All the action from Round 8 of the A-League summed up.
Melbourne Victory 1, Perth Glory 0
The Melbourne Victory hosted the Perth Glory in the opening game of the round with both teams desperate for a win. With club champion Leigh Broxham playing his 300th game and a win putting them back into top-six contention, the stakes were high for the Victory.
Andrew Nabbout’s clever pass inside the box set up Robbie Kruse for the easy tap-in, breaking the deadlock in the 33rd minute. It was Kruse’s first goal since his return to the A-League, last scoring in 2011.
The Victory looked to be on the front foot going into half time, but it was the Glory who looked the better side after the break. Bruno Fornaroli and Alex Grant both hit the crossbar. The Glory failed to take their chances, and the Victory held on for a 1-0 victory, with the Glory now sitting bottom of the table.
Player of the game: Robbie Kruse
Kruse scored the opening goal, which inspired his side to victory. His pass accuracy of 73 per cent helped set up attacking play.
Brisbane Roar 2, Central Coast Mariners 0
The Brisbane Roar were having a season renaissance after their slow start and were looking to continue their good run of form when they hosted the Central Coast Mariners.
The away side came close to opening the scoring, with Kim Eun-Sun hitting the crossbar. The first goal of the game would come after the hour mark. Dylan Wenzel-Halls spotted up marksman Roy O’Donovan at the near post in the 61st minute. The Irishman took his goal tally to five goals in eight games.
In the 66th minute, Scott Neville iced the game for the Roar, heading home from a corner, guiding his side to a 2-0 victory. The Roar now sit just inside the top six on goal difference.
Player of the game: Jamie Young
The keeper had is work cut out for him early, working as a brick wall for the Roar’s defence. Young made some great saves to ensure his side kept a clean sheet.
Newcastle Jets 2, Western Sydney Wanderers 0
The Western Sydney Wanderers travelled to Newcastle in the hope of snapping their losing streak, but it was the home side who looked closest to opening the scoring, when Jason Hoffman and Nicholas Fitzgerald were denied twice by Daniel Lopar. Both teams failed to score in the opening half, and the Wanderers looked close to scoring. But Glen Moss was up to the task, saving everything that came his way.
It was looking like a great game for both keepers until Angus Thurgate fed off scrappy passes inside the box to open the scoring for the Jets in the 78th minute.
Thurgate then followed up with a beautiful run, which allowed him to be one-on-one with the keeper. He finished off by doing the team thing in laying off a through ball for Dimitri Petratos, who scored in the 86th minute, sealing the game for the Jets. After a bright start to the season, the Wanderers have now lost three games on the trot, whereas the Jets’ back-to-back wins revive their season.
Player of the game: Glen Moss
After his heroics against Western United, Moss followed up again, making four impressive save to ensure his side kept the clean sheet.
Western United 0, Sydney FC 2
Western United – after the bright start to their inaugural season – had fallen into a slump, losing their last two games. They were hopeful of getting back to their winning ways when they hosted Sydney FC, but it was the away side who got off to the better start.
Alexander Baumjohann’s corner found Adam Le Fondre at the far past. Le Fondre headed home in the 27th minute to open the scoring. Baumjohann found Le Fondre again during stoppage time of the first half, this time with a through ball. The away side took a 2-0 lead into the half, and with both teams failing to score in the second half, that’s how the scores stayed. Sydney FC are now two points clear at the top of the table, and United are quickly dropping off the pace.
Player of the game: Alex Baumjohann
Put in an impressive shift in midfield, as his ability to create big chances was put on display, setting up Le Fondre’s two goals.
Adelaide United 1, Wellington Phoenix 2
Adelaide United were on a hot streak coming into their home clash with the Wellington Phoenix, winning the last four games in a row. And their winning ways looked set to continue as after a scoreless first half, Nikola Mileusnic put in a wonder goal from a tight angle just inside the box, lobbing Stefan Marinovic for the opening goal for United in the 57th minute.
The Phoenix replied ten minutes later when Josh Sotirio’s through ball found David Ball, who equalised. The Phoenix looked set to secure a shock when they were awarded a penalty two minutes later. Ulises Davila stepped up from the spot to put his side in front in the 71st minute. The Phoenix headed back to Wellington with a shock 2-1 victory.
Player of the game: Ulises Davila
He continued his hot run of form with his performance against Adelaide. He was a ball magnet, making 56 passes, 50 of which were successful, going at 90 per cent efficiency. Davila had nine shots for the game, one of which was the winner from the penalty spot. A masterclass display from the Mexican.