ADELAIDE UNITED 1 WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1
NEWCASTLE JETS 0 SYDNEY FC 1
MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 MELBOURNE CITY 2
BRISBANE ROAR 2 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1
PERTH GLORY 1 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 2
Roar Continue Their Return To Form
Brisbane Roar continued their positive start to the season with the first home game of the season for both the mens and womens teams on a day that saw great results both on the field and off it. The Brisbane Roar W-League side kicked off at 1pm against reigning premieres Canberra United and won 2-1, a shock upset considering their middling performance last season and the huge influx of young new players in the squad. The Mens side capped off a terrific weekend for the club with a commanding performance against the Central Coast Mariners winning 2-1, with a late goal from Josh Bingham the only blemish on an otherwise solid performance. Better still, the game was played in front of an unexpectedly buoyant crowd of 14,000 fans – a huge relief considering the club’s membership figures had plummeted from 10,000+ to just 3,000 during the troubled off-season.
The club capped off a fine day, rewarding their fans in unique fashion by inviting them onto the field with the players for an enormous ‘family photo’. Personally, I’ve gone to Lang Park over a hundred times and have never had an opportunity to step on the field so I found it to be a particularly creative and novel way to reach out to fans. It was a memorable way to wrap up a successful day and really jump-started a much needed rebuilding process between the club and its supporters.
Since stepping down from the coaching position with Melbourne Heart, John Aloisi had spent time honing his craft both under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou and with Melbourne Victory’s NPL and Youth teams and it appears to have paid dividends. The game against Central Coast was one of the most fluent and attack minded performances that the club has put in in a long time with the pace in attack looking particularly potent and very easy on the eye. After only two rounds, new signing Corona is earning rave reviews and appears to be more than a capable replacement for Luke Bratten. Brandon Borrello and Jamie Maclaren linked up particularly well in attack with Maclaren providing the assist on both occasions for Borrello’s brace.
It’s great to see the club at the top of the table after the first two rounds but expectations will need to be tempered. The manner in which the Roar dispatched the Wanderers and the Mariners has given them a much needed boost at the start of the season but there is much sterner competition to be had. A tricky away fixture to the Wellington Phoenix next Saturday is perhaps a better litmus test for the club’s quality this season.
News and Notes From Round Two
- It didn’t happen in the A-League but I would be remiss not to include this:
TEKKERS: Jose Rondon with the move of the season. pic.twitter.com/3nKkKBcgse
— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) October 17, 2015
- After coming back from two goals down to level the scores in the Melbourne derby, City eventually went home with nothing when Besart Berisha stole all three points right at the death. I remain convinced that this will be another underwhelming season for City. I don’t think John Van’t Schip has the tactical nous to get the best out of his players and they are also beholden to an ordinary marquee player in Robbie Koren. It seems extraordinary that a club with the riches that Melbourne City has, has ended up being lumped with such a sub par marquee. Surely they will be looking to offload at the earliest opportunity.
- There was a horror clash between Shane Smeltz and Mark Birighitti in the Sydney FC / Newcastle Jets clash that saw Birighitti coming off second best, needing stitches and two teeth reinserted. It was a polarizing moment in the weekend with fans split on Smeltz’s culpability. Smeltz ended up avoiding any punishment.
- The rough run of luck for goal keepers continued on Wednesday with Melbourne City’s Tando Velaphi coming off the field with a concussion in the FFA Cup Semi Final against Perth Glory.
- Perhaps an ominous sign of things to come is that defending champions Melbourne Victory hasn’t hit their stride at all but are sitting joint second on the table with four points from a possible six.
- Vince Lia scoring from a corner for Wellington Phoenix 0_o
How good are our corners!!!
— Andrew Durante (@A_Dura22) October 18, 2015