It's been an exciting round of A-League action, with 20 goals scored over the course of the weekend and Tom Steltzer returns once again to run the rule over who were the standouts.
Team of the Week
Goalkeeper, Sydney FC
Made a number of crucial first-half saves.
Defender, Western Sydney Wanderers
Created a number of goal-scoring opportunities going forward.
Defender, Sydney FC
Spearheaded a resilient Sydney defence.
Defender, Adelaide United
Two classy assists.
Defender, Perth Glory
Rewarded with a goal for a composed performance.
Midfielder, Melbourne City
An effective utility performance.
Midfielder, Melbourne City
Held his own alongside City’s stars.
Forward, Melbourne City
Lively and free-scoring as ever.
Forward, Perth Glory
A key figure in the rout.
Striker, Adelaide United
Back on the scoresheet and deservedly so.
Striker, Perth Glory
Helped Perth run riot in Newcastle.
Brisbane Roar 1 Adelaide United 4
Adelaide swept aside then-leaders Brisbane as they solidified their place in the Top 6.
Adelaide opened the scoring when Pablo Sanchez saw his close-range shot pinball off the keeper and defender Corey Brown into the net. But Brisbane were soon level thanks to a dubious penalty shout. Henrique appeared to trip himself over in the Adelaide box but nonetheless was awarded a penalty that he duly converted. To call it controversial would be like calling Usain Bolt ‘pretty fast’.
Adelaide, enjoying the kind of renaissance that would do Da Vinci proud, soon went back ahead after Dylan McGowan was fouled in the area, allowing Bruce Djite to break a 21-match goal drought from the spot.
Djite was then played in cleverly by Tarek Elrich to make it 3-1 before a sublime Marcelo Carrusca curler put the cherry on top of another impressive Adelaide performance. For the Roar, their league frontrunner status looks dead and buried, with eight goals conceded in two games a worry for coach John Aloisi.
Western Sydney 2 Central Coast Mariners 1
Western Sydney left it late to see off an error-ridden Central Coast Mariners.
Storm Roux conjured up a visionary, defence-splitting pass to set up the opener, but unfortunately it was at the wrong end and Mark Bridge was on hand to give the Wanderers the lead.
Luis Garcia made himself as welcome as a glass of sangria on a hot day, with a majestic through-ball in the buildup to Fabio Ferrira’s second-half equaliser. But Nick Montgomery’s 79th minute dismissal for a horror tackle took the wind out of the Mariners’s sails.
In the 88th minute, the Wanderers turned the ball over high up the pitch and Brendon Santalab was there for the open-goal winner and a return to the top of the table.
Newcastle Jets 1 Perth Glory 6
Perth put away six in their search for the Top 6 as Newcastle’s woes returned at Hunter Stadium.
The Jets’ return to winning ways proved as short-lived as Lindsay Lohan’s music career with a second-half defensive display. It looked like the goals were still flowing for Newcastle when Milos Trifunovic scored in the 14th minute but Chris Harold equalised for the visitors soon after.
Newcastle were dealt a double blow just before halftime when Diego Castro put Perth in front and Nigel Boogaard received a second yellow to put Glory in the driver’s seat. If Jets fans thought things wouldn’t get any worse they were gravely mistaken, as their side gave new meaning to the word capitulation in the second half.
First Daniel Mullen hacked the ball into his own net, before Harold was played in for his second by Gyorgy Sandor. Alex Grant was left unmarked from a corner to head home for his first A-league goal and Castro capped off the rout from close range.
It was a defensive display akin to playing FIFA on Amateur difficulty and a humiliating defeat for a Newcastle side that looked to have finally turned a corner.
Melbourne City 3 Wellington Phoenix 1
City’s attacking prowess was on show again as they dominated Wellington to move into second place.
The stars were on show at AAMI Park, with City’s usual suspects turning on the charm up front.
Bruno Fornaroli became the fastest player to score against every other club in a remarkable 16 games with a clinical run. Harry Novillo contributed two classy goals either side of halftime before Roly Bonevacia upstaged them all with an absolute belter midway through the second half.
But City were always comfortable and their title-challenging credentials remain in tact.
Melbourne Victory 1 Sydney FC 0
Melbourne edged fierce rivals Sydney in a tense, tight match at Etihad Stadium.
It was a Big Blue stew that simmered but simply refused to boil over, despite a lively opening.
Vedran Janjetovic got the best of Besart Berisha in a first-half one-on-one and Sydney effectively contained the more buccaneering Victory side. It looked destined to end all square before an oddly-befitting own goal undid the visitors’ hardwork.
Matthew Jurman’s outstretched leg made itself as welcome as a ham sandwich at a Jewish wedding for Sydney fans when it redirected Jesse Makarounas’s cross into the Sydney net.
The visitors couldn’t find a way back and Melbourne held onto the points and the bragging rights.