WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1 BRISBANE ROAR 3
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 3 PERTH GLORY 2
MELBOURNE VICTORY O ADELAIDE UNITED 0
SYDNEY FC 1 MELBOURNE CITY 1
WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 NEWCASTLE JETS 2
McLaren Makes His Mark
After a tumultuous off-season, Brisbane Roar kicked off their 2015/16 campaign in the most unexpected fashion taking all three points on the road at Pirtek Stadium against the Western Sydney Wanderers. The opening match of the 2015/16 campaign started with a flurry of goals – all four arriving in the first 35 minutes of the game.
The Roar were without several first choice players with captain Matt McKay away on Socceroos duty and others (Henrique, DeVere, Solozarno) succumbing to injury. But it was an opportunity for the new signings to make their mark and thats exactly what they did. New Spanish signing Corona was impressive and industrious in the middle of park, his work rate and pin point passing the ideal replacement for Luke Brattan who left the club a month prior. New striker Jamie Maclaren, who scored ten goals last season for Perth Glory but was unable to secure a starting position in the team, made a memorable debut for the Roar scoring a brace. He was quick to pounce on a defensive error deftly chipping the ball over an oncoming Andrew Redmayne for the first goal and then he scored a second twenty minutes later with a terrific poachers effort during a goal mouth scramble.
The Wanderers had a new look squad after a third mass clear out of players in as many seasons by Tony Popovic. It was a season of highs and lows in 2014 for the Wanderers as they made Asian club history by becoming the first Australian side to win the Asian Champions League but it came at the cost of a miserable A-League season. Truth be told they looked pretty ordinary against the Roar with some shocking defending and some key signings – new marquee striker Federico Piovaccari – failing to fire. It’s too early to say but after two amazing seasons where they made back to back finals appearances, perhaps midtable mediocrity might be the new norm for the club.
News and Notes From Round One
- It took all of two minutes into the start of the new A-League season for News Ltd AFL columnists to start freaking out about football hooliganism. This during an AFL season that saw black civil rights leader Adam Goodes booed into retirement and a woman get punched in the throat during the finals.
- Central Coast Mariners social media team were on point during their first match of the season as they poked fun at their new tropical themed uniforms and invited fans to make the decision on who should be subbed in the second half half.
77′ | TWITTER DECIDES #CCMFC #CCMvPER pic.twitter.com/ojaw2EVI9I
— #CCMFC (@CCMariners) October 10, 2015
That’s actually our away kit #CCMFChttps://t.co/ttbNgiBplP
— #CCMFC (@CCMariners) October 10, 2015
- Former Brunei DPMM player Roy O’Donovan scored on debut for the Mariners when a ricocheting ball struck him in the chest and bobbled into the back of the net. When he ran to the corner flag to celebrate he tripped over his own feet. Welcome to the big time, Roy!
- Perth Glory looked the worst team in the round. Kenny Lowe’s squad seem a shadow of their former selves when they can’t cheat the salary cap.
- Can the Phoenix build upon the their performance last season without Nathan Burns? Someone needs to step up in front of goal. A club-wide inability to convert penalties is also concerning.
- Bizarrely, the three teams tipped to do the worst this season – Brisbane, Central Coast and the Jets – all won in Week One and top the league. Although I expect their fortunes to change pretty quickly, its a nice change of pace from last season where the bottom three clubs took over ten rounds to all register a win.
- Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC both looked pretty rusty and well below their best. I expect they’ll bounce back in Round Two.
- It’s good to have the A-League back.