Sport in the UK has been given the go-ahead to resume behind closed doors from June 1 by the UK government.
Round 8 was an intriguing weekend of football. There were plenty of interesting issues that came to the fore.
These are some of the key talking points.
1. The Perth Glory completely outplayed the Melbourne Victory for the majority of the game yet failed to score and left the game with nothing.
2. Why hasn’t Dylan Wenzel-Halls been in the starting line-up for the Brisbane Roar until Round 8?
3. What would the Western Sydney Wanderers do without their goalkeeper Daniel Lopar?
4. Should Mark Rudan be under pressure?
5. There isn’t much separating all the teams in the A-League. Anyone can beat anyone. Wellington Phoenix moved off the bottom of the ladder thanks to a deserved win over Adelaide United, who sit third on the table.
Daniel Lopar stood out. Lopar somehow made plenty of freakish saves. Lopar showed that he is capable of playing in the English Premier League.
Honourable mention to Dylan Wenzel-Halls. Wenzel-Halls made the Brisbane Roar look like a better team than they have been for the majority of the season.
The biggest impact of player off the substitute bench was Angus Thurgate. Thurgate finished the game with a goal and an assist. He gave the Newcastle Jets the ascendancy, which meant they claimed three points.
Melbourne Victory 1, Perth Glory 0
Victory survive Glory avalanche
James Meredith made some marauding runs forward as the Melbourne Victory were vulnerable in that area. Perth Glory had a good structure and system in the games early stages in particular.
Andrew Nabbout failed to deliver what was expected of him, until he provided the assist for a goal that broke the deadlock through Robbie Kruse in the 33rd minute.
Melbourne Victory led 1-nil at half time despite the fact that Perth Glory controlled the balance of play. Bruno Fornaroli hit the bar – bad luck. Alex Grant hit the crossbar with a header from a sublime cross by Neil Kilkenny.
Melbourne Victory were deplorable in the early stages of the second half. They managed to hang on, even though they were thoroughly outplayed by Perth Glory, but that’s football.
Brisbane Roar 2, Central Coast Mariners 0
Brisbane start to Roar
The Central Coast Mariners’ structure appeared to be disjointed. The game was fairly entertaining early, despite the fact that there weren’t goals in the first half. Brisbane Roar controlled the game in the opening half despite the score being locked at nil-nil.
The Central Coast Mariners were lacking a viable game plan for much of the game. Dylan Wenzel-Halls was outstanding, providing the assist for Roy O’Donovan in the 61st minute.
Shortly after, Scott Neville had a brilliant header make the score 2-nil. It was a great corner from Jay O’Shea.
Newcastle Jets 2, Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Jets fly high
The start to the game was poor from both teams as far as their movement of the ball was concerned. Jason Hoffman had a one-on-one opportunity saved by Daniel Lopar in the 15th minute.
The system implemented by Western Sydney Wanderers wasn’t good enough. Bruce Kamau couldn’t make an impact on the game, until he played a pinpoint cross for Mitchell Duke in the 25th minute.
In the first half it was Daniel Lopar who grabbed all the headlines due to some freakish saves. Both teams were sloppy when in possession of the ball at times early in the second half. Kwame Yeboah was denied two possible penalties in the early part of the second half.
Wanderers completely obliterated the Newcastle Jets in general play in the second half. That was until the Newcastle Jets broke the deadlock. Angus Thurgate scored a goal against the run of play thanks to some terrific work by Matt Millar, who made a marauding run forward and provided an assist for Thurgate.
Angus Thurgate played an exceptional pass to Dimitri Petratos making it easy for Petratos to make the score 2-nil.
Western United 0, Sydney FC 2
Western United in a slump
Western United had some good combinations, a solid tempo and good movement of the ball early in the game.
Sydney FC weren’t at the races in the early stages of the game, until Ryan McGowan copped a knock and the game came to a halt. That appeared to destroy the momentum that Western United had and brought Sydney FC to life.
Western United failed to capitalise on their dominance from a scoring perspective. Adam Le Fondre punished Western United for their failure to transfer their control of the game onto the scoreboard with a clinical header from a Sydney FC corner. Le Fondre capitalised on an exquisite cross from Alexander Baumjohann to make it a brace.
Western United didn’t take advantage of their control of possession in the second half. Max Burgess made a good impact on the game. Why hasn’t he been in the starting line-up for any of the games this season?
Andrew Redmayne made it a good weekend for the majority of goalkeepers in the A-League. Redmayne managed to keep a clean sheet. Redmayne kept the fourth clean sheet of Round 8.
Adelaide United 1, Wellington Phoenix 2
Phoenix shock the Reds
The game ebbed and flowed in the early stages. The standard of football that was played was of a high level.
Josh Sotirio was outstanding with the exception of his end product. Sotirio couldn’t finish off his hard work with a goal as he butchered some chances in the final third. Adelaide United returned the favour as Riley McGree squandered an opportunity to score.
Nikola Mileusnic scored an outstanding goal from distance on an angle with a volley on his left foot. Wellington Phoenix didn’t take advantage of their control of the balance of play and were punished in the most cruel way, due to a freakish goal from Mileusnic.
Wellington Phoenix somehow managed not to score in the first hour of the game. Josh Sotirio provided a quality cross for David Ball who finished clinically.
Liberato Cacace played a one-two with Reno Piscopo, which led to a penalty being awarded to the Wellington Phoenix, that was converted by Ulises Davila.
Nikola Mileusnic butchered a chance to equalise with a poor finish.