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State Leagues  

W-League: Hard working Adelaide shocks Perth

Adelaide United has pulled off an upset victory against league leaders Perth Glory in their W-League fixture at Adelaide Shores on Saturday afternoon, handing the visitors their first defeat of the season.

Kristy Moore’s third goal in two matches was the difference between the two sides in a tie which was far more exciting than its 1-0 score line represented.


Moore consistently put the sword to Perth Glory’s defenders, making a number of runs and being denied by the post before putting an easy chance away in the 61st minute after she cleared her marker and stepped around Glory keeper Mackenie Arnold, finishing her great run with the calmest of finishes.

In the opening 15 minutes, Adelaide pushed hard at a sluggish Perth outfit as the Lady Reds took a number of shots and crossed the ball in regularly, only to be let down by poor accuracy.

The best first half chance came in the 12th minute when Katrine Pedersen took a free kick from just outside the box. Her curving effort looked all but in until the very last moment when it smacked into the left post and bounced clear.

The close shave seemed to bring Perth into the game as skipper Kathryn Gill and Caitlin Foord had a number of shots, but they rarely made Adelaide’s keeper Melissa Barbieri sweat.

Despite the high tempo football on display, the teams went into the break without scoring, but it seemed inevitable that that would change, and change it did as the Lady Reds resumed the second half in the same way that they started the first, with fast runs and long balls to Moore at the front.

Once Moore put her charges ahead, Perth was forced to chase the game and spent the final 30 minutes of the match pressing the Reds defenders. Despite their efforts, and at times superior skill, Glory were forced to take most of their shots from distance, and almost all of them went harmlessly over the bar.

The win is Adelaide United’s second of the season, after their heroic upset against Canberra a week ago, and their first at home.

Speaking after the match, Adelaide’s coach Ross Aloisi said that his team was elated with their victory, and that he was personally pleased with the change in form after a series of comprehensive losses.

“Playing against the team that is top of the table and is smashing everyone, makes this win all the more special,” Aloisi said.

“I have to say, it was well deserved in the end, because we hit the post twice and Kristy Moore’s header got saved off the line in the second half.

“We always thought we could get a win in this game,” he said.

In the other dugout, Perth boss Jamie Harnwell rued his teams missed opportunities, saying the performance was uncharacteristic for his previously unbeaten side.

“We had a fair amount of possession, and created some chances, but the finished product probably wasn’t there today,” Harnwell said.

“I thought they’d press us early… in the first 15 minutes they did really well, but after that we got ourselves into the game.

“I just don’t think we matched them enough in terms of endeavour and commitment. They got the first and second chances, they got good tackles in, worked hard for each other and made it hard for us,” he said.

Adelaide plays Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Shores in its next match on Wednesday night, while Perth will take on the same opponent in Melbourne next Sunday.



Adelaide United starting XI:  1. Melissa Barbieri (GK), 2. Monique Iannella, 3. Danielle Brogan, 7. Katrine Pedersen, 8. Emily Condon (87’ off), 9. Lisa-Marie Woods, 11. Isabel Hodgson, 12. Daila-Tais Borg, 15. Jenna McCormick, 16. Katie Holtham (87’ off), 23. Kristy Moore (C)

Adelaide United substitutes: 6. Dylan Holmes, 10. Alexandra Chidiac (87’ on), 17. Tiarn Powell (87’ on), 20. Sarah Willacy (GK)


Perth Glory starting XI: 1 Mackenzie Arnold (GK), 2. Sarah Carroll (72’ off), 4. Bronwyn Studman, 5. Shannon May, 6. Alanna Kennedy, 7. Gabrielle Marzano, 8,  Shawn Billam (60’ off), 9. Caitlin Foord, 12. Kathryn Gill (C), 15. Shelina Zadorsky, 17. Marianna Tabain

Adelaide United substitutes: 3. Cary Hawkins (72’ on), 13. Elisa D’Ovidio (60’ on), 16. Thia Eastman, 18. Gabrielle Dal Busco (GK)
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W-League: Jets reverse hoodoo to claim three points

The Newcastle Jets have broken a six-year losing streak at Magic Park by thumping the Brisbane Roar Ladies 4-1 in a fantastic home performance.

With the chance of securing a bid for finals football this season, the Jets faced down against a challenge they have yet to overcome – defeating Brisbane Roar at home. Since the formation of the W-League, the Newcastle Jets have failed to secure a win at home against the ladies from Brisbane.


The first half saw the Jets open strong, looking to break the record and put a win to their name, as well as prove they had left their mediocre season well and truly behind.

The first half hour of the game saw both teams struggle to take shots, and only three shots came off Brisbane’s boots to challenge Claire Coelho in Newcastle’s goals, but all that changed on Victoria Huster’s breakaway.

Huster claimed a tap-in in the 35th minute and moments later, Emily Van Egmond slammed a chip into the bar, glancing into the back of the net and putting Newcastle two goals up with minutes to go in the second half.

Newcastle retained its solid lead as the second half opened, with Brisbane desperate to equalize, but a mistake struck the defence moments into the half and the Roar defenders claimed a goal against themselves with a mistimed kick leading to an own goal from Huster’s pressure.

A scrabble in the box gave the Jets another chance as Van Egmond lined up to take the penalty kick from the dot, and a casual tap into the right side of the net put the Jets on four to Brisbane’s nil, all but sealing the game for the home side.

Grace Macintyre returned to the pitch to replace Rhali Dobson in a bid to give the Jets an even higher goal difference, with Macintyre’s aim simple: score more goals.

Butt claimed back a consolation goal for the away side, but Newcastle was simply too far ahead, closing the game out with slow-paced defence that made sure the lead stayed in tact.

The win gives Newcastle a fighting chance of taking a high-placed finals position, and has well and truly given a message to the rest of the W-League – we’re back from last season and we’re not looking back.

Newcastle now looks to its next round, where the Jets face the Lady Reds in the reverse fixture at Magic Park, where they will be looking to collect three more points and well and truly book a place in the W-League finals.



Newcastle Jets: 1. Claire COELHO (GK), 2. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 3. Hayley CRAWFORD, 5. Katherine REYNOLDS, 6. Angela SALEM, 7. Victoria HUSTER, 8. Amber NEILSON (77’ Wheeler), 9. Tara ANDREWS, 10. Emily VAN EGMOND (c), 11. Rhali DOBSON (70’ Macintyre), 16. Cassidy DAVIS (81’ Miller)

Newcastle Jets substitutes: 17. Grace MACINTYRE, 18. Clare WHEELER, 20. Renee RUDDER (GK), 24. Brooke MILLER.


Brisbane Roar: 20. Kate STEWART (GK), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 3. Amy CHAPMAN (Crummer), 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Hayley RASO, 7. Kim CARROL, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 10. Katrina-Lee GORRY, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC (45’ GIELNIK), 13. Tameka BUTT.

Brisbane Roar substitutions: 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 18. Sunny FRANCO, 21. Teagan MICAH (GK).
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Sky Blues outclass winless Roar

Sydney FC claimed its second victory in eight matched against Brisbane Roar, upsetting the home team 2-0 in match filled with thrilling shots on goal.

The Roar made A-League history at Suncorp Stadium, potentially in one of the worst ways possible. They were yet to start a season with three consecutive losses but managed to do so, leaving fans in disbelief.


The Roar maintained some control of the first half, but the Sky Blues' skillful display in attack was sure to pay off eventually.

Sydney’s Marc Janko and Bernie Ibini-Isei looked dangerous up front, as Brisbane captain Matt Smith took the reigns in goal denying Janko an opener.

 However, it wasn’t long before Sydney finally managed to open the scoring in tremendous style.

Janko took a shot off a volley from 35 metres out, bouncing past Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young and narrowly hitting the top right corner.

The Roar gained some momentum and Dimitri Petratos fired back with a great shot on goal, but it wasn’t enough to make it past Sydney goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.

While the Roar showed some skill, they lacked forward runs and struggled to break past Sydney’s midfield in the first half.

A hopeful Roar squad looked confident as they returned to the field, but the second half began to look even less promising than the first.

A miss-kick from the Roar handed Sydney an ideal opportunity and Milos Dimitrijevic came through with the goods, shooting into the top right corner well beyond Young’s reach.

The Sky Blue’s started to tire with 10 minutes remaining and Brisbane’s Shane Stefanutto set Petratos up for the perfect header, but it soared over the crossbar once again.

The Roar looked to be giving every last ounce of energy, as they pushed forward in desperation of a goal.

Petratos looked promising up front, but luck didn’t appear to be on his side. A shot at goal in stoppage time could have saved the Roar from embarrassment, but Petratos just couldn't hit the back of the net.

Ibini-Isei looked to lengthen the lead for Sydney in the final minutes, but cleared the crossbar giving the Roar a sigh of relief.

Matt McKay rejoins the Roar squad next week after a two-match suspension, as Brisbane head south in search of a win against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Sydney FC takes on the Central Coast Mariners next week, hoping to continue their outstanding start to the season.




Brisbane Roar squad: 2.Matt SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10 HENRIQUE, 11.Liam MILLER, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (GK), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28. Brandon BORRELLO 30.Matthew ACTON (GK)


Sydney squad: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4. Pedrag BOJIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO, 8. Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 12. Hagi GLIGOR, 13. Christopher NAUMOFF, 14. Alex BROSQUE (c), 16. Alexander GERSBACH, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 21. Marc JANKO, 22. Ai ABBAS, 25. Aaron CALVER
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W-League: Wise words from experienced Pedersen

20 years of professional football, 210 national caps and eight different clubs makes an experienced footballer; we are incredibly lucky to have her playing in our backyard.

The ‘her’ refers to Katrine Pedersen, the Danish superstar who, having travelled to each corner of Europe, now plies her trade in Adelaide for the Lady Reds. The 37-year-old is certainly one of the most significant signings in the W-League’s history, and it's interesting to find out what it was about Australia that made her put ink on that old dotted line.

Image provided by Getty Images.
In an exclusive interview with The Football Sack, Pedersen said that coming to the land down under was a cracking decision for a number of reasons.

“For me, it’s a great experience to come to a new league where I don’t know all the opponents, and I’m playing with new teammates, and that’s always a challenge,” Pedersen said.

“[The W-League] is a very good league, I find the quality of the league very good,” she said.

It’s hard to argue with the midfielder on that point; the welcoming party at Adelaide alone includes England international Katie Holtham, Norweigan international Lisa-Marie Woods, Australian and England international Kristy Moore and Australian goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri.

But there are challenges for European footballers coming to play in Australia, particularly in the women’s league, and Pedersen herself had to put off touching these shores until she retired from her national duties.

“I’ve been on my way here a few of times before, but it hasn’t really fitted into the plan,” she said.

“I’ve had World Cup qualifications and European qualification and the seasons in Europe are longer… and you want to finish those of before you come here.”

In spite of this, she still says that players can continue their international careers whilst playing in Australia and that they shouldn’t be put off by the distance, claiming that coming to this land instead of having a winter break in Europe will benefit those who can squeeze it in.

The reason for this, Pedersen says, is: “The excellent quality of the league.”

Despite the heavy number of European talents playing for Adelaide United this season, it hasn’t all been easy sailing, and the Lady Reds find themselves in seventh place – only ahead of the languishing Western Sydney Wanderers.

Things may have started to come together on Sunday though, as they picked up their first win of the season against the highly-regarded Canberra United at McKellar Park in Canberra.

A few days before the game, Pedersen was asked what she wanted to do as the most experienced player in the squad to help turn around the team’s poor run of the results. She gave the perfect response.

“The one reason why I’m playing is because I love the game,” she said.

“I want people to come and watch us play and when they’re watching us play, they have to be able to see that this team loves to play.

“When we love the game, we play well… so bringing the joy back to the game is the important part,” she said.

If that’s what Pedersen and her European counterparts want to do for women’s football on this island, well that can be nothing but positive.

Fellow football lovers can see Pedersen and the Lady Reds on Saturday 25 October when they take on Perth Glory at Adelaide Shores Football Centre at 2:30 pm.
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Byline Banter: A-League standing tall

What a weekend in the universe's favourite football league, which featured enormous crowds, incredible comebacks, hilarious disasters and brilliant goals.

Byline Banter looks back at all the action from round two and arranges it under some words that begin with B!


Boastful
Let’s start with the record weekend attendance. A-League fans go ahead and bow, curtsy, fits pump, air guitar, karate kick, do that thing where you grab one ankle and put your other hand on your neck and kind of ab-crunch-knee on the spot - do whatever it is you freaks do because bumper crowds and breaking attendance records is worth celebrating.

Over the weekend, 106,082 people flooded through stadium turnstiles, surpassing the previous record set in the opening week of the 2013/14 season by more 5,000.  Records were broken all over the country with a massive 41,213 recorded at Allianz Stadium for the Sydney Derby, making it the biggest crowd for a regular-season game of any code since the stadium opened in 1988.

Adelaide United saw its largest ever crowd for a football game with 33,126 people showing up for the clash with Melbourne Victory. Despite all the moaning about the loss of the Heart, Melbourne City broke the club's attendance record for a non-derby game with over 15,000 people in the strange cloud-shaped stadium. Funny what names like David Villa and Damien Duff can do for you.

Not only were records broken, but the fans in attendance were treated to some fantastic football. With some big clashes this weekend, fans have plenty of reasons to get out there and support their team.

Honourable mentions:
- Josep Gombau shushing Kevin Muscat, something we all would like to do.
- Henrique’s net-busting goal.
- David Villa feeling like he’s the only trying for City.


Brilliance
Aren't derbies the best? Saturday’s derby had it all: goals, cards, controversy, atmosphere and plenty of feeling on the pitch. Putting the result to one side, plenty of credit must go to the fans of both clubs. Nothing creates a better match than atmosphere and with the stands bathed in red and black, and sky blue that transferred onto the pitch. Do you think Sasa Ognenovski would have acted like a petulant child, simply trying to aggravate his opponents in any other match? Probably, but he saved it for the derby because they mean everything.

To Sydney FC’s credit, when the lads were given the advantage, they made it count and earned the three points. But Western Sydney fans have a right to feel aggrieved as plenty went against them. Ognenovski’s goal should not have counted; many SFC fans would have a hard time looking you in the eye and arguing the opposite. As for Vitor Saba, he had to go for his challenge but you have to wonder, would he have seen yellow if it wasn't a derby match?    

The seventh Sydney Derby dished up one of the most memorable and exciting derbies the A-League has seen, but for a long time we had to make do with the Melbourne and F3 derbies. The purists may not appreciate the F3 Derby, but rest assured, there is plenty of bad-blood between Newcastle and the Central Coast.

No doubt both the Newcastle Jets and Wanderers will already be circling return fixtures in their calendars. Plus we still have this week’s Melbourne Derby to look forward to - what a time to be alive!

Honourable mentions:
- Alex Gersbach tackling not only the Wanderers but also the HSC exams, good luck, kid.
- Andy Keogh’s four goals in two games, someone buy him some gold spray paint for his boot.
- Wooden spoon favourites Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets showing they’re not going to lie down.   


Blunder
Brisbane Roar are bottom of the table and still looking for points. Sunday’s match was a really big miss for the Roar, as they should have went on and won the match. Perth Glory twice came from behind and were indeed gutsy in the upset. It would be unfair to say they didn't deserve that win - that should not be argued - but ask yourself this, would the Roar have lost that game last year?

We've not seen the Roar yet this season; they were outclassed by Adelaide and Perth has now pulled their pants down in front of the rest of the class. The Roar dominated possession as they usually do and tallied more shots, but following Keogh’s penalty, they didn't look like winning. Sure Henrique scored a cracker but nine times out of 10 that’s saved or goes wide. The Roar knocked the ball about in the fashion fans and other teams have come accustom to but failed to make the most of their chances in the final third, and Andy Keogh made them pay.

Hopefully they've put that out of their minds and refocused this week as they have the short turnaround and welcome Sydney FC to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night. Following the game, Roar coach Mike Mulvey said he was happy with his team’s effort in the opening two weeks and wasn't worried about the results. If they fail to get anything on Friday night, he may have to be.

Honourable mentions
- Vedran Janjetovic, enough said.
- Zenon Caravella could have thrown his hat on the ball and done better. At least he knows he’s Mario Balotelli’s idol now.


Bonehead
This one is simple. Ben Williams; what on earth is going on with that guy? Nikola Petkovic’s send-off in Sydney FC’s loss to Adelaide in the FFA Cup was mind-boggling and no football fan in the world would consider that a red card. Petkovic now misses the match against the Roar on Friday night unless the Match Review Panel overturns the decision.


Bemusement – Observation of the week
What a league Australia has! After two rounds, last year’s Grand Finalist are propping up the table, both still looking for their first points of the season. Yeah, yeah, it’s only early, but May would feel like a lifetime ago now.


Get involved with the observation of the week by tweeting what catches your eye to @TheFootballSack and using #bylinebanter.
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The FFA Cup, where football romance goes to die

Western Sydney Wanderers' loss to Adelaide City aside, the first FFA Cup has thus far been pretty unremarkable.

In the last round, Melbourne Victory bullied six Tuggeranong United six goals to nil and Central Coast Mariners came within a Matt Sim fifth of doing the same thing to Palm Beach in the first Quarter Final. Beyond that, it's been a lot of state league sides playing off against other state league sides before losing to A-League sides – on the surface, it's not half as mythical and magical as narrative said it should be.


Interestingly, but probably more obviously, neither Sydney FC nor Adelaide United are state league teams, but I needed to start somewhere. Adelaide was briefly involved in the old NSL but jumped ship in 2005 when its other ship sank. Meanwhile, Sydney is celebrating its 10th anniversary along with the A-League and five other foundation teams. Stripped of ethnic ties and only 10 years old, the A-League still feels a bit new, and the romanticism of the NSL really doesn't have any relevance.

Just over 3,500 people managed to make it out to Allianz Stadium, an almost impressive non-effort given the sold-out derby on Saturday night. It's an unfair comparison to make, sure – it was a derby on a Saturday, as opposed to a game against Adelaide that didn't really matter to anyone on a Tuesday – but like Mallory climbing Everest, I'm only making it because it's there.


The few hundred people in the Cove were singing the same song they always sing – y'know the one, about the boys in blue from Moore Park Road, repeated over and over and over and over until the words lose meaning and everyone bleeds from their ears  – and the Adelaide supporters, about thirty-strong in the opposite corner of the stadium, were banging on seats, antagonising at a distance and generally having a good time outside of South Australia.

The most noticeable difference between this game and Saturday's derby was that were no lines at the gate. There were no lines at the toilet. There were no lines for beers, either, even if they were still $7.40. Half an hour of my life that I'll never get back since kick off, I went to buy one and missed the first goal – a thoroughly deserved goal for Sergio Cirio, according to the big screen replay. Halftime came and went, and I bought some hot chips ($5.80).

The game swung from Adelaide to Sydney, especially so when Alex Brosque scuffed a lob into the goal within minutes of the restart. Allianz Stadium kills a 3500-strong crowd like Olympic Park kills any crowd – while they're still expecting Gold Coast United attendances at these matches, they'd be better off finding a local ground to fill – and though both teams lurched forward with discernible determination, there was a sense of inevitable collapse about most moves.

The FFA Cup taps into a nostalgia that the A-League clubs will probably find in a generation or two, but the massive disparity between the state and national sides – financially, historically, culturally – remains at the moment. Understandably, then, it's not a competition in which A-League fans have made any great emotional investment – yet.

The A-League doesn't need the FFA Cup, if you think about it. The league has survived 10 years now and this season will feature a match every week televised by a national broadcaster. The Western Sydney Wanderers have found themselves preparing for an Asian Champions League Final just a few years since they were founded and we have David Villa here for a few games, which is ridiculous.

Attendances are up, TV audiences are up, the price for hot chips is up; David Gallop might not be able to convince you that he understands or enjoys football, but he's the administrative messiah the sport needs.

Graham Arnold spoke of a weakened side in the lead up and to his credit, played a decent number of first team players, but there was a pre-seasonish feel to the whole thing. In the end, it took a red card that wasn't a red card to get anyone really excited about the game.

Adelaide took advantage of the extra man and, annoyed by the tide slowly turning in Adelaide's favour in a fledgling cup competition in a mostly-empty stadium on a Tuesday night, the masses focused their frustrations on the referee, defaulting to outrage. Extra-time played out as a slightly more interesting extension of the second half – competitive when players decided to treat the game seriously – until Bruce Djite scored a goal in each half, and romance died.

It's more difficult to say what the game meant to the players – they seemed fired up enough once Nikola Petkovic had been sent off – but Bruce Djite's goal in the first half of extra time felt like somebody had announced the death of an unmemorable family member. The Sydney FC collective looked sad enough, but not nearly sad enough to do anything about it.

Pushing where they could, they were crushed by a second from Djite, a player once seriously described by a man sitting in front of me at the Socceroos' 1-0 loss to China in 2008 as possessing "The best touch in Australian football." With an eternity to bring the ball down from deep, he turned to send Cirio down the wing before moving inside to score, prompting an exodus.

Robbed of a penalty shootout, the only thing a neutral can ever hope for from extra time, I stayed to the end, waited as the boos descended into vitriol and left as two Sydney fans reflected on the result.

"It's just a cup," said one.

"Yeah, [insert expletive here] the cup," said the other, closing out a thoroughly magical night.
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End-to-End: Round 2

Taking a look at all the weekend’s action, we investigate who had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, and who couldn't wait for the sound of their Monday alarm.

In another big weekend of football, goals, crowds and red cards were the order of the day in the A-League, as Sydney FC fought its way back against the Wanderers while Adelaide hosted the Victory in front of a bumper crowd. In the W-League, more upsets might be signifying a change in the guard as another top contender drops out of the top four.


Losers
In Gosford, fans are preparing for the worst as the early showings by the Mariners haven’t inspired much hope about their chances this season. Traditionally, the Mariners have been overlooked by the experts, but have managed to punch above their weight to arguably be the competition’s most consistent team. Under Arnold, the Mariners were constantly unearthing new talent - Matt Ryan, Mustafa Amini, Tom Rogic and Trent Sainsbury just to name a few - however, that production line seems to have stopped for the time being as the Mariners look a shadow of their former selves. Their biggest problem is in the final third, with little creativeness in that part of the field. The replacement of Marcos Flores with state-leaguer Matt Sim will likely create as many goals as there are people familiar with Sim.

Also falling into the loser pile this week is the FFA Cup. Having taken off with a bang a few months ago, the FFA Cup has suffered due to the ripping start to the A-League. Filling the football void before the kick-off of the A-League, the FFA Cup caught the imagination of the nation as minnows battled for their time to shine. But with most of the amateur teams eliminated, the underdog angle which all Australians love has faded. With regular weekend football, midweek fixtures will now struggle to bring the crowds as highlighted by the 3,536 present at the Sydney FC v Adelaide United Quarter Final.

Drawing a close to our losers this week is W-League outfit, Canberra United. A perennial contender, United has endured an inconsistent start to the season, splitting its opening six games. United has lost three of its last four, the last result the poorest, going down 3-2 at home to a previously winless Adelaide United. The result was the side's first ever loss at home to Adelaide and sees Canberra fall outside the top four.


Winners
Name a better sight you have seen in recent months, than the crowd at the Sydney Derby on Saturday. Even after just two seasons, the fixture has already gripped all of Sydney. Five goals, a red card and pitch invasions only headlines the action of an awesome derby. In front of a record 41,213 people, the biggest crowd at Allianz Stadium for a regular season game of any code, the A-League put its best foot forward. In addition, a record crowd of 33,126 in Adelaide helped set the record for the highest attendance in a single round as 106,082 people made their way through the gates, smashing the previous record of 100,998.

Tom Doyle of the Wellington Phoenix could have featured on the losers list following his perfect side-footed own goal against the Mariners, or for tripping himself over when chasing the ball. However, he features here because despite all those hiccups, Doyle persisted and laid off a peach of a cross which set-up Nathan Burns’ winner for Wellington in the end.

Rounding things off is Perth Glory; currently atop both the A-League and W-League ladders, the Glory are loving life at the moment. Their women downed second-placed Sydney FC to extend their lead over them to five points, while the men are the only team to have won their opening two matches as Irishman Andy Keogh’s second half hat-trick killed off the Brisbane Roar.
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A guide to people you’ll find at A-League games

No one could blame you for having a wandering eye during an A-League game. Even if you’re 100% devoted to the game, surely you sneak a look around you at half time.

To save any shock or confusion, we've compiled a small list of the regulars you can expect to see week in week out.


Football nerds
No one is going to argue that. Sport during school may have been a nightmare but becoming a die-hard A-League fan was second nature. If you've hit the jackpot and find yourself sitting next to one, don’t hesitate to quiz them. Anything to do with stats, match-ups, stats, pre-game rituals or what David Villa ate for breakfast, you’ll feel very knowledgeable for the 10 minutes between your first and third beer. But be careful, if you manage to spill even a drop of beer on their new kit…. you’re going to ruin their day.

The drunken dad
The A-League season has finally arrived and those two hours every week are golden. He often forgets to look at who’s playing, he checks with the ticket seller countless times to ensure he’s not sitting in the unlicensed area and is on edge until he finally makes it to his seat; the safe zone.

The drunken Dad has a mandatory two beers in hand at all times (two in each that is) and will often get pretty fired up, mostly at the ref because he’s still unsure who’s playing and doesn't have a free hand to check the fixtures on his phone.

There’s also the aggravated dad who got stuck with the kids and has been instructed to “Only have a few!”

He behaves in a similar manner, however is restricted to one beer per hand and is heard shouting at the ref more frequently. This is a stress relief technique used to release the anger built up from having to take his daughter to the bathroom every 10 minutes.

The Euro snob
They’re on exchange in Australia and staying up until 3am to watch the English Premier League has gone to their head; the lack of sleep has lead them to believe that maybe the A-League is just as good now. By the time they reach the stadium, they’ve convinced themselves it’s going to be an epic match and why hadn’t they thought to do this sooner!? You know, what the hell, let’s get the face paints out! Would I like to sit in the supporter’s den? HELL YEAH!

Their hype plummets as the game progresses and they decide to leave 10 minutes before full time to avoid the rush getting home (even though it’s 2-2).

The single 20-something fan-girl
NRL and AFL seasons are over and they didn't have much luck, so off to the A-League they go to scope out some talent! They’ll cheer, high five each other and make comments like “Such a good kick, did you see that?”

They can be seen leaving the stadium early alongside the Europeans, not because of lack of interest, but because they know what pub the team is headed to after the match and need to be seated in a spot where they’ll be ‘noticed’ once the team arrives. And c’mon, they don’t want to look desperate, so they can’t have anyone knowing they actually went to the game.

The hopeful family
This team is lead by two very hopeful parents. Their agenda: if we take our son to enough football games as a child, we’re bound to be watching him on the big screen one day! On average, 98% of these children become either a drunken dad or nerd, but most families believe their son is the 2%. They’ve got a season pass and their outfits are seamlessly colour coordinated.

The commentator
This delightful character doesn't stop making comments throughout the game, talking to no-one and believing he should be the coach.

The referee
Corrects those who sit around him when they unfairly abuse the referee. Dude, we don't care, being one-eyed is what football fandom is all about.


I can assure you some regular people go to matches, too.... occasionally. So be sure to observe who you’re seated next to this season, but to avoid 90 minutes of awkwardness, probably don’t mention what category you’ve put them in.
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Tara Andrews: Confidence and form slumps

Halfway through the season and after the weekend’s efforts against Western Sydney, we are sitting fourth on the ladder on goal difference above Canberra United. The game consisted of six goals, four of which were scored in the second half.

It was a hot day down at Marconi Stadium and this was a crucial game for us, as we were expected to win and we needed to start a roll on for the season. Two weeks ago, Western Sydney lost to Perth 10-1, a devastating score line, but only to turn around and beat Brisbane Roar the following week.


This made us rethink the challenge ahead and know that this team will not be easy to beat. And they weren’t. They scored first off a mistake from our goalkeeper but we managed to score an equalizer right before the half time whistle.

The half time break was a kick in the butt for us to pull our finger out and step up our game. We did exactly that in the second half. Once we got that first goal in the second half, we stepped up and scored another three goals. I ended up scoring a brace in the game which is great for the confidence of a striker that hasn’t scored in a few games.

The confidence of a player is one of the most important issues relating to performance. I know for me the more confidence I have, the better I play, as it would be for so many athletes in all sports. If you know you can do something or believe you can then you are most of the way there in being successful.

A lot of athletes may have what you would call form slumps which can be due to a range of things. Obviously the physical side of things can contribute to a form slump but the mental state and confidence levels play a huge part. I guess that’s why they have sports psychologists.

It can be a vicious cycle only to be overcome by the right approach to regain focus and confidence to get back to peak performance. As a striker, there is pressure on us to score goals, so when I hadn’t scored in a few weeks, I was getting a little edgy. I still performed well but couldn’t hit the back of the net.

I guess not scoring in three games isn’t really that long but for our short season, it is a little while when you're a striker. So last week at training, I did a little extra work before and after a couple of sessions. By the end of the week I had the keepers picking balls out of the net and gained more confidence.

I’m not saying that just because I kicked a few more goals at training was why I scored two on the weekend - it may not have contributed to it - but who knows, maybe the goalscoring mentality was re-enlightened and the extra work and confidence made all the difference.

That’s why I think confidence is such an important attribute for an athlete to have. All the best players in the world have a huge amount of confidence and that’s why they continue to be the best, because they know they are good and believe it but we all know over-confidence can work against you.

We have Brisbane Roar at home this weekend for the second clash against them for the season. Hopefully this game turns out better for us than the last one.


Tara Andrews is a long-time striker and current vice-captain for the Newcastle Jets, despite only being 20 years old, who recently spent time with the Colorado Pride and has represented Australia internationally with the Young Matildas. She previously held the record for the most goals scored in a W-League match with four against Adelaide United. Keep up with Tara's weekly blogs throughout the 2014/15 Westfield W-League season here.
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This Week in Australian Football: Round 3

With a level of accurate, relevant reporting only seen on our shores everywhere in the mainstream media comes 'This week in Australian Football'...

Andy Keogh has revealed the reasons for his fantastic form after scoring seven goals in four competitive appearances. Keogh explained: "I've had my old goal bonus clause of a pint of warm British Ale per goal changed to a pint of ice cold Emu Bitter. Yum. I am like a new man. My eyes have been opened, I am so motivated.'' A-League defences nationwide quake at the thought of any further improvement to Keogh's form if that bonus might ever be changed to something that doesn't taste like shit.


Chaos at Melbourne Victory training after an issue with one of the new players misunderstanding the upcoming Melbourne Derby against newly branded Melbourne City FC. Recruit Matthieu Delpierre was led back to the change rooms kicking and screaming wearing a brand new frilly dress and a dumb hat bought especially for Melbourne's Spring Carnival.

"It's Derby day! It's Derby day!" a confused Delpierre screamed as hard man Kevin Muscat dragged him to the lockers.

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic made a late call on the weekend to cancel the players arranged post-derby function. Led by Vitor Saba, the players had hired out a hall and installed a wrestling ring for a Royal Rumble. Popovic explained after surrendering a two goal lead in the derby earlier that night: ''That is enough choking for one night.''

Vedran Janjetovic has claimed foul play led to his lolz-inducing own goal during the Sydney derby on the weekend. Janjetovic swears that a laser light from an overhead flying source was shined into his eyes causing him to spill a simple ball despite it being pointed out that there was only empty sky above him. Interestingly though on the same day, the Albanian government filed a police report for one missing helicopter drone.

James Donachie has had his training regime drastically changed after his back to back own goals for Brisbane Peugeot 106 FC. For some reason Mike Mulvey's training spreadsheet had Donachie with the forwards and 'extra finishing work' box ticked. This circumstance has proved calamitous coupled with the fact that Donachie has a life-size poster of Richard Dunne on his bedroom wall.


Tune in with me, @kylechandler14, next week where we find out if Perth Glory captain Michael Thwaite is still pretending that he is Canadian rapper Drake: "Started from the bottom, now we're here. Started from the bottom, now the whole team...'' (Sing along everyone!)
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