Five things we learned this week in the A-League

The Newcastle Jets aren’t showing any signs of improvement

After four away games to start their season, the Newcastle Jets were hopeful that a run of fixtures at Hunter Stadium would yield a few wins.

However, they were awful on Friday night against the Brisbane Roar, who finally got their first points of the season with a 4-0 win.

First half substitute Henrique bagged a hat-trick, while Steven Lustica finished off a slick move to also get on the score sheet.

 

The Roar could even afford for Dimitri Petratos to have a penalty saved by Mark Birighitti, the one Jets player to come out of the game with some credit.

Jets coach Phil Stubbins hasn’t inspired confidence with some of his team selections, with skipper and stand out player Kew Jaliens shifted from centre half to right back, while proven playmaker Marcos Flores can’t even get a few minutes off the bench.

You won’t find many tipping them to pick up points away to the Western Sydney Wanderers next week, and a defeat in that one would leave them sitting on just two points after seven games.

Adelaide United proved that they can also win ugly

There probably isn’t a team better to watch at the moment in the A-League than Adelaide United, with the South Australians improving every week under Spanish coach Josip Gombau.

The Reds will contest the first ever FFA Cup Final next month and have yet to lose a league game, but they left it very late to finally overcome the Wellington Phoenix at Coopers Stadium.

Having fallen behind to Roly Bonvacia’s early goal, Adelaide were the better side and recovered to claim the three points through a Nigel Boogard header and Sergio Cirio’s injury time winner.

 

The Nix will rightly feel aggrieved to have not taken something out of the game as the free kick awarded against them in the lead up to Cirio’s goal was just one of a number of poor decisions made by referee Strebre Delovski.

Their coach, Ernie Merrick, pulled no punches afterwards and suggested that the league’s smaller clubs get a raw deal when it comes to the big calls.

I have discovered that since I’ve been at the Phoenix it’s pretty tough. When I was at the Victory, I found I had a better run.

– Ernie Merrick

It’s time for the A-League to break for internationals

The rivalry between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory is one of the best in the A-League and the two sides met at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Unfortunately both were without a number of key players due to international call ups – Mark Janko, Terry Antonis, Corey Gameiro, Mark Milligan, Kosta Barbarouses and Daniel Georgievski amongst others.

While most of the world’s major top flight competitions take a weekend of for internationals, the A-League stays open and consequently loses a lot of big names for showpiece fixtures.

 

While the weekend’s game was a relatively entertaining 0-0 draw, there can be no denying that it would have been enhanced by the aforementioned absentees.

The result preserves both sides’ unbeaten start to the season with three wins and three draws apiece.

Perth Glory came through a tough week with flying colours

Three games in seven is tough for any team, and it becomes even more difficult when two of those games are on the opposite side of a country as big as Australia.

However, Perth Glory claimed victory in all three – two A-League fixtures and the FFA Cup semi-final – as they continued their very impressive start to the season.

Glory’s tired legs showed against the Wanderers, something coach Kenny Lowe spoke about afterwards, but they managed to get the job done with a 2-1 win and maintained their spot at the top of the table.

A goal in either half from defenders Dino Djulbic and Scott Jamieson, the latter’s a stunning free kick from 25 yards, condemned the Asian Champions to their fourth successive defeat.

 

The Wanderers, meanwhile, have been juggling their squad after a hectic few weeks of traveling but they finally return to Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday as they host the Central Coast Mariners, the first of four successive home game.

Glory have the luxury of not having to travel next week as they welcome the Wellington Phoenix to nib Stadium on Friday night.

Hopefully they [the fans] will want to come back again, and hopefully we can serve that up again but not run out of petrol in the last 15 and give everyone heart attacks.

– Kenny Lowe

The Central Coast Mariners finally showed signs of life

They may have only claimed a point but the manner of the Central Coast Mariners’ draw with Melbourne City will be pleasing to all those concerned with the club.

Phil Moss’ side had suffered three league defeats in a row, lost in the FFA Cup semi-finals to Adelaide United, and found themselves 2-0 down against City with 79 minutes gone.

They rallied though, with Glen Trifiro’s beautiful free kick reducing their arrears, before skipper John Hutchinson fired home a dramatic 94th minute equaliser.

 

For their part, City really should have been out of sight by the time Central Coast got back into the game with David Williams in particular wasting a golden opportunity as he blazed over from close range.

Damien Duff was again outstanding and looks to have put behind him the injury problems that hampered his final Premier League season with Fulham.

Author Details

Avatar
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com. Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*