To the A-League and it was an entertaining long weekend with lots of goals and three matches being decided by injury time winners. The highlight had to be the Central Coast v. North Queensland match, while the individual performance of Bruce Djite was also extremely impressive.
Friday night saw Gold Coast win their first home game of the season 3-1 against Wellington, with Djite scoring two beautiful goals while missing a sitter.
Djite scored his first as early as the 5th minute, with a powerful shot past Vukovic. Wellington thought they were level only a minute later only to have the goal ruled out for offside, however they evened the scores 3 minutes later after a stupid handball from Rees allowed Ifill to score from the resulting spot kick.
Djite should have scored an easy chance before half time, Thwaite putting Culina through with an amazing ball, the Socceroo crossing for Djite who somehow put the ball over the bar.
He made amends, however, in the 70th minute with a lovely backheel at the near post. It was brilliant stuff from the man expected to replace Shane Smeltz.
James Brown then added a third with a nice header late on in the game to seal Gold Coast’s first win at home.
Central Coast played out an entertaining game with North Queensland Fury, the game ending in a 3-2 win for the home side.
Simon Storey scored a long range effort via a deflection to put the Fury ahead before half time, however just after the break Central Coast equalised through Matt Simon.
A dodgy penalty decision in my eyes then saw Perez score from the spot to put the scum ahead. And then the Argentinian was denied a blatantly obvious penalty in the 73rd minute.
Not long after an own goal from McBreen meant the Central Coast would have been fuming at the penalty decision, however they managed an injury time winner from a solid Patrick Zwaanswijk header.
Brisbane traveled to Perth looking for their first away win of the season and came back with a 2-1 victory.
Brazilian Reinaldo produced a goal within the first minute after amazing work from German import Broich.
An equaliser for Perth closely followed in the 6th minute however, with Sterjovski getting on the end of a Robbie Fowler corner to head across goal, Scott Neville providing the finishing touch.
Michael Baird then had two golden opportunities for Perth, however Theoklitos saved his first effort and then he blazed wide with his second.
Brisbane had around 20 shots or so during the match, but had to rely on a 90th (+5) own goal from Todd Howarth to seal the win.
The loss spells trouble for Perth as it was their 4th loss on the trot.
The last game of the long weekend was played on Monday night, with Sydney losing out to Adelaide 1-2, meaning they are still searching for that elusive first win.
They dominated most of the proceedings and should have converted more of the chances that came their way.
Cazarine in particular missed an early chance in the 28th minute from 2 yards out.
What seemed like a blatant penalty for Sydney was denied by the referee later in the half, however they were awarded another for a shirt pull in the 40th minute. Brosque stepping up to put the Sky Blues ahead before half time.
An own goal from Shannon Cole made the tie level and then a number of brilliant saves from Eugene Galekovic kept Adelaide’s unbeaten record in tact.
Sydney’s hearts were broken in injury time, with former trainee Iain Ramsey scoring the winner for the Reds to keep them 6 points clear at the top of the table.
So with the Jets getting the bye and the Melbourne Derby postponed due to the replay of the AFL Grandfinal, that was all the action for Round 9.
Sydney are still rock bottom, while Perth must turn things around quickly after suffering their 4th straight loss. A couple of own goals, some 90th minute winners and 15 goals in 4 matches brought some entertaining football for the crowds and hopefully we see more of this in the next few weeks..