Sydney FC 2 – Adelaide United 2
John Kosmina could not get Adelaide United’s first win since Remembrance Day but did eke out a point against his former club, Sydney FC, in a 2-2 draw at the Sydney Football Stadium. Daniel Mullen got the opener for the visiting Reds, heading in a Dario Vidošić corner in the eighth minute, but was quickly equalized when Karol Kisel converted an eleventh minute penalty for the Sky Blues. Bruno Carazine earned the spot kick after a Nigel Boogaard challenge in the box. Carazine nearly gave the home side the lead early in the second half but for his header caroming off the post. Minutes later, Bruce Djite earned a penalty for Adelaide when he was taken down by Liam Reddy. Vidošić added a goal to his line on the score sheet in converting the penalty in the 55th minute for a 2-1 lead. From there, teenager Dimitri Petratos scored from a wonderful volley in the 66th minute to level the score once again. Iain Ramsay was sent off late in the game for the Reds but the visitors held on to take a point and given Kosmina a starting point in the rebuilding job for which he was hired. Sydney move into third with their point, now just one behind Brisbane Roar.
Dec. 22 – Sydney FC v Adelaide United – 12:30am PT / 3:30am ET
Dec. 22/23 – Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets – 10:30pm PT / 1:30am ET
Dec. 23 – Melbourne Victory v Melbourne Heart – 1:00am PT / 4:00am ET
Dec. 23 – Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners – 3:00am PT / 6:00am ET
Dec. 26 – Gold Coast United v Brisbane Roar – 12:30am PT / 3:30am ET – live on FSC
Besart Berisha – 9
Shane Smeltz – 5
Ryan Griffiths – 5
Carlos Hernández – 5
Mate Dugandžić – 5
Archie Thompson – 5
James Brown – 4
Henrique – 4
Jeremy Brockie – 4
Nicky Carle – 4
Patrick Zwaanswijk – 4
Matt Simon – 4
|1||Central Coast Mariners FC||11||7||2||2||19||9||10||23|
|2||Brisbane Roar FC||12||6||2||4||24||13||11||20|
|3||Melbourne Heart FC||11||5||3||3||16||13||3||18|
|5||Melbourne Victory FC||11||3||6||2||14||13||1||15|
|6||Wellington Phoenix FC||12||4||3||5||13||13||0||15|
|7||Newcastle Jets FC||11||4||1||6||12||17||-5||13|
|8||Perth Glory FC||11||4||1||6||10||15||-5||13|
|9||Adelaide United FC||11||2||4||5||8||21||-13||10|
|10||Gold Coast United FC||11||2||3||6||14||18||-4||9|
Melbourne Victory 3 – Wellington Phoenix 1
Three goals in the game’s first twenty-five minutes sealed an important three points at AAMI Park for Melbourne Victory in a 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix. Archie Thompson (pictured) opened with a header in the 4th minute before Carlos Hernández had his shot from distance redirect off of Vince Lia and past Tony Warner in the 22nd. Just three minutes later, Diogo Ferreira blasted in a volley from outside the box, thrilling the home support and wrapping up all three points. The Victory were reduced again to ten men when Billy Celeski was sent off in the 78th minute for his second yellow card and the Phoenix responded seven minutes later with Alex Smith producing a consolation goal for the hapless visitors. Wellington cling to sixth place and are passed by the Victory who are now in fifth, just three points behind rivals Melbourne Heart for third place.
Rini Coolen was sacked at Adelaide United in favor of former Reds boss John Kosmina (pictured), at least for the rest of 2011/12. Adelaide are currently bottom of the A-League ladder with just seven points from ten matches, a run that is particularly poor given they had three points through Round 2. A 3-0 home loss to previously last place Gold Coast Untied precipitated the move, though the Reds had not won in their previous four matches either. In Kosmina, Adelaide bring back a manager with plenty of top level experience. After managing both Newcastle Breakers and Brisbane Strikers in the National Soccer League, Kosmina was the top man at Adelaide from 2003-2007 and at Sydney FC from 2007-2009. That Coolen is out at Adelaide seems to be acceptable to supporters and rivals alike. The question is whether Kosmina is the right man for the job.
Brisbane Roar 1 – Central Coast Mariners 2
After a slow start to the season, Central Coast Mariners have now won five straight and are unbeaten in their last eight, taking over the top of the ladder with a 2-1 away defeat of Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium. Just 10,006 showed up to see the slumping Roar give up two first half goals, one from Mustafa Amini (pictured) in the sixth minute and the other from Pedj Bojić in first half injury time. Kofi Danning pulled one back for the struggling home side when his 83rd minute shot deflected off of Patrick Zwaanswijk. The third straight loss for Brisbane, after thirty-six unbeaten, is a bit of a shock to the A-League hierarchy, though it can be at least partially explained by injuries and absences of Matt Smith and Thomas Broich. The Mariners are now top with a game in hand.
Newcastle Jets 1 – Sydney FC 2
Sydney FC came from a goal down, scoring twice in the final half-hour to defeat F3 rivals Newcastle Jets 2-1 at Ausgrid Stadium. Jeremy Brockie got the opener for the Jets off the volley in the 25th minute. But a reshuffling for the Sky Blues when Brett Emerton was removed due to injury at half-time led to increased offensive production. Rhyan Grant was the replacement and his cross led directly to Sydney’s first goal, a Bruno Carazine effort in the 59th minute. The visitors got the match-winner in the 84th when a poor Jets clearance came to Pascal Bosschaart whose ball back into the box was headed in by Juho Mäkelä. All three points for Sydney take them to fourth place, only trailing Melbourne Heart on goal difference. Newcastle barely hang on to a finals position despite the home loss.
Perth Glory 1 – Melbourne Heart 2
A dramatic 87th minute goal from Mate Dugandžić saw Melbourne Heart to yet another win, this time at the expense of Perth Glory. The 2-1 win at the nib Stadium came after the teams traded goals in a three minute spell in the first half. Matt Thompson opened scoring for Heart in the 33rd minute but was quickly equalized by Billy Mehmet in the 35th. The score remained until an Aziz Behich shot was saved by Danny Vukovic but headed in by Dugandžić. Heart stay clear of Sydney on goal difference while the Glory remain outside of the finals positions, currently seventh.