They may have moved up to fourth after ten games played, but we’re still no closer to knowing whether Adelaide United are a decent football side or not.
How would you feel if you were a Newcastle Jets fan this morning?
The Novocastrians dominated the early proceedings of their 2-1 defeat to Adelaide United yesterday, but had nothing to show for it by the time Nikola Mileusnic opened the scoring with just about the luckiest goal you’ll ever see.
Glen Moss hasn’t had much luck in goal for the Jets this season, and he cut a forlorn figure as he tried desperately to scramble back and tip Ben Halloran’s unerring lob wide of the post.
Instead, it was Mileusnic who was on hand to tap home the rebound off the post – nicking in front of Daniel Georgievski to do so – as the visitors went into the half-time break with a totally undeserved lead.
And the Jets looked like they’d finish with at least a point when Roy O’Donovan timed his run to perfection to nod home substitute Kaine Sheppard’s deep cross.
They would have been good value for a point, too, had former Adelaide defender Nigel Boogaard not dived in and tripped Reds substitute Ryan Kitto in the box.
It was as clear-cut a penalty as you’ll ever see, and Craig Goodwin – who might otherwise have thought he’d be in the United Arab Emirates taking on Oman – buried his well-taken spot-kick.
So what, at the end of it, did we learn? Not a lot if you’re an Adelaide United fan.
Marco Kurz is a decent coach, but he’s had his Reds side scratching around like headless chickens for much of the campaign.
Adelaide boast plenty of bright sparks – Milesunic and Goodwin and Kitto among them – but they’re yet to put a complete performance together under Kurz so far.
Yet if the finals kicked off tomorrow, they would easily qualify given the current top six format.
Will more than half the teams in the competition still reach the playoffs once the A-League expands? Hopefully not.
But if the Jets can keep Roy O’Donovan on the park, they’re likely to feature at the business end of the season once again.
That might be more than can be said for Brisbane Roar, who have plenty of ground to catch up thanks to their 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC on Saturday night.
The Roar gave a good account of themselves in their first game under interim coach Darren Davies, but the Welshman has fair grounds for complaint over the use of the VAR in Kogarah.
If video technology has proved anything, it’s that making decisions based on video replays is just as difficult as making them in real-time.
Moreover – and not for the first time – on-field referee Alex King made a spot-on call, only for his decision to be undermined by unnecessary use of the VAR.
To top it all off, Roar striker Adam Taggart had to wait a number of minutes before King’s decision was finally upheld, allowing Andrew ‘Spaghetti Arms’ Redmayne to get down and save Taggart’s nervy spot-kick.
The Roar would surely be well within their rights to contact A-League boss Greg O’Rourke during the week and seek some clarification of how long VAR decisions are supposed to take.
Surely the point of video technology is not to effectively psych out a penalty taker?
At any rate, Sydney FC did just enough to secure all three points in front of a healthy crowd at Jubliee Stadium, even if the Sky Blues had to work hard.
And with the Socceroos thumping Oman in a friendly overnight, we now face the prospect of the A-League being shorn of several of its best players.
That’s a small price to pay for being part of the global game.
And it’s nice to have an ex-Bundesliga star in Marco Kurz among us – even if it’s difficult to tell whether he’s got a decent team or not.