Melbourne City vs Central Coast Mariners – AAMI Park
Melbourne comfortably disposed of a newly rejuvenated Central Coast side last Friday night. The score-line ended at 3-1 after City claimed goals through, Good (17th min), Luna (59th min) and Griffiths (82nd min). The Mariners claimed a late consolation through Murray (89th min). In front of a low crowd of 5,547, the match was an offensively flowing one in which both teams had their fair share of opportunities. For the victors, City shot 9/23 on target and completed 85% of their passes, 474/556. And they owned 52% of the ball. For the losers, the Central Coast peppered away with 16 shots, but only five of them landed on target. They completed 84% of their passes, 440/525 and they owned 48% of the ball.
The result leaves City in 1st place on the ladder with four wins from their opening five matches. And for the Mariners they are in 8th spot, with just four points, from four games played. Luna came in upfront to replace the injured Jamie Maclaren and he rewarded the mostly City supporting crowd with one goal. He also had two shot assists and completed a respectable 79% of his passes and 23 made in total. He also won his only tackle. When reviewing the game, the Mariners could perhaps feel a tad unlucky that they at least didn’t take a point from this one. But at the end of the day, their squandered chances are what cost them.
Newcastle Jets vs Perth Glory – Hunter Stadium
Diego Castro scored his first goal of the season for Perth in this match and it was a vitally important one as it came in the 86th minute to deliver Perth a 1-1 draw. Also, critically, it came just one minute before Grant received a red card for a bad foul (which was his second yellow). Newcastle’s goal came via Hoffman in the 31st minute of the match. The underdog Jets did well to claim a point from this one and did tediously well to almost hold Perth of until the end. Playing in front of a crowd of 8,308, the Jets had 13 shots at the Glory’s goals, but only four hit the target. And they had just 36% possession of the ball, to go along with their 72% passing accuracy. They were just 260/361. For Perth they dominated more so holding 64% of the ball and going 4/12 on target, in addition to having two shots come of the woodwork. They completed 84% of their passes, 555/658.
This match was shrewd with controversy, as post this match, Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick came out and blasted the decision for a no penalty call in the match, a decision which potentially changed the outcome of the game for his side. He also blasted referee Jonathan Barreiro for speaking Spanish during the game to some of the players. As he believes that given the league is in Australia, the only language spoken by the referees to the players, should accordingly so, be In English. “He speaks a lot of Spanish during the games and talks to the opposition a lot in Spanish. We’re in Australia, I would have thought he would be speaking English most of the time so we can all hear what he’s saying to his mates.” Spanish or no Spanish, Newcastle still reside in 10th place, whilst the Glory are in 6th.
Western United FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers – GMHBA Stadium
They had a goal controversially disallowed by VAR as they ruled that not all of the ball had crossed the line, but Western United strongly managed to ignore that setback in their come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Wanderers. Western Sydney opened the scoring in just the 5th minute of the match through Mitch Duke. But, just eight minutes later, in the 13th minute, Andrew Durante evened things up at 1-all with his maiden goal for United. And then in the 58th minute, Appiahh-Kubi scored the winner, much to the delight of the home crowd. The attendance was 4558 passionate, screaming supporters.
Western United had 51% possession and shot 5/15 on target. Western Sydney had 49% possession and shot just 2/6 on target. Both sides completed their passes at a 78% accuracy rate. For WU they were at, 334/428. And for WSW, they were at, 322/412. Fouls-wise, the numbers were quite high. WU conceded 16 and three yellows. While for WSW, they conceded 22 and two yellows. Currently Western United are in 2nd place on 10 points. And Western Sydney are right behind them in 3rd place, also on 10 points. And both sides also currently have a GD of +2. This was an extremely close and entertaining game to watch.
Melbourne Victory vs Wellington Phoenix – AAMI Park
In front of 15,014 people, the Victory struggled to a draw at home, 1-1, against the even worse Phoenix. The Phoenix’s draw against Melbourne, was surprisingly their first point of the season. And it started appallingly for the Victory, as in just the 5th minute of the game, Ola Toivonen committed a hand-ball offence in the area. And Davila made no mistake from the spot, as the former Chelsea FC man gave the Nix an unforeseen 1-0 advantage. But in the 66th minute, Toivonen made up for his previous mistake as a superb solo effort netted him the equalizer and his 3rd of the new campaign. Melbourne dominated with 67% of the ball, while Wellington had just 33% of it. The Victory also shot 6/20 on target to the Nix’s 4/11. The Victory completed 87% of their passes, 566/651. And Wellington completed 74% of theirs, 238/320.
Ulises Davila was the standout performer in this one. The converted spot-kick was his 3rd goal of the season for a bad Wellington side. He also completed 24 accurate passes, at an amazing 86% completion rate. Outside of that he won 3/3 tackles and 8/12 duels. He also had one shot on target, from just three taken. He led an offensively deprived Wellington side around the park pretty well. And he needs to be credited massively for the part he played in his young, relatively in-experienced side claiming an upset point. Without him, the Nix would have definitely struggled for any real fluency or flow to their stuttering attack.
Adelaide United vs Brisbane Roar – Hindmarsh Stadium
For both sides it was a tough, rough battle. Adelaide shot just 4/17 on target and Brisbane an even worse 3/18, in the 1-0 Reds victory. James Troisi assisted Riley McGree for his 4th goal of the season in the 84th minute, the late, devastating goal that broke the dead lock. This was much to the delight of the delirious, home-based Adelaide crowd. In a real sign of the Roar’s troubles in this one, O’Donovan was subbed of in the 63rd minute for Amadi-Holloway as he struggled to make any real dent on the game. They also subbed Ingham late on in another sign of just how much Brisbane needed anyone to do something/ for anything to happen in this match-up. Adelaide are now a solid 5th and Brisbane a poor 9th as a result of this game. And Robbie Fowler has still yet to post his maiden A-League win as Roar head coach. Insert big searching eyes emoji here.
Adelaide had 52% possession and Brisbane 48%. Adelaide had a shot come of the woodwork and Brisbane none. The Reds completed their passes at an 80% rate, 403/506. For the Roar, it was at a nearly as good 77% rate, 352/459. The Reds won a big 52 duels to the Roars 37. They also were victorious in 25 aerial duels to their seven. Outside of that, Adelaide also conceded just the five fouls to Brisbane’s 12. This game most definitely wasn’t the most prettiest at times. But at the end of the day, the arguably better team won.