JETS SHOOT DOWN THE CHAMPIONS
Newcastle 1 (Carney ’75) Melbourne Victory 0
Crowd: 10,087 at Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
A sensational strike from Veteran David Carney sealed a shock victory for the Jets against reigning champions Melbourne Victory on Friday.
The former Socceroo won a free kick outside the box with 75 minutes played, yet seemed to leave the set piece for Brazilian forward Leonardo to strike.
However, Leonardo layed the ball off to Carney, who launched a spectacular effort into the top left corner, out of reach of a despairing Danny Vukovic.
While Victory dominated the lion’s share of possession and shots on goal, the champions were uncharacteristically lacklustre in front of goal.
The closest Kevin Muscat’s side came to finding the back of the net came in the first half when a miscued shot by Gui Finkler fell in the path of Besart Berisha, who fired his effort against the crossbar from a tight angle.
PHOENIX EDGE ROAR IN FIVE GOAL THRILLER
Wellington Phoenix 3 ( McGlinchey ’35, Krishna ’49, Powell ’78) Brisbane Roar 2 (Petratos ’26, North ’60)
A late goal from substitute Blake Powell handed the Phoenix their second consecutive win of the season, overwhelming Brisbane Roar 3-2 in a pulsating clash at WestPac stadium.
The former Sydney FC striker was on hand to tap home Tom Doyle’s cross on 78 minutes, handing the travelling Roar their first loss of the season.
It was Brisbane who started strongest in New Zealand’s capital, and took the lead through a classy turn and finish by Dimitri Petratos.
The joy of that goal, however, was short lived, as Nix playmaker Michael McGlinchey struck a stunning free kick past Jamie Young to level proceedings after half an hour.
While the scores remained locked at half time, it only took Wellington four minutes to take the lead in the second stanza.
Jeffrey Sarpong showed excellent balance and vision to find Roy Krishna in the box, with the Fijian striker placing his effort past Young to give Wellington their first lead for the game.
Roar centre-half Jade North forced home an equaliser after some sloppy defending from a corner, however, it was Powell’s goal which proved to be the winner in front of the Nix faithful.
The victory dethrones Brisbane as the top side (for the time being) and gives the Phoenix a second victory after last week’s defeat of Perth.
SKY BLUES CLAIM BRAGGING RIGHTS
Sydney FC 1 (Ninkovic 88′) Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Crowd: 40,539 at Allianz Stadium, Sydney
New recruit Milos Ninkovic has made himself a hero at Sydney FC, scoring a dramatic late winner to down arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
The Serbian forward controlled a deft pass from Brandon O’Neill and held off Wanderers skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley before unleashing a superb finish into the bottom corner, sending the home crowd into delirium.
However, as is the case with most editions of the Sydney Derby, the clash was not without a fair share of controversy.
The Wanderers thought they had claimed a first-half lead when Jaushua Sotirio flicked home a Mitch Nichols cross, only for the linesman to rule out the goal for offside.
Replays later showed that Sotirio was being played onside by Sydney defender Jacques Faty, leading to plenty of discontent amongst the Wanderers faithful.
The Wanderers desperately lacked a deadly finish to some impressive build-up play, with marquee forward Federico Piovocarri again misfiring in his third match.
Western Sydney enjoyed the majority of possession and shots on goal, however, their inability to put the home side away came back to hurt them in the form of Ninkovic’s devestating winner.
FORNAROLI ON THE DOUBLE IN CITY WIN
Melbourne City 3 (Kisnorbo ’11, Fornaroli ’53, ’72) d Central Coast Mariners 1 (Fitzgerald ’13)
Crowd: 8,408 at AAMI Park, Melbourne.
Marquee Man Bruno Fornaroli struck a classy double to set up Melbourne City’s first victory of the season against the Mariners on Sunday.
The Uruguayan, who also scored in last week’s derby loss to Melbourne Victory, scored both goals in the second half after the first finished in a tense deadlock.
City started the brightest of the two in front of 8000 home fans, and after only 11 minutes, captain Patrick Kisnorbo flicked home a pinpoint free-kick from Aaron Mooy to give the Citizens the lead.
Their joy was short-lived, however, as only two minutes later, Mariners forward Nick Fitzgerald scored a goal of the year contender to bring the travellers to level terms.
Fitzgerald was found by a clever pass from Mariners skipper Nick Montgomery, and unleashed a missile from 25 yards that sailed past Thomas Sorensen into the corner of the net.
While the clash remained even up until half time, it was El Tuna who would step up and make the difference in the second.
His first came as a result of a sumptuous cross from City substitute David Williams, which was expertly buried past young goalkeeper Paul Izzo.
City’s Number 23 then scored his second to seal the match, after he was found by a piercing Paulo Retre pass and drilled a low shot past Izzo to seal the victory.
The victory is City’s first for the year, while the Mariners have slumped to a second consecutive defeat.
REDS STILL WINLESS AS PERTH PREVAIL
Perth Glory 3 (Sidnei ’44, Fernandez ’60, Castro ’72) Adelaide United 1 (OG Ferreira ’75)
Crowd: 7728 at NiB Stadium, Perth.
Adelaide United are still without a win in the new season following a 3-1 away defeat to Perth Glory.
Despite dominating first half possession, the Glory snuck in a goal thorugh Sidnei Sciola in the shadow of half-time, before controlling the second half to come away with the three points.
Sciola was found with a delicate through ball from Gyorgy Sandor, and remained calm to beat John Hall in a one-on-one and slot the ball home to give the Glory the lead.
The Glory then took the game by the scruff of the neck, and goals to new signings Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro had the three points ensired with 20 minutes still to play.
Fernandez was found by a brilliant low cross from Glory skipper Richard Garcia, and produced a classy finish into the top corner to beat John Hall and score his first goal for Perth.
Garcia was the architecht again on 72 minutes with another cross setting up another debut goal, this time for Spanish forward Diego Castro, who finished with aplomb.
A late own-goal from Diogo Ferreira did little to spoil the party for the Glory, who capped off a memorable week after Wednesday’s FFA Cup victory over Melbourne City.
Adelaide United, however, remain stranded on the bottom of the table with two solitary points, which will surely be concerning new coach Guillermo Armor.
ROUND 3: HOT AND COLD
GLORY IMPORTS FINALLY SHINING
In the first two rounds of the season, Perth’s attacking recruits Guyon fernandez and Diego Castro were not providing the Glory faithful with a lot to cheer about. Plenty of critcs were asking questions about whether they could full adapt to the physical nature of the A-League, and whether Kenny Lowe’s money could have been better spent elsewhere.
However, with both forwards scoring in an impressive Glory win, Fernandez and Castro have proven their doubters that they can find the net after all. All that remains to be seen is whether they can replicate that form in every fixture, starting with a long trip to Paramatta to face the Wanderers next week.
CARNEY’S NEW GROOVE
After David Carney’s first goal in the A-League snce 2009 was scored in round one, most people thought it may be a while until he found the net again.
Yet, only two rounds later, Carney’s screamer handed the Jets an upset in over Melbourne Victory. The former Socceroo left-back appears to be relishing in his advanced role, and looks to be a consistent threat for Scott Miller’s Jets this year.
While the Phoenix faithful were celebrating an impressive victory over Brisbane Roar, their jubilance was unduly interrupted by news on Monday that the FFA rejected their appeal for a 10 year A-League license. While New Zealand’s representative side was still offered four extra years, it seems to be common knowledge that the side will not compete in the A-League beyond that given time-span, and the Nix will be replaced by a third Sydney team. This certainly comes as a shock to the Wellington fans, who are hoping that this year may be their time for a tilt at an elusive championship.
UNITED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PILE
The current side at Adelaide looks to be a shadow of the side that fought it’s way to last year’s semi-finals. The loss of Josep Gombau appears to have depleted the side of it’s slick movement and elegant passing game that made them so feared last season, despite the reigns being handed to his protege, Guillermo Armor. The Reds now face a long away trip to Suncorp Stadium, and only a strong performance against the Roar will be enough to show they have still got it.