MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 – ADELAIDE UNITED 1
NEWCASTLE JETS 2 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 1
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0 – SYDNEY FC 1
WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 – BRISBANE ROAR 1
PERTH GLORY 2 – MELBOURNE HEART 0
Notes From Round Three
I don’t have a lot of love for Graham Arnold or the Central Coast Mariners but even I felt bad for the treatment they received at the hands of Ben Williams, the worst referee in the A-League. Williams inexplicably lost control of the F3 derby after five minutes. He didn’t punish a two footed tackle from Ruben Zatkovich, then gave Emile Heskey a penalty when he challenged for a ball by falling backwards into a player and then when Central Coast looked to counter after a goal down, Williams allowed an offside decision against Josh Rose who started running for the ball inside his own half. The general standard of refereeing in the A-League has been fine this season but Williams remains a blight on the game. No way in hell did the Jets deserve the win.
The first ever Sydney derby between Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC had an incredible atmosphere. Check out the Youtube video above and consider that that is the first time the two teams have met and it is the Wanderers second ever home game. It was nice to see Del Piero get on the score sheet again. The Wanderers look solid as a team and Ono is a great supply channel but their two strikers are incredibly lacking. As it stands, the club has yet to score a single goal.
I think Perth, Central Coast and Wellington Phoenix have shown that they will have the consistency to go the distance this season. Adelaide started hot but they really shouldn’t be losing to Melbourne Victory who remain absolutely awful.
A trip to the cake tin
The fixture between Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix promised to be a great encounter between the defending champs and one of the most promising sides of this season. The Phoenix started brightly and had the majority of the possession in the first half hour. This was a marked turn around from last season’s games where the Roar on occasion had as much as 70% of the ball. The Phoenix continue to be a bogey team for the Roar and they struck through new Belgian striker Stein Huysegems after 15 minutes. Probably the most worrying thing for the Roar in both the goal and general run of play was that Matt Jurman began to look like the dodgy old defender that he was last season. Jurman was the chink in the armour of the Roar defence on many occasions last season. He improved greatly towards the end of the season but in this game he was back to some of his ball watching worst. Hopefully this was a once off and not a return to his previous form.
The Roar got an equalizer back through (who else?) Besart Berisha who is already on 3 goals for the season. He had two good opportunities prior to scoring that were both comparatively easier but he eventually bested goalkeeper Paston with a smart chip shot from the edge of the penalty area.
The second half ended in a damp squib. The game seemed to run out of puff with twenty minutes to go as both teams seemed happy to play out the draw. Not the Roar’s best performance by any margin. On a side note, new Japanese defender Takahashi debuted for the last few minutes of the game and Henrique returned from injury.
Next week, a home game against new club Western Sydney Wanderers.