MidWeek Games – Week 19

Central Coast v. North Queensland(1-0)

The Central Coast saw off the Queensland Fury at home on Wednesday night, with Adam Kwasnik once again grabbing the winning goal to send the Mariners into 3rd spot.
While Chris Payne had returned for the Fury to combine up front with David Williams, the lack of penetration meant it was a fairly easy win for the Mariners.
The Fury enjoyed a superior amount of possession, especially in the first half, but despite their fluid passing they all too often broke down in the final third of the pitch.
The opener came after some nice build-up play from the Mariners, who too often played long-ball football in this match.
McGlinchey fed Matt Simon on the right hand side, and the forward crossed to the far post for his strike partner Kwasnik to head home under pressure from Matthew Storey. While it was a good goal the defence from the Fury was hopeless, with little pressure placed on Simon and three players in the box watching as Kwasnik rose to head the ball in.
The Fury had two decent chances before half-time, with Payne shooting straight at Ryan on 34 minutes, while Edds also saw his shot from a tight angle blocked by the young Mariner’s keeper.
Williams led the attack in the second half and despite some promising signs the Fury fizzled out as the game drew to a close. Far too often the midfield gave the ball away cheaply and they really didn’t provide the Mariners with enough problems.
The only sign of a goal was when Panagiotis Nikas danced through the Central Coast defence only to see substitute Dyron Daal fall asleep and let his perfect cross into the box go unrewarded.
Meanwhile the introduction of Amini for Perez seemed to spark a bit of life into the game, the youngster once again impressing, with a brilliant chipped through ball for Simon in the 70th minute an example of the kid’s class.
The game finished with the Fury unable to string more than three passes together and it was a comfortable win for the Mariners.

Perth Glory v. Adelaide United (4-2)

Great game, some great goals and a good, timely win for Perth Glory.
Perth opened the scoring very early on through a Jamie Coyne header, but I missed the goal so I don’t know a thing about it.
Perth looked good from there on, threatening more so than Adelaide, however the Reds found an equaliser after substitute Joseph Keenan found the net in the 22nd minute.
It came as a result of poor defending from the Glory, as Velaphi and Mitchell challenged together to clear a corner, the ball falling to the former Chelsea youth player, who easily finished.
After that it was all Adelaide, with Iain Ramsay making headways down the left hand side and Perth struggling to get a hold onto the game after dominating the first 20 minutes.
However some poor goalkeeping from Eugene Galekovic allowed Perth to regain the lead, Sterjovski latching onto a long, hopeful ball forward by Harnwell, rounding the keeper and calmly finishing into an empty net.
It was just reward for the former Socceroo after he had terrorised the Reds defence down the left side of a number of occasions.
S the Glory went into half-time ahead, however they once again spurned their lead when Sergio van Dijk continued his great goalscoring form with a well taken half-volley in the 50th minute after a poor clearance from the Perth defence. It was the Dutchman’s 10th goal of the season.
Perth had to call upon the services of Marquee man Robbie Fowler in order to record a deserved victory after that setback.
On 67 minutes Adrian Pellegrino put through a perfect, quite astonishing first time through ball for Fowler, and the former England International finished with a strike that can only be hailed as absolute class. It was a tight angle but Robbie calmly slotted the ball home and nestled his shot into the far corner.
Iain Ramsay then had his own opportunity to rival Sterjovski’s effort, but this time when the youngster rounded the keeper he put his shot high and wide, perhaps highlighting his tender years.
The miss was made to pay when Robbie Cornthwaite was adjudged to have bundled over Sterjovski in the box and the defender was sent off as he was the last man.
When I first saw the foul I immediately agreed with the decision but on second viewings I think it was pretty damn soft, no way should a big man like Mile go down like that so easily.
Ah well, Robbie Fowler stepped up and put the spot kick past Galekovic with an effort that could be easily described as perfect and confident. Brilliant.
I missed the last ten minutes due to work commitments, but on this showing I feel Perth could make a late push for a finals spot. They definitely have the quality and hopefully this win will spark a bit of a run for them…as long as it doesn’t affect the Jets getting a finals spot.
Still question marks over their discipline however, with Naum Sekulovksi picking up his 8th yellow of the season, while Mile Sterjovksi was lucky to escape with only a yellow after kicking out at Iain Fyfe.
Their defence also looked fairly dodgy, with both goals conceded being avoidable.
Meanwhile the Reds have their own suspension worries and will be stretched at the back for their trip to the Central Coast on Boxing Day.
Both Fyfe (5th yellow) and Cornthwaite (red) will receive suspensions and with Daniel Mullen out for the season that leaves Cassio as the only fully fit defender, with Boogard making his return off the bench in this match.
update: The FFA have clarified that Fyfe’s yellow card was in actual fact only his 4th of the season, which is a timely boost for the Reds..

Have a great Chrissie, and enjoy the Boxing Day Test/A-League matches!!!

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World’s next Ronaldo?

Eden Hazard. Star. All his youtube videos are accompanied by techno bangers as well. Brilliant. Google him braaaaaaaaaaaa

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A-League Week 19

Maaan, bad week. I watched zero games except for the Jets game (gay) and the second half of the Adelaide v. Melbourne Heart match.
So here are the scores of the weekend games..

Melbourne Victory v. Perth Glory (2-0)

Haven’t seen highlights. Will not watch highlights. The Victory continue their rise up the table. Pricks.

North Queensland v. Brisbane Roar(0-2)

Ahhh the Roar’s march towards the Championship continues but I really want the Fury to be around next season..daaaaamn

Gold Coast United v. Central Coast(P-P)

Postponed after 20 minutes because of adverse weather conditions, despite almost 11,000 fans turning up to the match. Really devastating for the Gold Coast after Clive Palmer had given tickets away for free and over 20,000 were snapped up…Hopefully we see another free fixture for this struggling side who also MUST stay in the A-League.

So onto the games I watched/briefly watched..

Adelaide United v. Melbourne Heart(1-2)

I saw the second half of this match and to be honest it was all Heart. Adelaide looked like scoring a second on the break and definitely had the better chances after the first half ended 1-0 to the home side.
However Heart pressed and their perseverance was rewarded on the 89th minute when Colosimo jumped highest to head home a corner. It was poor defence from the Reds, who had scored late in the first half through a skilful header from Sergio van Dijk.
The Heart pushed on after their equaliser and Aloisi became the hero of the match, sending in a shot off the outside of the boot into the net. He was teed up by the blundering Jason Hoffman (I reckon his touch was a fluff) and I believe the former Socceroos’ shot was heading wide before taking a deflection off Adam Hughes and settling into the net past Galekovic.
A great win for the Heart and it stopped a seven game losing streak. Yewwwww!!

Wellington Phoenix v. Newcastle Jets(4-0)

Now. Before I head into this report I would like to say that the performance from the Newcastle Jets was absolutely abysmal, however two of the goals for the Phoenix should not have been awarded and we did have a lot of players out through injury and suspension. Regardless though, this was a poor showing from a side which had gone seven games unbeaten.
We were missing Milicevic (and his replacement Regan was having back troubles as it was), player of the year Wehrman, as well as Zadkovich, not to mention Wheelhouse, Kantarovski and Bridges.
The team was obviously affected, most clearly by the loss of Wehrman (who calms down our midfield and can hold onto the ball) and Milicevic (who has the ability to play the ball out from defence). We also lacked any penetration down the right wing which Zadkovich usually provides, while Kantarovski is a class act and could have filled the hole left by Wehrman if he had been fit.
Anyway the inexplicable decision to start Jacob Pepper (a youngster with no experience) over Patafta was a joke. Culina had spoken about the fact that Patafta had had three chances this season without impressing, though all those opportunities had been 20-30 minute cameos off the bench…this was the chance to give the kid his first start and see if he could grab it with both hands. However Pepper was given a starting role instead, and no offence to him but the youngster had a shocking game. I’m not saying he won’t develop into a top player, but young players like Pepper need to be given their debut when they have experienced heads around them such as Wehrman and Milicevic to guide them on the field. It was a stupid decision and another vote of non-confidence in Patafta, who really hasn’t been given a fair go in the A-League.
Anyway, saying that, experienced Italian Fiorentini also had a poor, poor game, and that is where the match was lost…Pepper and Fiorentini never had control of the central midfield role and it showed, we were hopeless at containing the ball and that is where the responsibility of the central players come into the game. I swear Fiorentini made more wayward passes than good ones, I would love to see his passing statistics…
With the lack of service you also can’t blame our debuting new striker Tomislav Misura, who also had a poor match and only succeeded in getting a yellow card for a stupid challenge on Jade North. Though in my eyes anyone who puts North on his arse is a God, I love him. But yeah, the lad had a shit game though really didn’t have much to work with so I don’t think he should be judged on that performance alone.
Let us get away from the deficiencies of the Jets however and talk about the goals, which I believe only brings up more questions about the quality of referees in the A-League.
So the first goal was a result of the brilliance of youngster Marco Rojas (making his full debut) but also because of the poor defence from a number of Jets players. The tracking back and communication from Pepper and the ultimately hopeless D’Apuzzo allowed Rojas to split them and run between them, laying off the ball to Greenacre, who delivered a cross for Tim Brown to head home. Not only were D’Apuzzo and Pepper caught out in defence but an absolutely half-hearted challenge from Jesic on Brown from the resulting cross was equally pathetic.
Anyway, 1-0 down, but with Wellington’s start striker Paul Ifill off early due to injury there was still hope..
To the second goal now. On 31 minutes. PISS OFF REFEREE. I really should look up who the ref was on the Internet but I can’t be stuffed. It was a soft call to award a free kick. I know I’m bias but that was not a foul. The problem is some referees in the A-League give them, some don’t. We need to become consistent in our refereeing. It’s a joke, are we a physical league or are we a soft, South American/Spanish League? Let’s make our minds up and give referees a reference point.
It wasn’t a foul for the free kick. But disregarding that, the Jets defence fell asleep, Wellington took a quick restart and scored of the resulting cross. Good goal. Poor defence. Poor initial decision. 2-0.
Ok, now to the third goal just before half-time. Rojas sent a corner in, Jacob Pepper failed to clear a ball he really should have booted skyward if he had more experience, and Greenacre shot the ball towards the net, with Elrich clearing the ball off the line. However, despite the clearance the goal was given as a result of the linesman’s flag.
It was not over the line. SIMPLE. How anyone could claim that the WHOLE ball had crossed the line is beyond me. Look at the replays. I have a sneaky suspicion that the FFA may have leant on media organisations to report that the ball had clearly crossed as a result of the criticism that has been aimed at A-League referees recently. For Foxsports and other sources to suggest the decision was correct is astounding. IT was not over the line. Man. But despite that Jacob Pepper again showed his lack of experience when failing to clear a ball in the box. Out of his depth to say the least. Poor kid.
I won’t talk in full about the rest of the game. Basically the Jets played slightly better, but that was to be expected with the Phoenix conserving energy with a three goal lead. Haliti could and probably should have had two goals to his name but in truth we were poor and deserved the thrashing. To make matters even worse former SCUM Mariner Dylan Macallister scored the fourth goal in the 88th minute.
On the substitutes, Patafta came on and looked hopeless, but I still feel he should have got the nod over Jacob Pepper, I’m extremely disappointed he didn’t. I also feel Branko has been a bit of an ungrateful manager when he handed Misura his debut over Petrovski, with the veteran saving our skins with last-minute goals in the past few games. Yes he is old, but if a player is performing, give him a chance. Man-management Branko, man-management. Keep them happy buddy.
So tactics and team selection was in my opinion totally wrong for this game, but that doesn’t save the players who were chosen in the starting eleven from criticism, they were useless. Even without the two dodgy goals we still deserved the loss.
Hopefully we see an improvement when we travel to the in-form Melbourne Victory. SHIT.

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MidWeek Games Week 18

Alright I have been well lazy in the past few days, not that anyone reads this..but I’ve had to move out back to my Mum’s (devo) and been working and stuff. Mad. So here are last week’s MidWeek updates.

Basically I don’t know much about the North Queensland v. Sydney FC match, but I am glad, in fact very glad to say…that the Fury won 1-0. Brilliant. Apparently it was a lucky goal, El-Capitan Ufuk Talay smashing in a free kick that went straight through Necevski’s hands. I don’t really care. From now on I’m only writing in depth about the games I actually watched…so onto the Jetties!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Newcastle Jets v. Gold Coast United(2-0)

Alright. So the Jets had a big win which improves their finals chances massively. To be honest the Jets dominated the game from start to finish, with the Gold Coast rarely producing any kind of attacking movement until the last ten minutes. While it was a good game from a Newcastle fan’s point of view, Gold Coast were understaffed and failed to turn up.
That said, the Jets didn’t play brilliant. They did have most of possession and they did get the result but in truth their play was mostly long ball, standard play and not the flowing, attacking style of play we have seen from the team since Francis Jeffers’ arrival.
Speaking of Jeffers, the lad missed two good chances, both one-on-ones and both chances that we would expect a player of his calibre to convert. Not only did he twice fire straight at the keeper, he also miscued a shot from a Zadkovich cross which ended up at Abbas’ feet, but the Iraqi fluffed up his shot as well.
So 0-0 at half time and I was pretty nervous, we should have been about 2-0 up. Though Djite did have a chance before the break for the away side, however Matthew Nash made a decent diving save to keep it out..
Just after half time and the Newcastle crowd were feeling hard done by, calling for a goal when Abbas crashed a shot off the crossbar which bounced close to the goal line. The ball had clearly not gone across the line however and it was a fair call from the linesman and referee.
The game progressed and there was a feeling that the Jets would dominate but fall behind to a poor goal and there were a few half-scares in the remainder of the match from the away side though nothing too serious.
The deadlock was finally broken by the right team though, with Abbas the unlikely scorer. While he has been elevated to the attacking midfield position in a diamond formation for the Jets in recent weeks, he needed to add goals to his game and he delivered with a brilliant effort on 77 minutes. Wehrman fed him just inside the box and the little dynamo smashed an impressive shot past Moss and into the top of the net. 1-0 and fucking loving it…
The crowd was pumped, but then straight off the kick-off, Traore was released and Milicevic made a cynical foul which led to a second yellow card. It was a crucial foul as Traore looked to be through on goal but at the same time the defence had fallen asleep to let the guy through. Poor.
Without any defensive players on the bench Kasey Wehrman had to move back, with Abbas going on the wing and Fiorentini moving into the middle, Abbas going wide on the left.
It was a hectic last 10 minutes and substitute Petrovski settled the nerves with an ultimately well-taken goal on 82 minutes. Wehrman struck a hard, sweet free kick at the Gold Coast goals, with Moss only able to parry the ball back into the box, the keeper then at fault for not gathering the loose ball, Petrovski finishing past the defence from a very tight angle near the byline. A fantastic goal from the veteran, but in truth extremely greedy and lucky at the same time, he really should have crossed the ball into the middle for an open Franny Jeffers. Ah well 2-0 and really fucking loving it.
So a win and a deserved one. Although we dominated, it was against a weakened Gold Coast side and the poor form of Jeffers in front of goal was slightly worrying…Petrovski saving us again. Good to see the defence stay solid once again though and a brilliant win against the 3rd placed side in the A-League.

ps: Milicevic…apart from his red card had a pretty ordinary game, Topor-Stanley putting in another solid performance though. Fiorentini, in only his second start of the season, looked quite awful in the left midfield role, but seemed to step up in central midfield when Milicevic was sent off and Wehrman was forced back into defence. A good win nonetheless though..

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A-League Week 18 Round-Up

Adelaide United v. North Queensland Fury2-0

Adelaide saw off a ragged North Queensland in the Friday night fixture.
Import of the season, Flores, grabbed the first after Paul Reid had pulled the ball back into the box for him to finish with ease.
The Argentine then opened up his box of tricks and put a cross onto Segio van Dijk’s head, who expertly steered the ball home.
Already two goals to the good within the opening 20 minutes and it is a surprise the Reds didn’t add any more to the scoreline.
The Reds had a header cleared off the line, while Flores once again delivered a cross on a platter inside the box, however Travis Dodd just couldn’t get a touch on it.

Melbourne Heart v. Melbourne Victory1-3

The Victory extracted revenge on their city rivals, beating the Melbourne Heart 3-1 in front of 23,000 people.
Robbie Kruse linked up with Archie Thompson and Hernandez to tap home the first at the near post in the 12th minute.
Only 5 minutes later though, and the scores were level, Serbian Gerard Sibon scoring a brilliant curling free kick that Hernandez would have been proud of.
Poor control in defence from Matt Thompson then saw Robbie Kruse through on goal and he let fly with a first time finish for his second of the game.
Hernandez saw a long range effort tipped over by Clint Bolton as the first half drew to a close.
Melbourne pushed for a third in the second half and Archie Thompson was once again the provider, sending in a ball along the penalty area which Adrian Leijer turned home via a deflection off Wayne Srhoj.
The Heart had a few half chances from outside the area which rattled the crossbar but in truth it was a deserved victory for the blue half of Melbourne, who are proving that they are still a threat for a finals spot.

Gold Coast United v. Wellington Phoenix2-0

In a wet, wet night at Skilled Park, which was an absolute mess of a pitch, Gold Coast continued their bid to capture the top two with a comfortable win over the travel-prone Phoenix.
Bas van den Brink grabbed the opener in almost a carbon copy of his goal last weekend. Culina swung in a perfect delivery from the corner and the Dutchman registered a fine header though in truth the Wellington defence had gone AWOL.
In a physical encounter, chances were few and far between and the Gold Coast went 2-0 up with one of the scrappiest goals of the season. James Brown eventually putting the viewers out of their misery and tapping the ball home.
Culina went close with a nice bit of individual skill in the box, while Paul Ifill should have pulled one back but couldn’t finish when through one-on-one with the Glen Moss.
A poor performance from the Phoenix as Gold Coast kept the pressure on the top two.

Sydney FC v. Brisbane Roar0-1

Sydney’s chances of making the finals were delivered a potentially lethal blow as they lost at home to the Roar for the first time in the history of the A-League.
The scoreline could have been worse for the Sky Blues, had it not been for Necevski, who made a string of saves throughout the contest.
The first half was all Brisbane and they finally got the breakthrough when Kosta Barbarousses finished from a very tight angle after Jean Carlos Solorzano had chipped a deft through ball into his path.
Brosque came back for Sydney at the start of the second half and he created a few problems for the Roar defence, setting up fellow substitute Petratos, who saw his fierce drive saved by Theoklitos.
The Roar were still comfortable and had the better chances, substitute Visconte having two good opportunities which Necevski kept out.

Perth Glory v. Central Coast Mariners1-1

Perth were denied their long-awaited first win in number games, conceding a late equaliser at home to Central Coast.
They had opened the scoring when Josh Mitchell flicked in a Fowler cross via a deflection as early as the 4th minute.
Central Coast missed a great opportunity when Simon went one-on-one with Velaphi, only to screw his shot horribly wide.
Fowler should have put the Glory 2-0 up with header from only 5 yards out in the second period, but God’s instincts deserted him and the miss would be costly. The former Liverpool striker missed a few other opportunities in a poor performance.
It was Michael Baird’s turn to miss a good opportunity, when Fowler’s trickery put him through on goal but the striker couldn’t finish.
Those misses were made to pay when the Mariners scored a late leveller in the 86th minute under controversial circumstances.
Perth’s Risdon headed a cross into Zwaanswijk path when he appeared to be pushed in the back by Daniel McBreen. However play wasn’t stopped and the Mariners defender gleefully headed a simple chance into the net.
A devastating result for the Glory who really should have taken all three points.

Newcastle play host to Gold Coast United on Wednesday night and Sydney FC will look to take points off North Queensland Fury.

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Hughton’s Boys

Great win for the Toon against Liverpool…3-1 who would have thought. Here’s a video of Nolan and Barton’s post-match interview.

Joey’s a mad dog

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A-League Week 18 Preview

Adelaide United v. North Queensland Fury

The Fury are suffering from injury worries with Payne, Akoto and Cernak the main players out. The fact that another two players (Payne and Malik) have decided to sign contracts elsewhere won’t help matters in the dressing room either. Coupled with the fact that inspirational skipper Ufuk Talay is suspended and it will be a tough ask for the Fury.
Adelaide meanwhile are waiting on the fitness of Cassio, who received a knock in training midweek. They are able to play captain Travis Dodd, however, as the red card he received last week against Wellington has been rescinded.

Melbourne Heart v. Melbourne Victory

The second Melbourne Derby is on and the Victory will be hoping to take revenge on their rivals after an Alex Terra goal gave the Heart first bragging rights. The Brazilian will miss this tie for a Heart side struggling to find the back of the net at the moment. However, John Aolisi returns to the squad, as does Josip Skoko (injury) and Wayne Srhoj (suspension) to bolster their midfield.
The Victory on the other hand welcome back Tom Pondeljak and Adrian Leijer and will be hoping Robbie Kruse and Archie Thompson can put in the type of performance they did against Brisbane last week, a game they were unlucky not to win.
Melbourne Heart

Gold Coast United v. Wellington Phoenix

The Gold Coast picked up an impressive, if not flattering win against Melbourne Heart last week, and will be further boosted by the return of Michael Thwaite, Steve Pantelidis and keeper Glen Moss. While they will still be missing Joel Porter, the form of Culina should give them enough to continue their good form.
The Phoenix picked up a massive three points against second-placed Adelaide last Sunday and will hope they can maintain their position in the Top Six. The blow of Nicky Ward being ruled out for around 4 weeks will have a big impact on the side, but if Ifill can find the back of the net when called upon then they could have a chance.
Gold Coast

Sydney FC v. Brisbane Roar

Time really is running out for Sydney (if it hasn’t already), and this is the game to prove that they deserve a place in the Finals. Melbourne Victory put on an impressive comeback against the Roar last week and Vitezslav Lavicka will want a positive response from his team after the 4-0 humiliation against the Central Coast last week. With youngsters Petratos and Antonis starting last week, the inclusion of Cazarine and the return from injury for Alex Brosque could signal that Lavicka is going for experience in this match. A partnership between Brosque and Bridge really needs to start firing if Sydney are to have any chance of a Finals place.
Brisbane were made to look beatable against the Victory last week and will want to get back to their dominant, winning ways. Jean Carlos Solorzano is in top form at the moment and him and Broich should cause Sydney’s defence all kinds of problems, as they were all at seas against the Mariners in their last game.
Brisbane Roar

Perth Glory v. Central Coast Mariners

Perth had a break last weekend, in what will have been a welcome relief from the horror of the past few months. Ferguson will have been getting into his players about their discipline in recent games, which has yielded an amazing 7 red cards in 7 games, as well as another 19 yellows. As a result Brent Griffiths, Naum Sekulovski and Mile Sterjovski will all miss out. They still have a squad which can compete and still cannot be counted out for the season.
The Mariners will be a tough side to beat though, with the side in a confident mood after dispatching Sydney FC 4-0 at home last week. The performance was due to the impressive front pairing of Matt Simons and Adam Kwasnik, who either scored or all four goals. The return of Daniel McBreen from suspension will give Graham Arnold a headache but if he has any decency and any sense he’ll reward Kwasnik with only his fourth start of the season.

There are two midweek games, with Newcastle Jets playing host to Gold Coast United and Sydney FC taking on North Queensland Fury.

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