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Opinion

What happened? A-League Round 6

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Roar Guru
18th November, 2019
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There were plenty of interesting discussion points that came from Round 6, but it’s difficult to talk about anything other than the seven-goal thriller between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City.

I was shocked to see Josh Risdon play for Western United and Andrew Redmayne and Rhyan Grant play for Sydney FC. All three had to cope with a long flight back from Jordan, where they played in Australia’s World Cup qualifier against the Arab nation.

Three of the four games were won by a team trailing at one stage before coming back and claim all three points. All of the games had a winner; none of the games ended in a draw.

There was a total of 15 goals scored in four games, which is an indication of how exciting Round 6 was to watch from a viewer’s perspective.

Top two coaches

1. Robbie Fowler (Brisbane Roar)
Brisbane did really well to score all of their four goals in the second half thanks to tactical changes implemented by Fowler at half-time.

2. Ernie Merrick (Newcastle Jets)
The Jets were outstanding in the first half against Western United and did well to hang onto a 1-0 lead in the second half thanks to a solid team performance in what was an upset.

Coaches under the pump

It was difficult to say any coaches are under the pump based on the four Round 6 games. Perhaps Alen Stajcic deserves to be under pressure after his team lost 3-1 despite taking a 1-0 lead early on. Melbourne Victory’s display wasn’t up to standard, but in fairness to Marco Kurz they were missing some players due to international duty.

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Central Coast Mariners vs Adelaide United

Reds impress, Mariners self-destruct
Magic moments
Ben Halloran made the score 1-1 with some great lead-up work by Michael Maria and Riley McGree. It was a deserved equaliser. Michael Jakobsen did well to prevent a goal with a header off the line. Nikola Mileusnic scored a superb volley from a Maria cross to give Adelaide a deserved 2-1 lead near half-time. Halloran was too quick for the Mariners, getting to a ball that he had no right to reach. Halloran then provided the assist for Kristen Opseth to make the score 3-1 in Adelaide’s favour. Giancarlo Gallifuoco had a header well saved by Paul Izzo in the second half. Late in the game Matt Simon also had a header well saved by Izzo. George Blackwood had a good opportunity brilliantly saved by Mark Birighitti.

Who Stood out from the pack?
Michael Maria caused the Mariners defence problems.

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What went right?
Adelaide United controlled the game and the score line was a reflection of their dominance.

What went wrong?
Michael Marrone gave away a penalty early on in the game that led to the deadlock being broken from the penalty spot by Milan Duric. Michael Jakobsen suffered an injury and was forced to be substituted off early in the second half. Giancarlo Gallifuoco conceded a penalty in the second half but the resultant penalty, taken by Opseth, was well saved by Birighitti. Mileusnic was forced to be substituted off in the second half due to an injury. The Mariners would disappointed with their marking considering the three goals conceded were elementary.

Riley McGree

(Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Western United vs Newcastle Jets

Jets clinch win in game of two halves
Magic moments
Filip Kurto made a superb save to deny Angus Thurgate a goal in the first half. Thurgate scored a goal with a clinical finish thanks to some great lead-up work from Dimitri Petratos. Glen Moss made a superb save to prevent an equaliser from a Besart Berisha header.

Who stood out from the pack?
Glen Moss did extremely well to keep Western United scoreless.

What went right?
The tempo of the game was high. It was a truly a match of two distinct halves, with Newcastle controlling the tempo of the game in the first half and Western United dominating in the second half.

What went wrong?
The Jets couldn’t impact the game in the final third, even though they had plenty of opportunities. Western United were completely outplayed in the first half, while the second half was the antithesis. Josh Risdon scored what appeared to be a goal from a header thanks to some good lead-up work by Max Burgess and Alessandro Diamanti to equalise midway through the second half, but it was ruled out due to Besart Berisha being offside.

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Newcastle Jets fans

(AAP Image/Darren Pateman)

Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City

Brisbane finally roar
Magic moments
Jamie Maclaren finished clinically early on to give Melbourne City a deserved 1-0 lead thanks to a great assist by Javier Cabrera. Josh Brillante played a great cross that Jamie Maclaren headed into the back of the net in the 29th minute to make it 2-0. Roy O’Donovan finished brilliantly to make the score 2-1 early on in the second half. Cabrera played a superb cross that was headered brilliantly into the back of the net by Maclaren.

Who stood out from the pack?
Roy O’Donovan and Jamie Maclaren both scored hat tricks for their respective team.

What went right?
You couldn’t fault Melbourne City’s performance in the first half. The entire game was highly entertaining, with Brisbane coming back into the game in the second half. Aaron Amadi-Holloway scored his first goal in the A-League. Roy O’Donovan took a good penalty to make the score 3-3 and then another one to make the score 4-3.

What went wrong?
Brisbane would be disappointed with their start to the game, passing backwards too much. They were perhaps unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty to Roy O’Donovan from a possible foul by Harrison Delbridge, which could have made the score 1-1, but City controlled the balance of play in the first half. Craig Noone missed a wonderful opportunity to score in the second half. Melbourne City would have been bitterly disappointed to not get anything out of the match from a points perspective as they had a two-goal lead in the second half. The Roar exposed some deficiencies for Melbourne City from a tactical perspective. Perhaps it could be argued that Melbourne City were complacent.

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Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory

Sky Blues defeat depleted Victory
Magic moments
Josh Hope played a sublime cross that was put into the back of the net by Ola Toivonen shortly before half time. Milos Ninkovic had a shot well saved by Lawrence Thomas in the second half, but Adam Le Fondre scored from the resultant corner. Brandon O’Neill had an opportunity well saved by Thomas in second-half injury time.

Who stood out from the pack?
Adam Le Fondre was always a danger in the final third. He was rewarded for his persistence with the all-important equaliser in the second half.

What went right?
It wasn’t the best game of football to watch, particularly in the first half. Kosta Barbarouses scored a goal against his old side. Sydney FC thoroughly deserved the 2-1 win, finishing the game with 19 shots, to Victory’s four.

What went wrong?
Melbourne Victory were forced to play without a few of their usual starters due to them being on international duty. Both teams failed to produce anything of note in the final third until shortly before half-time when Toivonen scored a superb header.

Teams with the Bye: Perth Glory, Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers.