Melbourne Heart 2 Sydney FC 1
Perth Glory 1 Melbourne Victory 1
Wellington Phoenix 2 Adelaide United 1
Newcastle Jets 2 Western Sydney Wanderers 2
Brisbane Roar 2 Central Coast Mariners 1
The Comeback Kings
“If the Roar beat the Mariners and the Wanderers over the next two weeks…you may as well send the Premiere’s Plate to Brisbane”
There is still a third of the season left to go but Thomas Broich underlined the importance of these two fixtures as back to back wins for the Roar could effectively create a ten point buffer over the second and third ranked teams in the competition.
On Sunday, they delivered on half of the equation. Western Sydney Wanderers could not beat Newcastle Jets whilst the Roar came from a goal down for the third time this season to defeat the Central Coast Mariners.
The game saw the return of Besart Berisha for his first game at home since the announcement of his move to Melbourne Victory at the end of the season. The week he missed due to suspension probably served him well as Roar fans had time to gain perspective on the move and Melbourne Victory conceded ten goals in two games so we all felt sorry for Bes more than anything.
The nature of the 2-1 victory over the Mariners was convincing and possibly even expected given the history between the teams. After the Mariners went a goal up thanks to a Mile Sterjovski penalty which he both won and converted, Mariner’s coach Phil Moss opted to deploy the disappointingly conservative approach of parking the bus and holding on for a 1-0 win. They looked pretty comfortable in the first half but eventually the pressure took its toll and the Roar equalized and eventually found a winner. I had much more respect for the positive way in which Wellington Phoenix took the game to us in the previous week’s encounter.
This Friday is a big one. An away visit to Pirtek stadium to play the Wanderers at a venue where we’ve never beaten them. It’s been a cracking season so far though so I’m hoping for big things.
News and Notes
- I’m happy Steve Lustica has rejoined the Roar after his brief stint at Adelaide United. He was a handy midfielder, suits our style of play well and even netted a couple of goals for us last season.
- It’s nice that we only lost Kwame Yeboah in the January transfer window. Other clubs were not as fortunate. Overall though, you’d say the majority of the A-League clubs were bolstered by their mid-season acquisitions.
- Melbourne Heart really are everyone’s favourite second team and its nice to see them pick up a second win of the season.
- The Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers game will be remembered for a strange bit of footballing trivia – not a single card was issued during the regulation 90 minutes of play but a player was sent off after the full time whistle.
- It’s interesting seeing so many Socceroos players (Kewell, Rogic, Og, Carney) returning to the A-League to get game time before Brazil. Will it work?
- Simon Hill wrote an interesting article about the challenges that a tiny competition like the A-League faces when pitted against multi-million dollar European counterparts. The article notes that so far, the EPL has spent $1.4 billion dollars this season on players. The A-League literally spent $0.00 in the January transfer window. How can a club like Central Coast Mariners prosper when only 3 of their starting 11 from their championship winning season last year remain at the club?
Actually the 5th time they’ve come back from a goal down this season – twice v Phoenix, and once v Adelaide and once v Sydney.
That’s impressive and is a mark of a champion side.
Melbourne Heart definitely aren’t my second favourite A-League team.
I would hope the Roar are your second favourite team! 🙂
Yes definitely. Not only do they play good football, they also seem to be able to identify and promote young talent better than most other clubs (maybe with the exception of CCM who tend to sell them off).