Monthly Archives: November 2011

Round 8 Highlights

Friday November 25:
Adelaide United 0 – Newcastle Jets 0

Saturday November 26:
Central Coast Mariners 3 – Melbourne Heart 1

Brisbane Roar 4 – Perth Glory 0

Sunday November 27:
Wellington Phoenix 2 – Sydney FC 1

Melbourne Victory 3 – Gold Coast United 2

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Goal of the Week – Round 8

I’m not even allowing voting for the Round 8 goal of the week. There is no doubt that Tim Brown’s volley from almost fifty yards would win, so I’m just posting it here for all to see:

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10-Man Victory Survive Gold Coast

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Melbourne Victory 3 – Gold Coast United 2
Two goals up after 22 minutes, Melbourne Victory had Rody Vargas sent off, conceded twice and needed a header from Carlos Hernández, of all people, to emerge with a 3-2 win over Gold Coast United at AAMI Park. Playing their first game of the season at AAMI, the Victory looked to have the match wrapped after a first minute penalty was converted by Harry Kewell and a 22nd minute spot kick was scored by Hernández. But Vargas went in on Gol-Gol Mebrahtu with two feet and with studs up, earning a straight red card in the 33rd minute. Mebrahtu won a penalty just before half-time, which was scored by substitute Dylan Macallister, bringing the visitors back into the game. Peter Jungschläger brought further intrigue when he scored just two minutes after the break to level the score and bring reminders of the Victory’s lost two-goal lead just a week earlier. But Hernández headed in an Archie Thompson chip in the 79th minute to finally secure all three points for the home side. Kristian Rees did keep it interesting to the end, hitting the post, just as Jonas Salley had done in the first half, but it was not to be for the A-League’s bottom side. Melbourne jump all the way to third place with the three points, clearing Sydney FC on goal difference.

Wellington Phoenix 2 – Sydney FC 1
Speaking of Sydney, they were the lesser side for the majority of their match away to Wellington, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Phoenix at Westpac Stadium. Though the crowds did not turn out as they’d done in Auckland last weekend, the Yellow Fever were treated to an early goal from the spectacular Paul Ifill and and stunning goal from Tim Brown. The latter will surely be atop the list for Goal of the Year in the A-League as the midfielder slipped around Nicky Carle to claim Liam Reddy’s clearance before lobbing the helpless keeper from nearly fifty yards. That 59th minute goal was vital as a weird goal from Bruno Cazarine pulled one back for the visitors in the 70th minute. Yet the Phoenix were able to hold on with Mirjan Pavlović playing a key role in continuing the home side’s pressure to the end. Gathering full points from a top three (at the time) club was a good win for Wellington and lifts them to eighth place, just a point out of finals football and just two points shy of third place. Sydney had two shouts for penalties in the match, finally do not get a late equalizer or winner and sink to fourth place, now behind Melbourne Victory on goal difference.

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Roar Break Record in 4-0 Walk Past Perth

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Brisbane Roar 4 – Perth Glory 0
Four first half goals secured the thirty-sixth consecutive match without a loss for homestanding Brisbane Roar, breaking the national record across all codes. Two goals apiece for Besart Berisha and Issey Nakajima-Farran gave the home side more than enough to coast through the second half and keep six points clear of Central Coast Mariners. Berisha, the league’s leading scorer, got his first in the 23rd minute before Nakajima-Farran scored his second and third goals of the season in succession. Berisha blasted a shot past Danny Vukovic just before half-time to inflict the final score on the visitors from Western Australia. After winning their first three, the Glory have taken just one point from their past five matches and are currently hanging on to fifth place. Meanwhile, the Roar continue to show the finest football in the A-League, particularly at Suncorp Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners 3 – Melbourne Heart 1
In Gosford, Melbourne Heart were again victim to questionable refereeing as Central Coast Mariners won 3-1 at Bluetongue. Heart’s Eli Babalj got a 78th minute goal to draw level with the Mariners’ Matt Simon. Yet a handball in the box was called against Jonathan Germano with Daniel McBreen converting the resulting penalty in the 82nd. Patrick Zwaanswijk finished off Heart when he scored on an 87th minute header. The Mariners have not lost since Round 3, winning four games in the process, edging clear of Sydney FC for second place and trailing Brisbane Roar by six points. The loss for Heart was their first since Round 2, ending a run that leaves them in sixth place, barely holding on for finals football.

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The Trusted Hands of Ricki Herbert

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Under Ricki Herbert the Wellington Phoenix have built a reputation of overachievement and a formidable trip across the Tasman to the Ring of Fire, where they have set records of 24 home games unbeaten between November 2008 and December 2010, and 7 consecutive home wins between December 2010 and October 2011. The away record may not be as strong, but for a side that has to travel between 1,500 and 3,000 miles for each away game that is easily excused. Indeed for such a side, a coach in the mould of Ricki Herbert (organised, whose first priority is not losing) isn’t a terrible appointment. These things, along with his general standing within the New Zealand football community, and the need for stability during the ownership change are the reasons Gareth Morgan and his partners extended his contract recently. It is a decision that should sit well with a Wellington Phoenix support that practically worships the ground he walks on and Australian and New Zealand football associations that view him as one of the most knowledgeable coaches in the region. Here are some of the most significant games in his time as manager of Wellington Phoenix Football Club.

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10-Man Adelaide Held 0-0 By Newcastle

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Adelaide United 0 – Newcastle Jets 0
Nigel Boogaard was sent off in the 65th minute for Adelaide United but the home side held on for a 0-0 draw with Newcastle Jets at Hindmarsh. In fact, the Reds nearly won the match when Fabian Barbiero scored in the 88th minute, but the flag was up and the scoreless draw confirmed only after Bruce Djite’s shot was expertly saved by stand-in goalkeeper Matthew Nash. Jeremy Brockie had a fine chance for the visitors in the first half but the Jets could not break through and win their first away game since January 8 (at North Queensland Fury). The draw did break Newcastle’s eight-game losing streak in away games, but they still have not beaten a club currently in the A-League since December 2010. The shared points taken the Jets back ahead of Melbourne Heart for fifth place while Adelaide inch ahead of Melbourne Victory for seventh.

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Golden Boot – Round 7

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Another week passed without Besart Berisha losing his place atop the A-League’s scoring ladder, though three other players did score their fourth goals of the season. Henrique, Nicky Carle (pictured) and Shane Smeltz all caught up with James Brown’s four goals and move within three of Berisha’s seven.

roarBesart Berisha – 7

gcuJames Brown – 4

roarHenrique – 4

sydNicky Carle – 4

perthShane Smeltz – 4

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Round 8 Predictions

Friday November 25:
Adelaide United 2
Newcastle Jets 2

Saturday November 26:
Central Coast Mariners 3
Melbourne Heart 1

Brisbane Roar 3
Perth Glory 1

Sunday November 27:
Wellington Phoenix 2
Sydney FC 2

Melbourne Victory 2
Gold Coast United 1

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Round 8 Fixtures in US Time Zones

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Nov. 25 – Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets – 1:00am PT / 4:00am ET
Nov. 25/26 – Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Heart – 10:30pm PT / 1:30am ET
Nov. 26 – Brisbane Roar v Perth Glory – 12:45am PT / 3:450am ET
Nov. 26 – Wellington Phoenix v Sydney FC – 7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET
Nov. 26/27 – Melbourne Victory v Gold Coast United – 10:00pm PT / 1:00am ET – Live on FSC

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