forced keeper Mitchell Langerak, who played against Tasmania’s under-21’s last year, to turn his shot over the bar for a fruitless corner.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mariners draw yet again and fail to score

Central Coast Mariners moved up a place to third on the A-League ladder despite being held to a goalless draw at home at Blue Tongue Stadium in Gosford tonight by fifth-ranked Perth Glory.

There have been five scoreless draws in the A-League this season and the Mariners have been involved in four of these.

Perth had slightly the better of possession, but it was a dull, uninspiring match before a crowd of 7,857.

The visitors also had the better of the chances, but both sides were guilty of poor passing in the final third.

Viktor Sikora missed a great chance for Perth in the 19th minute when he volleyed Mile Sterjovski’s right-wing cross over the bar from 12 metres.

Adam Kwasnik had the ball in the net for the Mariners after a free-kick in the 25th minute, but the effort was disallowed because of off-side.

With four minutes of the first half remaining, Sterjovski cracked a superb right-foot curling shot against Danny Vukovic’s right-hand post, but the ball came back into play and was cleared by the Mariners defence.

Three minutes after the break, Nik Mrdja squandered an excellent opening from a pass by Kwasnik.

In the 51st minute, Sterjovski’s left-wing cross found Adriano Pellegrino at the far post, but his tame header was smothered by Vukovic.

Perth continued to go for the win and, in the 67th minute, a Branko Jelic pass put Sikora clear on the right, but Vukovic just got a foot to the shot and deflected the ball wide of the far post for a corner.

The Mariners’ best chance came five minutes from the end when substitute Nicky Travis crossed towards the far post from the left, but Matt Simon headed an easy chance wide from close range.

The game ended with Sikora shooting wide for Perth and Ahmad Elrich driving just over the bar for the Mariners.

Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson was playing his 100th game for the club.

“We had the better of the first half-hour and we retained possession, but we didn’t create too many chances,” Wilkinson said.

“The last sort of bit of the first half we lost it and let Glory back into the game.

“In the second half, we sort of huffed and puffed but didn’t create too much, although we could have stolen it there at the end.

“A bit disappointed overall.

“Their centre-backs are both very experienced players but, on the other hand, we didn’t keep the ball well enough up front.

“When you can’t keep the ball, you’re not going to create chances and that’s probably what happened tonight.”

Perth’s Mile Sterjovski, who received a yellow card in the match, said: “We knew it was going to be a difficult game and that they’ve got the best defence in the league.

“We knew it was going to be hard to crack them, but I thought we put in a good effort and came away with a good point.

“I think we’re growing in confidence when we come away and, you know, we’re getting points.

“We’re looking forward to going on a bit of a run and I’m confident the boys can finish strongly at the end of the season.”