We take a look at a fantastic Round 15 of the Hyundai A-League, where Wellington’s mauling of Melbourne Victory was the highlight.
Melbourne Heart 3-1 Newcastle Jets
Melbourne Heart were fresh from equalling New Zealand Knights- 19-game winless streak, but made sure they didn-t set a new record by themselves, as they convincingly beat Newcastle Jets 3-1.
Boosted by the return of their marquee man Orlando Engelaar on the bench, Heart actually went behind to a Taylor Regan goal and look as if they would trail at the half-time break.
But, a manic few minutes before the break saw them go in 2-1 up. Iain Ramsay-s deflected strike levelled the scores, before Ramsay turned provider, crossing for Mate Dugandzic to head past Mark Birighitti.
The first goal in particular, was much down to Harry Kewell-s athletic knock down as Ramsay-s stroke of luck with the deflected strike.
Engelaar-s second-half introduction was much-cheered by the Heart faithful and he didn-t look out of place in his first competitive A-League action.
Heart wrapped the game up when Ramsay, having an outstanding match, sliced open the Jets defence to release Dugandzic, who finished with aplomb.
Perth Glory 0-0 Brisbane Roar
Perth Glory couldn-t take advantage of a moment of ill-discipline from Besart Berisha, drawing 0-0 at home to Brisbane Roar despite Berisha-s first half dismissal.
Indeed, Brisbane was the better side throughout and went close a number of times in the second half, even though they lost their star striker in the opening period. Berisa was sent off for two late and reckless challenges.
Nonetheless, it was Brisbane who made most of the running in the second stanza, but they were unable to breach the stubborn Perth defence, who will be disappointed that they didn-t make the most of their numerical advantage.
Wellington Phoenix 5-0 Melbourne Victory
The struggles of the early part of the season have well and truly been forgotten in recent times and for the Wellington Phoenix, they are going from strength to strength.
Scarcely believably, Wellington led 3-0 at the break.
Carlos Hernandez, formerly of the Victory parish, scored twice (once from the spot) while his fellow Costa Rican Kenny Cunningham, scored a belter of a volley to extend the Phoenix’s lead.
So comfortable was the lead, Ernie Merrick was able to replace Hernandez with 17-year-old Matthew Ridenton, just five minutes into the second half.
Jeremy Brockie, on as a substitute, and Stein Huysegems scored late on to add extra gloss to an already fabulous Wellington performance.
Sydney FC 0-1 Central Coast Mariners
Sydney FC’s horrendous recent run continued as they lost to Central Coast Mariners in the second Saturday evening match.
Frank Farina’s side were insipid at best and could have lost by many more as Central Coast Mariners squandered a hatful of decent chances either side of the break.
Sydney FC lacked any direction and penetration and had Vedran Janjetovic, recently re-signed at the club, not made a handful of excellent block saves, Mariners could have been out of sight by the interval.
As it were, a deflected strike from Mile Sterjovski put Central Coast into a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Sydney FC, rather than rally, retreated and when Corey Gameiro missed a clear-cut one-on-one chance, the match was gone.
Adelaide United 1-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
What a difference a month makes. Adelaide United sit fifth on the table after humbling the Premiers at home in the final match of Round 15.
Marcelo Carrusca’s early gone was the only strike of the game, although Adelaide could have banked the three points by half time had they been a bit more clinical in front of goal. Jeronimo Neumann missed a great chance not long after Carrusca’s opener, but it wouldn’t cost the Reds.
Shinji Ono pulled a rabbit out of the hat with an ambitious overhead kick, but it didn’t trouble Eugene Galekovic.
In the second half, Bruce Djite arrowed a long range shot inches wide from distance, before Ryan Griffiths came off the bench and nearly created another opportunity for the home side.
Wanderers rallied but lacked the firepower to make an impact on the scoreboard and Adelaide picked up a well deserved three points, to continue their tremendous recent run.