Roar set for Premier’s Plate as unbeaten run continues

by Neil Sherwin

Brisbane Roar have all but secured this season’s A-League Premier’s Plate with a 2-1 win over the Melbourne Heart at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. In the process they continued their record breaking unbeaten run that now stretches for 23 games, and a point next weekend will clinch the  first silverware of 2011. Striker Jean Carlos Solorzano found the net after just five minutes open the scoring, pouncing on a lapse in concentration by Heart skipper Simon Colosimo. The visitors had chances the draw level but their failure to take any of them was punished just after the hour mark James Meyer toe poked past Michael Theoklitos for his fourth goal in as many games. Gerald Sibon linked with John Aloisi to grab a consolation for the Heart but the defeat is a blow to their playoff hopes and they will be relying on other results to make the six.

Another big performance from Patricio Perez inspired the Central Coast Mariners to an away win over Adelaide United which sees them consolidate second spot on the ladder. Argentine Perez opened the scoring after 11 minutes, calmly shooting past Eugen Galekovic having picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and skipping past a defender. The Mariners doubled their lead on the half hour through full back Justin Rose. He played a neat one two with the majestic Perez and finished well from inside the area. Adelaide were a shadow of the side that destroyed North Queensland Fury 8-1 just last week, though they did manage to get on the scoresheet in injury time at the end of the game through skipper Travis Dodd.

A brace from Danny Allsopp all but secured a finals spot for Melbourne Victory against Gold Coast United who struggled without striker Shane Smeltz. With temperatures in the Victorian capital soaring close to 40 degrees, the sides were allowed a drinks break midway through each half. Allsopp, who recently returned to the club on a 27 month contract, looked refreshed after the first interval and opened the scoring on 28 minutes with a well struck drive from 25 yards. The forward’s second goal in the second was even better as he turned United defender John Curtis and curled a left foot shot into the far corner past the hapless Glen Moss. Victory will be confident as the season reaches its climax with both Archie Thompson (injured) and Robbie Kruse (international duty) due back in the coming weeks.

It was a case of another matchday, another defeat for Perth Glory who continued their miserable A-League campaign with a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC at nib Stadium. Nicky Carle found the net after just ten minutes, feeding Bruno Cazarine who flicked the ball up for the onrushing midfielder to loop a header over Glory keeper Tando Velaphi. Cazarine, who had failed to score in his last three games, made it 2-0 on 52 minutes when he latched on to a neat flick from Dimitri Petratos to slot the ball home under Velaphi. Glory created a superb opportunity to get back into the game shortly after. Mile Sterjovksi worked hard down the left to win the ball before squaring it to Fowler but his first time shot lacked conviction however and missed the target. Sterjovski then wasted Glory’s best opportunity of the game, shooting tamely wide having been played through superbly by Adriano Pellegrino and his lacklustre effort summed up an all too familiar story for the West Australians.

Dylan Macallister’s first half strike was enough for Wellington Phoenix to claim three points at home to the Newcastle Jets on Sunday. Young winger Marco Rojas was again the architect, bursting down the wing on 20 minutes before crossing into the box where Macallister was on hand to apply an excellent first time finish. Ryan Griffiths has the visitors’ best chance when he connected with a perfectly executed overhead kick but Danny Vukovic got down superbly to keep the effort out. The Jets’ misery was compounded in the 66th minute when midfielder Griffiths saw red for verbal abuse towards referee Chris Heath.

Round 26

Friday, 4 February 2011

Melbourne Heart v Central Coast Mariners

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

North Queensland Fury v Brisbane Roar

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC

Perth Glory v Gold Coast United

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix

Gold Coast United v Central Coast Mariners

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory

Melbourne Victory BYE

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