Ian Ferguson’s tenure as Perth Glory coach got off to a poor start at the weekend as his side went down to their fifth successive A-League defeat away to the North Queensland Fury. The former Rangers midfielder took over from Dave Mitchell last week but it was very much the same old story for the West Australians as a winner from impressive Fury midfielder David Williams left them empty handed. The hosts had taken an early lead through a stunning strike from Chris Payne, but Glory soon equalised when Michael Baird took advantage of a gaping hole in the Fury back four. The second half was very much an even affair until Williams, who was looking to impress in front of watching Socceroos’ boss Holger Osiek, struck on 71 minutes following a neat one two with Payne to claim the three points.
Reigning champions Sydney FC also continued their run of terrible form as they were easily downed 3-0 by Melbourne Victory with last season’s Most Valuable Player Carlos Hernandez putting in a scintillating performance. It was the Chilean international’s free kick which led to the opening goal on 19 minutes when it was met by the head of central defender Rodrigo Vargas. Victory’s lead remained at one goal until the second half when Hernandez netted his first of the season with a rare header from Tom Pondeljak’s cross. Sydney went close to scoring on a couple of occasions but it was yet another lacklustre performance from a side rooted to the bottom of the league with no wins, and their misery was compounded when Robbie Kruse added a third goal in the final minute.
League leaders Adelaide United picked up a solid point against Gold Coast United on Sunday, and in the process equalled the record for the longest unbeaten streak in A-League history. Their twelfth game without defeat puts them level with the current benchmark set by the Central Coast Mariners in 2005/06. The games biggest talking point came seven minutes from time when Adelaide striker Sergio Van Dijk appeared to handle the ball in his own area but no penalty was given, much to the annoyance of Gold Coast captain Jason Culina and his teammates. Both sides were guilty of wasting chances and Adelaide were clearly missing the influence of young starlet Matthew Leckie who was absent through injury. In the end a 0-0 draw was probably the fairest result in a contest where both sides were left to reflect on poor offensive performances.
A Leo Bertos equaliser just short of the hour mark preserved Wellington Phoenix’s unbeaten home record which now stands at a league record 24 games. Former Manchester City striker Chris Greenacre gave them the perfect start against the Melbourne Heart after just six minutes when he slotted home Manny Muscat’s through ball. Their opponents, however, looked intent on denying the New Zealanders their milestone when John Aloisi equalised from the penalty spot and the excellent Matt Thompson gave them the lead at the interval. The blustery second half conditions made it difficult for both sides and they also played a huge part in Bertos’ goal when his strike appeared to deceive Clint Bolton in the Heart goal. Opportunites to win the game were few and far between for either side in the last half an hour leaving the final score two apiece.
The match between Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium also finished in a stalemate, though the Queenslanders dominated throughout and would have won were it not for some superb goalkeeper by Ben Kennedy. Indeed, it was the visiting Jets who took the league inside the opening quarter of the game when Roar defender Matt Smith turned the ball into his own net. Brisbane had 19 attempts in goal in comparison to Newcastle’s three yet they had to wait until the 78th minute to draw level when Reinaldo finally nodded past the stubborn Kennedy.
Round 10 –
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners
Round 11 –
Friday, 22 October 2010
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Melbourne Heart v Gold Coast United
Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Newcastle Jets v North Queensland Fury
Central Coast Mariners BYE