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State Leagues  

Victory wrap up Premiers Plate

Melbourne Victory have ended their six year wait for a trophy in emphatic fashion, securing the Premiers Plate with a dominant 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Only a calamity would prevent the Victory from finishing on top of the table in the final game of the year, something which never looked like eventuating as Melbourne steamrolled to their first piece of silverware since the 2009 championship.


With Sydney taking maximum points away to Wellington in the game prior, only a point was needed to take Victory clear on top of the ladder past their nearest rivals while a 6-0 win to the Central Coast was needed for the plate to head to the SFS.

In no mood for a nervous afternoon out, Victory put the matter out of any doubt as they fine-tuned their game ahead of an impending finals campaign.

Victory showed clear intent from the start they were not merely playing for a draw, giving their rivals for the championship that there search for silverware  has come to an end with the Premiers Plate securely placed in its new home of AAMI Park.

The home side dominated the opening half hour of play but couldn’t break through a resilient Mariners defence.

Victory produced the slick attacking play and fluid passing that has seen them return to the summit of Australian football.

For all their good work it wasn’t until the 32nd minute that it showed on the scoreboard when Daniel Georgievski fired in a sublime finish to put his side in the lead.

Some nice bit of work between himself and Besart Berisha cut open the Mariners defence. Berisha got on the end of a Georgievski pass which the striker held up allowing the Macedonian international space which led to his delightful shot, looping over Matthew Nash into the back of the net.

The Victory had to wait just two minutes after the opener to extend their lead when Archie Thompson headed home a Gui Finkler corner. Not known for his aerial ability, Thompson managed to find space on the near post to head the ball through the legs of the hapless Nash.

The Victory fans in attendance could sensed the job was done and celebrated accordingly.

The mood was tempered slightly just shy of half time when the Mariners dragged one back through Eddy Bosnar when he landed a free kick into the Victory goal, helped along the way by a deflection off the wall.

The Premiers-elect got back to the comfort of the two-goal buffer in the 47th minute when Besart Berisha finally hit the target at AAMI Park when he finished off a now trademark slick attacking move.

The trophy engraver was called out to an emergency job at Swan Street as Victory cruised to end of the match.

The 3-1 win was more than what the Victory deserved not only in this game but for all efforts all season.

In an exceptionally tight competition Victory have shown to be the best side, proving it with not only the points on the board but also the style of play.

The job is now only half done with the real test awaiting in the Final Series.

While happy with what’s unfolded thus far, Victory manager Kevin Muscat’s focus has now turned to the finals.

"I'm over the moon, I'm ecstatic," Muscat said.

"To have achieved this with that group, it's certainly special. A massive night for the football club, it's been far too long. It's been a long wait for a trophy.

“I’m not naive, I know there’s a massive game for us in a couple of weeks, and Australian sport loves grand finals and so do I, but to achieve this, with that group, it’s certainly special.”



Melbourne Victory starting XI: 20. Lawrence THOMAS(GK), 4. Nick ANSELL, 5. Mark MILLIGAN(C), 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Gui FINKLER, 8.  Besart BERISHA, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 17. Mathieu DELPIERRE, 21. Carl VALERI
Melbourne Victory substitutes: 40. Michael TURNBALL(GK), 11. Connor PAIN, 14. Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 24. Scott GALLOWAY


Central Coast Mariners starting XI: 1. Matthew NASH (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Josh ROSE, 5. Zac ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON(C), 10. Anthony CACERAS, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 16. Liam ROSE, 20. Anthony MALIK, 21. Isaka CERNAK, 25. Eddy BOSNAR

Central Coast Mariners substitutes: 30. Adam PEARCE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 15. Matt SIM, 18. Glen TRIFIRO, 19. Matt SIMON
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Adelaide rolls City at Hindmarsh

Adelaide United has romped home to a 4-1 win over Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night in front of 8,773 fans in cool but clear conditions.

Adelaide’s performance was a much-needed boost ahead of the impending finals series, after a run of poor results had the Reds looking increasingly shaky.


That’s not to say the performance was flawless; a silly penalty and sending off in the second half took the gloss off an otherwise impressive display, but it was a sign that the Reds are still a dark horse in the season’s climax.

The home side was helped to victory by an outstanding solo effort from Tarek Elrich after the big defender skipped past five City defenders from the halfway line, eventually reaching the six-yard box where he buried a shot past Tando Velaphi.

The goal was a stunning display of individual brilliance from the recently capped Socceroo and his first goal in United colours will surely be a contender for goal of the season. Furthermore, he was awarded the Anzac Day Medal for his efforts.

Earlier the Reds took the lead via Miguel Palanca’s first goal for the club. The Spaniard found himself unmarked in the box after collecting Pablo Sanchez’s ball, and was able to beat Velaphi from a very tight angle in the 19th minute.

Just four minutes later, the advantage was doubled when Pablo Sanchez had the goal at his mercy, and buried a fierce volley after Velaphi had blocked a shot from Sergio Cirio.

The second half turned the sublime in to the farcical, however, as both sides converted penalties and had a player sent off.

In the 66th minute, Kew Jaliens saw red after bringing Craig Goodwin down in a goal-scoring position and Michael Marrone got his marching orders after going studs-up on Stefan Mauk just four minutes later.

Serenity was soon restored, however, and the Anzac Day clash fell easily to United as boss Josep Gombau lauded his team’s performance in the final game of the league.

“I was happy with all the game, I think we did well, and it’s a good feeling for next week, for the finals,” Gobau said.

“Every game is different and today we win, but the important thing is next week we win.”

His opposite number John van't Schip was less than impressed with his side’s showing, saying his charges were never in the match.

“I think we were not in the game at all in the first half hour and before we knew it we were 3-0 behind,” he said.

“We had some chances in the first half… [but] all over the game we had nothing to complain about, Adelaide deserved the win.”

With the home-and-away leg of the season now complete for both clubs, their finals fixtures next week are unknown, but there is a very high chance it could be a rematch at Coopers, provided Wellington beats Sydney FC on Sunday.



Adelaide United: 1. Eugene Galekovic (C) (GK), 2. Michael Marrone, 4. Dylan McGowan, 5. Osama Malik (68’ Ben Warland), 7. Pablo Sanchez, 9. Sergio Cirio, 11. Bruce Djite (56’ Cameron Watson), 16. Craig Coogwin, 19. Miguel Palanca (77’ Dylan Smith), 21. Tarek Elrich, 24. Bruce Kamau

Unused substitutes: Mark Ochieng, Paul Izzo


Melbourne City: 4. Connor Chapman, 5. Erik Paartalu, 6. Aaron Mooy, 9. Harry Novillo (68’ Nicholas Symeoy), 10. Robert Koren, 13. Jonathon Germano (65’ Stefan Mauk), 16. Josh Kennedy (60’ David Williams), 17. Jason Hoffman, 20. Tando Velaphi (GK), 24. Patrick Kisnorbo (C), 27. Kew Jaliens

Unused substitutes: Andrew Redmayne, Massimo Murdocca
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Wanderers unable to gain Glory

It was another disappointing game for the Western Sydney Wanderers who ended their journey in season's Hyundai A-League after a 2-1 loss to Perth Glory.

The game was delayed by 45 minutes as a hailstorm engulfed the stadium and made it look more like an ice-skating rink than a football field.


The night ended on a sour note not only due to the Red and Black’s loss but also because many of their fans in the active support section were pepper sprayed during the match resulting in a walkout.

Despite this, there were definitely some positives with many young players being incorporated into the starting line-up. This included Jonathon Aspropotamitis, Shayne D’Cunha, Liam Youlley and Steve Kuzmanovski, who all showed bright signs for the future.

It was not long until Glory broke into the lead with Rostyn Griffiths providing a perfect pass that enabled Jamie Macalaren to send a low shot past Wanderers keeper Dean Bouzanis.

The Red and Black were being heavily dominated by Perth Glory in the first half and had a couple of shots transpire from the attacking force of Kerem Bulut and Steve Kuzmanovski, but neither of the players were able to help their side equalise.

One of the misses of the season, a complete shambles in the penalty area saw Danny De Silva feed the ball to Richard Garcia who hit the woodwork with his header.

The equaliser by the Wanderers came early in the second half as debutant Liam Youlley was left unmarked in the box and he sent a shot that deflected its way into the goal.

This seemed to temporarily give the Wanderers the spark and momentum they needed. The Wanderers were on top of Glory for the remainder of the second half but they were simply unable to convert such pressure into crucial goals.

It was not long then until Andy Keogh blasted the ball into the goal and sentenced the Wanderers to another loss in their dismal season.

Denis Kramar then saw red and was sent packing after receiving a second yellow after fouling Kuzmanovski.

Despite Glory being down to 10 men and missing a defender, the Wanderers were still unable to score which has certainly been the story of their season as they lost to Perth Glory 2-1.

Wanderers assistant coach Ian Crook took the post-match press conference as head coach Tony Popovic had a flight to catch to China.

“The boys tonight including (Kuzmanovski) have come in and done really well; that’s the pleasing side,” Crook said about what he believed were the positives from the match.

The Wanderers' season in the A-League has now ended with them just missing out on becoming the wooden spooners. Despite one competition being over, the club still has one AFC Champions League Group Stage match remaining with them also clutching at straws in that competition.


Western Sydney Wanderers: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, Jonathon ASPROPOTAMITIS, Shayne D’CUNHA, Antony GOLEC, Liam YOULLEY (Jason TRIFIRO 75’), Mateo POLJAK, Steve KUZMANOVSKI, Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (Mark BRIDGE 57’), Nick KALMAR (GolGol Mebrahatu 71’), Kerem BULUT and Dean BOUZANIS.

Unused substitutes: Ante COVIC and Shannon COLE.


Perth Glory: Jamie MACLAREN (Chris HAROLD 93’), Andy KEOGH, Daniel DE SILVA (Scott JAMIESON 61’), Mitchell OXBORROW (Nebojsa MARINKOVIC 80’), Rosytn GRIFFITHS, Richard GARCIA, Denis KRAMAR, Joshua RISDON, Michael THWAITE, Dino DJULBIC and Danny VUKOVIC.

Unused substitutes: Riley WOODCOCK and Jack DUNCAN.
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Awer Mabil eyes overseas and Socceroos

When Adelaide United’s Awer Mabil graces the Coopers Stadium wing – normally about 60 minutes into a match – the impassioned Adelaide locals bellow.

They bellow because their most explosive speedster is coming on to wreak havoc with his raw pace and deft touches, but they also bellow because Australia’s football future is being played in front of their very eyes. It’s very good theatre, indeed.

Image provided by Adelaide United.
So good, in fact, that at just 21 the youngster has attracted the glances of Dutch heavyweights Ajax, where he trialled briefly during the A-League’s Asian Cup intermission, and while the trial only lasted a few days, it gave Mabil a taste of what the future could hold.

Speaking exclusively to The Football Sack, Mabil says it’s a taste he wants to savour.

“I wasn’t there for long, I was only there for three nights or four nights; I don’t think that’s long enough for a good trial, but I couldn’t turn down Ajax as they’re one of the biggest clubs,” Mabil said.

“I think it’s more for the experience, to show what I’ve got for the three days or four days that I had there.

“It was a great experience for me personally, and it makes me want to go to Europe. I just want to improve in [the A-League] and then go over."

Not one to be without a good plan, Mabil says that the two years remaining on his Adelaide United contract are vital to his chances of moving north.

“Personally, I need to establish myself in the league here if I want to have any chance of playing over there,” he said.

“I need to make a name for myself in the A-League, and next year will be very crucial to me and I’ve got to work yard.

“Hopefully I do what I set myself to do, which is to score a lot of goals and achieve in every game, and if I do that I think I’ll be ready to go."

In any case it’s hard to think that Mabil will be playing in Australia in two years time. Despite his tender age he causes significant problems for some of the A-League’s most experienced defenders.

If his body holds up – most recently his quad has kept him out for three weeks – he should get the game time to show important scouts precisely what he is capable of, but one other man he’s keen to impress is national boss Ange Postecoglou.

Whilst he is yet to make his senior debut for the national team, he has 12 caps with the Young Socceroos and endeavours to one day represent his country – he’s just waiting on that call from Ange.

“I can’t control [national selection], the only thing I can do is play well for my club and hopefully Ange one day, if I’ve done enough, gives me the opportunity I’ve been dying for.

“To play for Australia would be to give back, because Australia has done so much for me and my family, and I’ll work even double to give back for Australia… because it’s given my family opportunity.”

It’s a rare sensitivity that Mabil displays when he talks about the nation that took him and his kin in as refugees in 2006, and it’s not just on Australia that he gets his audience cooing. On the topic of being a role model to his fans he is equally as pragmatic, saying “I try my best to be a good idol for all kids, it doesn’t matter what background.

“I’m just trying to show that it doesn’t matter where you come from… you can always make it if you work hard.”

As the bellowers at Coopers Stadium will testify, Mabil is a hard worker. He leaves it on the pitch at Coopers, and while Adelaide Fans will recognise that his time at the club is limited, in the meantime they ought to sit back and enjoy this fast, skilful show.
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NNSWPL Round 2 Wrap

Northern NSW Premier League round two is now in the books and fans were not left wanting in the goals department with the weekend tallying 23 goals across the five matches.

Broadmeadow Magic bagged five of which to see them show why many have been touting them as potential champions.


Charlestown City Blues 4 (Smith 2, Hughes, Bird)
Adamstown Rosebud 2 (Bale 2)
Lisle Carr Oval

Veteran front man Scott Smith was the star for the home team scoring a double to see them move off the bottom of the ladder after they were dusted up 4-0 by Edgeworth in the first round. The Blues went into the break with a two goal lead and Daniel Bird’s goal just after half time was enough to ensure that Adamstown’s fight-back was to no avail.


Hamilton Olympic 2 (Mooney, Korotkich)
Edgeworth 0
Darling Street Oval

Olympic scored their first victory of the season after being held to a 0-0 draw on the road to Broadmeadow. Goals to Simon Mooney and Jason Korotkich saw Hamilton go into the break with a 2-0 lead after Edgeworth looked the better of the two teams in the opening stages of the first half. Despite scoring four goals in the opening round Edgeworth just couldn’t find a way past Danny Ireland and never really looked like troubling Olympic in the second period.


Maitland 1 (Read)
Broadmeadow Magic 5 (Frajkovic 4, Haynes)
Cools Square Park

Maitland received a hiding at the hands of Broadmeadow in what was an afternoon to forget for the newly promoted Magpies. Magic sounded a clear signal to the rest of the league that they intend to go all the way this season. Dino Frajkovic’s four goal haul saw him win bragging rights over his brother Dennis in the highly anticipate battle of the Frajokvics. The loss sees Maitland fall to last place on the league ladder with their misery compounded by an injury to Matt Thompson.


South Cardiff 3 (Clearke, Wallace, Kelley)
Newcastle Jets Youth 3 (Pavicevic, Ensor, Adelson)
Ulinga Oval

Points were shared between two clubs expected to struggle this season in what was a wind-swept match at Ulinga Oval. Goals to Radovan Pavicevic, Ryan Ensor, and Jake Adelson cancelled out a strike to Sean Clearke and saw the Jets go into the break leading 3-1. The Gunners fought back in the second half with Mitch Wallace and Dean Kelley getting a goal apiece but both teams were left to rue second half chances that would have seen them bag all three points.


Weston Workers 2 (McBeth, McDermott)
Lambton Jaffas 1 (Palozzi)
Rockwell Automation Park

The final and perhaps most anticipated match of the round was last year’s Grand Final rematch, but this time it was Weston that took home the victory in their first home match of the season. Weston showed they are still a force to be reckoned with despite their off-season departures with goals Rob McBeth and Garry McDermott enough to score a come from behind victory after Lambton took a 1-0 lead through Alex Palozzi. The victory moves the Bears up to 3rd spot on the ladder but remain on equal points to both Magic and Olympic.


Round 3 Fixtures
Edgeworth vs Broadmeadow Magic
Lambton Jaffas vs Charlestown City Blues
Adamstown Rosebud vs Hamilton Olympic
Maitland vs Newcastle Jets Youth
South Cardiff vs Weston Workers
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NPL Capital Football Round 2 Wrap

Round 2 of the NPL Capital Football competition saw defending Champions Belconnen United lose to arch rivals Canberra FC 3-2, while Tigers FC and FFA COE cruised to comfortable wins over Monaro Panthers and Tuggeranong United respectively.

The other match of the round saw league new comers, Gungahlin United, claim their first competition point.

NPL Wrap sourced from Capital Football by Russ Gibbs
Canberra FC 3 (Niko Kresic 34’, 59’, Domenic Giampaolo 64’)
Belconnen United 2 (Aisosa Ihegie 85’, Sam Smith 88’)

Canberra FC claimed a second victory of the season with a 3-2 win over Belconnen United at Deakin Stadium surviving a late flutter with the Blue Devils netting twice in the final five minutes to give themselves hope of what would have been the most unlikely of comebacks. For 85 minutes Canberra FC had stamped their authority on the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football competition with what looked likely to be an ominous destruction of their visitors and, when Blue Devils midfielder David Arranz was sent off for a second caution with fifteen minutes to play, it appeared a question of how many FC would get. But, to their admirable credit, Belconnen refused to buckle and two young substitutes, summoned from the bench, proved that the Blue Devils will have plenty to say in 2015.

However, it would be churlish to deflect the achievement away from Canberra FC who, in truth, can have rarely dominated their traditional rivals in such a manner. Quicker to most challenges and loose ball around the park, FC put in a display of defensive solidity and creativity with which Belconnen had no real answer. After Ian Graham had lobbed wide when well-placed, and Jason Ugrinic had seen Belconnen’s best effort of the half, when the forward rounded Jakob Cole out wide but saw his tame effort from a difficult angle blocked by Aiden Brunskill, FC took the lead.  And it was beautifully crafted opener.

Domenic Giampaolo, who had an outstanding afternoon until his withdrawal late on, created it with a deft ball over the back of the Blue Devils defence. Young midfielder Niko Kresic read the delivery perfectly and arrived to cushion a lob over the advancing Adam Perakovic and into the net for a brilliant goal. It should have been two before the break as well but Robbie Deeley, after evading a tackle in the area, blazed high over the bar.

It mattered little as FC took control of the midfield and went 2-0 up in the 59th minute. Once again Kresic was the scorer but this time there was a hint of fortune about the finish. Having worked himself into space inside the area, Kresic sent a delivery into the area which deceived Perakovic in the Blue Devils goal and drifted in at the far post. Two became three moments later when Giampaolo, arguably man of the match, collected a pass and took his time to create an opening which he planted across the ‘keeper and into the bottom corner.

Arranz was then dismissed and FC wasted numerous chances to add to the lead with substitute Michael Mensah guilty of a poor miss when he snatched at a chance inside the penalty area whilst Daniel Bennett may have done better when breaking clear of the weary Blue Devils defence. However, just when it appeared as if the match would drift to a routine conclusion, Belconnen found their wings. Substitute Aisosa Ihegie scored off the bench in Round 1 and repeated the feat here with five minutes to play lashing into the roof of the net from close range. When Sam Smith replicated the achievement with a minute to play, FC was rocking. Time though was their friend and, rather bizarrely, given their earlier domination they were grateful for the final whistle.


Gungahlin United 1 (Stephen Domenici 21’)
Canberra Olympic 1 (Philippe Bernabo-Madrid 31’)

Honours were even at Gungahlin Enclosed as the hosts, Gungahlin United, drew 1-1 with Canberra Olympic to earn their first point in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football following their admittance to the competition this season. The Gunners led for the second week running, having also taken the lead against Belconnen United in their debut match in Round 1, but once more were unable to hang onto the positive position with Olympic deservedly drawing level. Upon receiving their entrance into the PS4 NPL, Gungahlin made the signature of 2014 Golden Boot Stephen Domenici a priority and, on his first start for the club in the league following a recovery from injury, he showed just why giving Gungahlin the lead in the 21st minute with a top class finish. Olympic showed in their 6-1 demolition of Tuggeranong in Round 1 that they have plenty of firepower of their own with Philippe Bernabo-Madrid and Robbie Cattanach scoring hat-tricks in that match and it was a combination between that pair that drew the visitors all-square. Cattanach played the killer pass for Bernabo-Madrid to crash a shot low into the corner in the 31st minute to restore parity. After the interval both teams had chances to claim three points but, as the game went on, it was Olympic who enjoyed more of the possession but was unable to turn it into a goal. In the end a draw was a fitting conclusion to a decent match played on a tricky surface made greasy by the incessant drizzle that Canberra suffered on Sunday.


Tuggeranong United
0
FFA COE 3 (Nicholas Panetta 65’, Kosta Petratos 75’, Henry Davies 80’)

The FFA Centre of Excellence opened their 2015 PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football campaign with a 3-0 defeat of Tuggeranong United at Kambah 2 consigning United to a second home defeat of the season. There was little to separate the teams in an even opening half with both goalkeepers asked to make some routine stops but otherwise untroubled in a match that was tactically absorbing but was failing to hit any real heights. That changed after the break with the game becoming more open and better opportunities presenting themselves. It was FFA COE who broke the deadlock in the 65th minute. A mistake from United defender Sean Kiddey was pounced upon by the eager FFA COE attack and Nicholas Panetta struck home their first goal of the season. Tuggeranong looked for a way back into the match but it was their inability to defend at set pieces that cost them dear. Firstly a free-kick from out wide found Kosta Petratos unmarked inside the area and he rose well to head into the top corner. Then, with ten minutes to play, an FFA COE corner was met by the forehead of Henry Davies who thumped home past Rowan Forbes-Shepherd to complete a decent first hit out for Tony Vidmar and his young Australian charges. For Tuggeranong there appears to be a bit of work to do for Steve Forshaw and his coaching staff to give their season the kick-start it requires.


Monaro Panthers
1 (Mark Shields 20’)
Tigers FC 6 (Lucas Montana 3’, 70’ (pen), Goran Josifovski 39’, Alex Oloriegbe 40’, 80’, Nic Haridemos 85’)

Tigers FC roared to the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues: Capital Football table with a comfortable 6-1 hammering of Monaro Panthers at the Riverside Stadium. The Panthers, who were reduced to ten men early on when Daniel Linstead saw red for receiving a brace of yellow cards in quick succession, had no answer to the pace and finishing power of the defending League Champions who, once more, appear to be real contenders for the crown. It took the Tigers just three minutes to find a breakthrough on a difficult playing surface when Argentinean forward Lucas Montana, who netted the match-winner from the spot in Round 1, confidently put his team in front. The Panthers picked themselves up and responded in kind when Mark Shields, a summer signing from Canberra Olympic, drew his new team level in the 20th minute. The dismissal of Linstead opened up acres of space for the Tigers attack and they took full advantage with two goals in a minute, struck by Goran Josifovski and Alex Oloriegbe. At 3-1 Monaro was up against it and they fell further behind with twenty minutes remaining. Awarded a penalty, Montana repeated his trick of seven days ago, slotting in his third of the season. Not to be outdone Oloriegbe joined him on three goals with his second of the match and the result was sealed when young substitute Nic Haridemos netted his maiden NPL first grade goal to bring up the half-dozen with five minutes to play.
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NPL WA Round 4 Wrap

Bayswater continued their impressive start to the season, moving into outright top spot. However, Floreat remain a point back with a game in hand and the rest of the chasing pack remains within striking distance.

There were important first victories for Subiaco and ECU Joondalup, whilst Armadale remains rooted to the bottom.


Perth SC 2 (Rosindale 55’, Orr 88’)
Bayswater City 3 (Heagney 17’, 71’, Sam 34’)
Dorrien Gardens

David Heagney grabbed a double as Bayswater took the honours in the top-of-the-table clash with Perth SC in an exciting contest. The hosts grabbed the lead when Heagney popped up at the back post, before Borbor Sam extended their lead before the break with a lovely curled effort. Perth worked their way back into the game in the second half and were rewarded when Ash Rosindale scored from close-range. Heagney restored City’s two-goal buffer when he fired home in the penalty box, but Harley Orr responded to set up a tense finish. However, the home side held on to consolidate top spot.


Subiaco 3 (Dorling 17’, Milne 30’, 54’ PEN)
Perth Glory 1 (Costello 29’)
Rosalie Park

Subiaco recorded their first win of the year with a comfortable victory over Perth Glory. The home side took the lead after a quarter of an hour when Jonas Derling punished an error by Glory goalkeeper Jordan Franken. Perth drew level through Nathan Costello, but a minute later Daniel Milne restored Subiaco’s lead. The home side started strongest after the break and when Rory Feely won a penalty, Milne stepped up to make the points safe.


Armadale 2 (Crerand 16’, Bealey 52’)
Cockburn City 3 (Carroll 56’, Patterson 69’, Teles 71’)
Alfred Skeet Reserve

A stunning, second-half comeback from Cockburn City saw them extend Armadale’s winless start to the season. Armadale started brightest and took the lead when Nick Crerand reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box. They looked to be on their way to their first points of the season when Jackson Bealey converted from close range, only for Alan Carroll to immediately respond for Cockburn. City pressed for an equalizer and were rewarded when Rory Patterson capitalized on a goal-mouth scramble, and a few minutes later took the lead through a Julian Teles strike. The visitors overcame the late dismissal of Patterson to resign Armadale to another week at the foot of the table.


Inglewood United 1 (Izzo 43’)
Balcatta 1 (Tong 79’)
Inglewood Stadium

Balcatta continued their unbeaten start whilst preventing Inglewood from winning their first game of the season. Inglewood’s Matthew Izzo broke the deadlock when he curled home a free kick on the stroke of half time. Balcatta skipper Adam Tong was moved forward from his usual centre back position in search of a goal, and  rewarded the bold move with a late equalizer. Tong nearly grabbed a winner in injury time, only for United’s goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski to make superb stop and rescue a point.


Stirling Lions 0
Floreat Athena 1 (McMahon 12’ PEN)
Macedonia Park

Floreat won their third straight game in a hard-fought contest with Stirling. Athena captain Lewis McMahon was bought down inside the area and converted the subsequent penalty to put Floreat ahead early. From there on in, both sides battled hard but the Lions were unable to find the killer touch in front of goal, leaving the home team as the victors.


Sorrento 1 (Killkelly 28’)
ECU Joondalup 2 (Dixon 20’, Stynes 84’)
Percy Doyle Reserve

ECU’s John Stynes grabbed a late winner to secure his team’s first win of the campaign. Danny Dixon opened the scoring for the visitors when he finished off a well-worked team move, before Shaun Killkelly levelled the scores for Sorrento soon after. In a tight second half devoid of many chances, ECU’s Tommy Amphlett missed an open goal, but his blushes were spared by Stynes, whose tap in six minutes from time secured a much-needed win.
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Wanderers win in Bridge's 200th

The Wanderers defeated a 10-man Adelaide United 2-1 on Saturday night as the evening celebrated Mark Bridge’s 200th game in the Hyundai A-League, and to make it even more special for the veteran, Bridge scored the Wanderers' winning goal that pushed the club into 9th place on the ladder.

The first half saw neither team dominating with a lacklustre performance; not surprising considering both sides play very defensively.


The Wanderers supporter group, the RBB, at the commencement of the match held up a banner reading “Bulut $tays$” in regards to the current rumours circulating about the re-signing of fan favourite Kerem Bulut.

Such rumours were later dismissed in the post-match press conference by coach Tony Popovic.

As for the on-field action, it was only until the very end of the first half when there was finally some action. A breakthrough from former Wanderer Tarek Elrich set the scene for United’s only goal in the match.

Tarek slipped the ball through to Sergio Cirio who sent a fantastic and simply unstoppable strike that put Adelaide into the lead 1-0 at half time.

One could have easily predicted that history would repeat itself for the Wanderers once more. But something very different happened this time.

Perhaps it was the occasion of Mark Bridge’s 200th game or even the desperation to get off the bottom of the table with only one game in the A-League remaining, but the Wanderers were determined and back with a vengeance in the second half.

A surging run by Mateo Poljak split Adelaide’s defence into two and an intelligent pass to Mark Bridge saw him get pulled down in the penalty box by Nigel Boogard. Boogard was shown a red card for the offence and had consequently overtaken Archie “Offside” Thompson as the player with the most send-offs in A-League history.

Tomi Juric then stepped up to take the penalty and perfectly placed the ball into the corner of the goal, equalising for the Red and Black.

It was only 10 minutes later when the Wanderers took an even greater leap; Yojiro Takahagi sent a cross that Juric cleverly lobbed over the top of Adelaide’s defence.

Mark Bridge was left unmarked and fired into the far corner of the goal, scoring the winning goal of the match with the Western Sydney Wanderers defeating Adelaide United 2-1.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic congratulated Bridge on his significant involvement in the game on the night of his 200th Hyundai A-League match.

“Fantastic for Bridge to celebrate his 200th game with a goal and an assist. I hope he’ll be involved in many big games in the future” Popovic said.

The praise continued for the rest of  Bridge’s teammates by Popovic.

“Tonight is just a pleasing night all round. Good signs going forward, character shown by the player and the youngsters getting game time”.

With the Wanderers now jumping off the bottom of the A-League table, their final position will be tested on Friday evening with the Jets sitting only one point below them when they take on Brisbane Roar. The Wanderers will then be playing against Perth Glory on the Saturday in their final game of the season.

But in true Wanderers scheduling style, they must first play against Kashima Antlers in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday evening.



Western Sydney Wanderers: Ante COVIC, YUSUKE Tanaka, Jonothan ASPRO, Matthew SPIRANOVIC (C), Antony GOLEC, YOJIRO Takahagi, (77” Jason TRIFIRO), Mateo POLJAK, Romeo CASTELEN (66” Kerem BULUT), Steve KUZMANOVSKI (70” Nikita RUKAVYTSYA) and Tomi JURIC


Adelaide United: Eugene GALEKOVIC, Tarek ELRICH, Nigel BOOGARD, Osama MALIK, Craig GOODWIN, ISAIAS, Cameron WATSON (Dylan McGOWAN 63”), James JEGGO, Pablo SANCHEZ (84” Michael MARRONE), Bruce DJITE (78” Miguel PALANCA) and Sergio CIRIO
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Wellington leaves it late

Wellington Phoenix kept their hopes of a top two finish alive with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Central Coast Mariners in a pulsating clash at Westpac Stadium.

Despite defensive lapses costing them two goals before half time, Wellington stormed back into the match in the second half through goals from Roly Bonevacia and substitute Kenny Cunningham.


The Mariners thought they’d escaped with a draw, but deep into stoppage time, Cunningham popped up again to fire home, triggering jubilation in the stands.

The win kept the Phoenix just one point off Sydney and Melbourne in the race for the Premier’s Plate, albeit with a worse goal difference than both teams.

Following three games without a win or a goal, Wellington nearly had the perfect start when Mariner’s defender Zac Anderson ballooned a pass straight to Roy Krishna, but the Fijian was only able to shoot straight at Liam Reddy.

They were made to pay five minutes later when Nick Fitzgerald beat the offside trap to run onto a lovely ball from Isaka Cernak. The midfielder had time to read a book before sliding the ball past Wellington custodian Glen Moss.

The goal sparked The Phoenix into action and they turned to their attacking trio of Krishna, Bonevacia and Nathan Burns to try and hoist them back into the contest. On three separate occasions, all three of them found space in the box, but each time they failed trouble Reddy.

Once again, Central Coast made the home side rue their missed chances. Youngster Anthony Kalik drew a foul from Ben Sigmund 25 yards from goal, and Eddie Bosnar exploited a poorly formed wall to fire low and hard towards the goal. Moss couldn’t keep the shot out and the Mariners had an unlikely two-goal lead.

Wellington struggled to control the game, but they still had their chances. Bonevacia exploded into life, cutting inside and forcing an excellent save from Reddy. The resulting corner saw Andrew Durante loop a header onto the crossbar.

After the break, Wellington’s forwards continued to worry the Mariners back four, but they were unable to take advantage of their chances. Krishna was released by Burns but some great pressure from Bosnar forced him to poke the harmlessly at Reddy. Then Michael McGlinchey found space on the edge of the box, but curled his effort wide.

Up the other end, Central Coast played on the break, which proved successful due to the increasing number of players the hosts committed forward. Fitzgerald very nearly killed the game off when he raced forward and turned Durante inside out in the box, but his finish flew inches wide.

The miss would prove costly, as almost immediately the Phoenix grabbed a lifeline through Bonevacia.

The livewire was afforded acres of space on the edge of the penalty box and he made no mistake, squeezing a shot into the corner of the net.

In the aftermath, Reddy appeared to elbow Louis Fenton, although fortunately for him the referee did not see the incident.

The game swung Wellington’s way, as the crowd roared to life and urged the hosts on. Albert Riera’s beautiful dinked ball found the run of Fenton, who was denied by a desperate tackle from Josh Rose.

A minute later and Bonevacia nearly grabbed his second, only for Reddy’s foot to stop his shot, before McGlinchey’s follow-up ricocheted off him and over the bar.

Sensing blood, Wellington coach Ernie Merrick introduced Cunningham and the substitute proved his worth straight away. Fenton drove through the middle of the park and picked out Cunningham, who played a one-two in the box and slotted the ball home.

With time ticking away, the Phoenix pressed, but still looked far from comfortable at the back. The Central Coast’s own substitute Matt Simon peeled off his marker in the six-yard box, but Cernak’s cross was an inch too high for the striker.

In spite of this, the Kiwis looked like the team more likely to win, and as injury time started, they spurned a golden chance to win the game. Substitute Jason Hicks had time to pick his spot when Reddy pushed a cross into his path, but he blazed over from 12 yards.

Fortunately for Hicks, his fellow sub Cunningham saved his blushes, when Fenton again ran at the defence and played in the forward, who slid the ball past a despairing Reddy.

The Mariners were furious, pointing out the goal came 40 seconds after the four minutes of injury time had elapsed, but they could do little about it.

The Phoenix will stay in Wellington next week to host Sydney FC for the right to host a home semi-final. The Mariners travel to Melbourne to take on the Victory.



Wellington Phoenix: 1. Glen Moss (GK), 4. Roly Bonevacia, 5. Michael Boxall, 8. Alex Rodriguez (2. Manny Muscat), 9. Nathan Burns, 10. Michael McGlinchey (15. Jason Hicks), 13. Albert Riera, 16. Louis Fenton, 18. Ben Sigmund, 21. Roy Krishna (7. Kenny Cunningham), 22. Andrew Durante (c)


Central Coast Mariners: 2. Storm Roux, 3. Josh Rose, 5. Zac Anderson, 7. John Hutchinson (c) (16. Liam Rose), 8. Nick Montgomery, 10. Anthony Caceres (18. Glen Trifirio), 11. Nicholas Fitzgerald, 12. Liam Reddy (GK), 20. Anthony Kalik (9. Matt Simon), 23. Isaka Cernak, 25. Eddie Bosnar
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Gombau backs struggling Djite

Adelaide United boss Josep Gombau has given his struggling striker Bruce Djite a vote of confidence, confirming the experienced talisman is safe in his team for the Hyundai A-League finals.

28-year-old Djite has struggled in the league this season, only finding the back of the net on six occasions, the last of which was against Western Sydney Wanderers in a comeback victory on 21 February.


But Gombau has insisted that Djite is the man for the job as the season drawn to its climax, despite acknowledging that his sharp shooter has been struggling in the league of late.

“[Against Sydney FC two weeks ago] he had a difficult game where he lost a lot of balls, and [against Brisbane Roar last week] he had some chances that, as a striker, he needs to try to put in,” Gombau said after United’s shock three-two loss to Brisbane Roar on Saturday.

“He’s a player that I have trust in, I have confidence in him and he brings to us a lot of things and we need to keep going [with him],” he said.

With Adelaide forgoing a chance to sit atop the table –albeit briefly – after Saturday’s loss, and now trailing leaders Melbourne Victory by four points, the need to Djite’s form to come good is as important as ever.

There is a thought amongst United fans that having a successful marksman could be the difference between first and fourth, which will default to third when Perth Glory get relegated from the finals.

Coopers Stadium regular Jeni Loy believes as much, saying that if Djite doesn’t find form in the next few weeks, Gombau might be in the hunt for a new striker.

“Adelaide United could definitely be top with an in-form striker,” Loy said.

“Instead [Djite] has struggled and we as a team have struggled with our finishing.

“I love Brucey, but if he doesn’t bag some goals in the next few weeks it might be time to look elsewhere for next season,” she said.

That thought isn’t replicated in the United dugout though, with Gombau confirming that the team is rallying behind their man.

“Bruce is our striker, we need to have confidence in him and support him,” Gombau said.

When asked directly if Djite was Adelaide’s man for the finals series, Gomabu simply said: “of course, of course.”

Djite has played 104 games for the Reds over two periods, having spent time in Turkey and at Gold Coast United between stints at Coopers Stadium. He is the club’s third-highest goal scorer overall.
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