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Opinion

What happened? A-League Round 2

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Roar Guru
21st October, 2019
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There were plenty of talking points in Round 2 of the A-League; remarkably, seven out of 11 teams were unbeaten after Round 2, with only Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix losing their first two games.

There were a total of 13 goals scored in the five games that were played in Round 2 of the A-League, with all ten teams involved scoring at least one goal. Once again, like Round 1 the intervention of VAR was good without anything really controversial arising from Round 2.

As with Round 1, there were two of the five games that ended in a draw; therefore, in the first ten games of the A-League there have been four draws from ten games with just one goal separating the two teams involved in the other six games.

Top two coaches

1. Ufuk Talay (Wellington Phoenix)
Wellington Phoenix played some quality football, despite losing the game, which may sound controversial, but they actually managed to outplay Sydney FC after approximately the first fifteen minutes.

2. Erick Mombaerts (Melbourne City)
Melbourne City were impressive in the first half, going into the halftime interval with a two-goal lead. The second half was a different story with Melbourne City forced to defend and in the end they did so effectively, despite conceding a goal as they claimed all three points.

Coaches under the pump
It’s still probably a bit early for any coach to be under pressure; football may be a results business, but the teams that are under pressure from a points perspective in Adelaide United and Wellington haven’t played bad football.

Round 2 key points

Melbourne Victory versus Western Sydney Wanderers

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A cracking contest ends in jubilation for one team and despair for the other

The game was played at a reasonable tempo in the first half from both teams, all that was lacking was a goal. The second half was a different story with the game coming to life; Keanu Baccus scored an unbelievable goal with Alexander Meier scoring the second.

Ola Toivonen scored a penalty from a Dylan Mcgowan handball and following that the game was an extremely exciting spectacle with the game in the balance.

Ola Toivonen

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Magic moment
Baccus scored an outstanding goal to break the deadlock from outside the box, which served to bring the game to life shortly after half time.

Who stood out from the pack?
Elvis Kamsoba’s work rate and impact on the game were exceptional.

What went right?
Kamsoba had a shot brilliantly saved by Western Sydney goalkeeper Daniel Lopar early in the game. The game was a cracking contest in its entirety, with three goals in the second half and high game tempo.

Marco Kurz risked losing by a big margin when he changed the formation to a 4-2-4 when the Melbourne Victory were losing two goals to nil, which was the final score.

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What went wrong?
Matt Jurman hit the post with a header in the first part of the opening half. Kamsoba then squandered a good opportunity to score for Melbourne Victory.

Meier missed an elementary chance towards the end of the first half. Despite having a good game, Storm Roux made a shocking error that resulted in Meier scoring the all-important second goal for Western Sydney.

Western United versus Perth Glory

Glory grab point
The game was played at a reasonable tempo. Perth Glory were the better team for the first half but only had three shots on target. The game ended in a draw, with the scores locked at one-all when the final whistle went.

Magic moments
Panagiotis Kone broke the deadlock with an outstanding shot from outside the box. Neil Kilkenny played a good cross that was superbly finished by Kristian Popovic to level the scores.

Filip Kurto made an amazing save from a Bruno Fornaroli shot. Liam Reddy did brilliantly to prevent a shot from Kone going in the back of the net.

Who stood out from the pack?
Reddy made some freakish saves to help salvage a draw for the Perth Glory.

What went right?
Alex Grant prevented Besart Berisha from scoring with an outstanding tackle. Josh Risdon made some marauding runs forward. Filip Kurto made some good saves in the first half.

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Reddy made an amazing save from an Allesandro Diamante thunderbolt. Kim was denied a goal thanks to a fantastic save from Kurto.

What went wrong?
There were plenty of missed opportunities for both teams in the first half; Connor Pain squandered a good opportunity to score. Diego Castro missed a wonderful opportunity to score as he turned the ball over.

Fornaroli didn’t score from a chance to score from a good cross by Chris Ikonomidis. Berisha had a goal ruled out from offside. Dylan Pierias had a shot that should have gone into the back of the net hit the crossbar.

Central Coast Mariners versus Newcastle Jets

Derby ends in stalemate
The game was played at a high tempo early on. Nick Fitzgerald had a shot from distance well saved from Mark Birighitti. The game was relatively even at halftime with just the one goal from Milan Duric the difference between the two teams.

Early in the second half the Central Coast had a couple of chances to add to their one-goal lead; one from a free-kick from Milan Duric and another from Daniel De Silva. Dimitri Petratos scored a penalty that levelled the scores.

The Central Coast Mariners started both halves well, but then Newcastle gained the ascendancy thereafter. The game ended in a one-all draw.

Magic moments
Milan Duric scored his second goal of the season with a cracking volley from a tough angle thanks to a pinpoint cross from Jordan Murray.

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Duric had a shot from a free-kick brilliantly saved from Glen Moss. Matthew Millar had a superb shot well saved by Mark Birghitti.

Who stood out from the pack?
Duric played a superb game for Central Coast and was the reason that they claimed a point.

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What went right?
There was a goal scored early on, which meant that the game was open and therefore both teams played attacking football.

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What went wrong?
Millar played a poor cross early in the game. Dimitri Petratos had a shot from a penalty brilliantly saved by Birighitti, but Birghitti came off his line so Petratos had to retake the penalty. Duric hit the post with a good long shot that was rather unlucky.

Melbourne City versus Adelaide United

City just barely get three points
Adelaide United made five changes to their line up from Round 1, while Manchester City also made changes with Curtis Good and Josh Brillante on the substitutes bench. The tempo of the game was high early with Melbourne City the better of the two teams.

The second half was a different story with Adelaide coming back into the game. Riley McGree made it two-one and got Adelaide into the game from a scoreboard perspective and gave Adelaide United the ascendancy back. Melbourne City claimed all three points in what was possibly the game of the round.

Magic moments
Ramy Najjarine had a superb shot well saved by Paul Izzo. Dean Bouzanis did well to save a shot from Michael Maria.

Nathan Konstandopolous had a superb shot from outside of the box brilliantly saved by Bouzanis in the second half. Richard Windbichler prevented an equaliser for Adelaide United with outstanding defence.

Who stood out from the pack?
Jamie Maclaren was clinical with a brace and made some intelligent forward runs.

What went right?
Maclaren opened the scoring midway through the first half and then made it a brace shortly after.

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Jamie Maclaren

(Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

What went wrong?
Michael Maria missed an opportunity to score late in the first half. McGree missed a wonderful chance to level the scores in the second half; he should have had a brace, in the second half.

Craig Noone squandered a certain goal as his shot wasn’t on target in the second half.

Sydney FC versus Wellington Phoenix

Sydney FC claim all three points somewhat undeservedly
Sydney FC were good early in the game and were rewarded thanks to a goal from Brandon O’Neill. Wellington started to regain the ascendancy after that goal, which was a surprise as its usually the team who scores the goal that has the momentum.

Magic moments
Josh Sotirio had a header brilliantly saved by Andrew Redmayne late in the first half. Kosta Barbarouses was well saved by Stefan Marinovic early in the second half.

Josh Sotirio did an outstanding job setting up Ulises Davila’s first goal in the A-League, which also happened to be Wellington’s first goal of the Season. Rhyan Grant scored an exquisite goal from a Brandon O’Neill set-piece late in the game.

Who stood out from the pack?
Grant was the one standout, somehow, he got through 90 minutes after playing 180 minutes with the Socceroos and even managed to score the winning goal.

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What went right?
The stadium that they were playing the game at meant that the game had a fantastic atmosphere. Grant made a marauding run forward early in the game and scored a freakish goal.

What went wrong?
Wellington’s defence wasn’t good enough when they conceded the opening goal of the game. Wellington somehow managed not to score early in the second half thanks to a superb save from Redmayne and then they hit the post.

Liberato Cacace was given a red card for a clumsy challenge. Milos Ninkovic wasted a chance to make the score three-one in Wellington’s favour.