Brisbane Roar v. Melbourne Victory – (3-3)
Both sides gave away leads in this exciting match as a last-minute equaliser was contoversially rewarded.
The Roar had gone up 2-0 before half-time with an own goal from Matthew Kemp when under pressure from Jean Carlos Solorzano and then the Costa Rican grabbed the second from a rebound moments later for his 7th goal in 6 games.
The Victory came back though with 3 goals in 14 second half minutes, only to be thwarted at the death due to a referee blunder.
Robbie Kruse got Melbourne’s first in the 63rd minute with a brilliant individual curling effort, while his strike partner Archie Thompson then grabbed the equaliser with a nice header after Petkovic had made a good save at the other end.
Kruse then got his second and what most thought the winner when he converted a rebound from a Hernandez free kick.
However, midfield enforcer Matt McKay spoiled the party in the third minute of injury time, finishing the rebound of his own shot which had been saved by Petkovic.
The goal was furiously contested by the Melbourne players though, as moments before Roar keeper Theoklitos clearly handled outside his area before clearing the ball for McKay to latch on to. Deadset he was about a metre outside his area, further highlighting just how poor the refereeing standards are in the A-League.
central coast v. Sydney FC – (4-0)
Sydney’s young prospect Dimitri Petratos as well as Terry Antonis made their starting debuts against the Mariners, yet they were given a tough time as the central coast went 2-0 up within 5 minutes.
Adam Kwasnik, making a return to the starting line-up after impressive appearances off the bench this season, grabbed the first. Matt Simon had played a ball into the box after Mustafa Amini had set him free down the right flank. He was given a role up front in only his 3rd start of the season as Daniel McBreen was suspended.
And the second came only minutes later, as Joshua Rose sent in an inviting cross, which was fumbled by Necevski and bundled home by Matt Simon.
Sydney tried to come back into the game, dominating a small 10 minute period and could even have had a goal back from a Bridge header which was kept out by Matt Ryan. It was clear they were desperately missing Alex Brosque though.
Kwasnik had another chance on 21 minutes with a first time volley after Zwaanswijk had picked him out with a long ball and he did well with his shot which went wide.
Soon after he had his second with Sydney guilty of another defensive lapse. Matt Simon delivered what looked to be a tame cross, however Hayden Foxe fluffed his clearance and Kwasnik was on hand to smack the ball in.
Musialik who is out of contract at the end of the season was withdrawn on 40 minutes for Hirofumi Moriyasu.
Kwasnik almost had his hattrick, when Bojic found a completely free man inside the box, yet his shot went wide of the goal.
If two mistakes were not enough, Sydney sealed their fate a minute into the second half when Sebastian Ryall steered the ball into his own net.
Almost a copy of Kwasnik’s second goal except this time when Simon crossed in a low ball, Ryall fluffed his clearance and saw it fly past a helpless Necevski.
Petratos tried an effort in the 54th minute from outside the area, yet his shot was wide as the youngster was starved for most of the game of service.
Patricio Perez made his return from injury by replacing Amini in the 63rd, the youngster having had the chance prove himself at this level due to the Argentinian’s unavailability.
Antonis had his own chance in the 66th but his shot was too weak and easily gathered by Ryan.
Petratos had two late opportunities, the first going just wide, while his second hit the underside of the crossbar in a tough full debut.
Despite Kwasnik’s superb performance my man of the match would have to go to his strike partner Matt Simon, who terrorised Sydney throughout the game on both flanks and his balls into the box were dangerous although sometime not wholly accurate. When they weren’t spot on though they caused havoc amongst the Sydney defenders and led to three of the coast’s four goals. Joshua Rose was also impressive, and has really been in good form during the past three or four weeks…
North Queensland Fury v. Newcastle Jets – (0-2)
An awful match really, but a brilliant win for the Jets with both goals well taken. North Queensland had the better chances of the two sides yet hit the woodwork early on while stand-in keeper Matthew Nash made a brilliant save from Dyron Daal.
The Jets had nothing going forward, though they improved slightly after the break, Jobe Wheelhouse going close with his head from a fantastic Abbas cross.
Five minutes later and the Jets found the opener, Topor-Stanley rising high to score his second goal in the A-League with a strong header.
As the Fury pushed they were left exposed at the back, and Haliti burst forward late in the game, the ball finding fellow substitute Sasho Petrovski who expertly finished for his second goal in as many A-League matches.
All in all it was a lucky win, with Jeffers completely out of the game and Milicevic looking very uncharacteristically ordinary which suggests he may have returned too early from an ankle injury. On the other hand Topor was solid and controlled the defence superbly, while his goal helped highlight his strong performance. Sasho also made claims for a starting berth but to be honest his old legs probably couldn’t last a whole game and he seems to be effective off the bench at the moment.
Kantarovski impressed when coming on as a substitute and hopefully he’ll be fit enough to play the Melbourne Heart game midweek.
So fortunate to say the least but we’ll take those any day as we are now 5 games unbeaten and on track to make the finals.
Wellington Phoenix v. Adelaide United – (2-1)
Wellington came back from a goal down to secure a home win against second place Adelaide, however the Reds will feel aggrieved after a dodgy red card to Captain Travis Dodd late in the game.
Sergio van Dijk had put the away side ahead in the 14th minute with a trademark, classy header, as an even first half saw the Reds go into the break with a one goal advantage.
The Phoenix were level within a minute of the second half though, Tim Brown getting on the end of Ben Sigmund’s cross after Nicky Ward had done well to find the overlapping central defender with a pinpoint through ball.
Young gun Marco Rojas came on soon after and pushed the Phoenix on with his positive running and attacking intent.
Ifill should have scored after Rojas had found him in the box, however the in-form striker somehow mis-hit his shot and the chance was gone.
10 minutes from time and controversy ensued, as Travis Dodd was given a straight red card for god knows what, the captain tripping over a player and accidently knocking him in head.
The Reds failed to hold on with 10 men, and Rojas delivered a prefect corner for Ben Sigmund to rise above and head home for the Phoenix to move them up to 5th place.
Gold Coast United v. Melbourne Heart – (3-0)
Van den Brink got the first goal for Gold Coast in the 41st minute from a Culina corner, after the Heart had had the better of possession in the first half.
Matt Thompson had hit the post earlier for the away side, while Sibon had brought a full stretched save from Glen Moss.
10 minutes into the second half and Gold Coast had doubled their lead, Beauchamp bringing down Djite in the box, and Culina easily converting the spot kick.
The Socceroo then grabbed his second and Gold Coast’s third in the 77th minute after Djite had squared the ball for him to tap home.
While Heart will feel hard done by, Gold Coast vanquished their recent two game losing streak to remain in third place.
The Melbourne Heart host the Newcastle Jets on Wednesday evening