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What happened? A-League Round 14

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Roar Guru
12th January, 2020

There were a lot of discussion points following the completion of Round 14 with at least two goals scored in all five games.

There was a total of 17 goals in five games, with the round capped off with a five-goal thriller between the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory.

Unfortunately, there are some coaches that are under pressure, but thankfully at the other end of the scale there are coaches that are implementing effective tactics that their players are following correctly.

The Newcastle Jets responded to Ernie Merrick’s sacking by putting in a good shift, despite the fact they lost the game against league leaders Sydney FC. The effort was better from the Newcastle Jets.

Wellington Phoenix outplayed the Western Sydney Wanderers. They were simply more clinical than the Wanderers.

Melbourne City played well, despite the fact that they only left the game against the Brisbane Roar with one point. Nathaniel Atkinson was outstanding, I couldn’t fault his performance.


Perth Glory weren’t that good until they scored their first goal midway through the opening half. From there, it was all Glory and Adelaide United weren’t at the races. Diego Castro moved the ball intelligently and accurately to help the Perth Glory have a comfortable win over Adelaide United. Chris Ikonomidis came on as if he had a point to prove, coming off the bench desperate to prove that he should be in the starting line-up.

The Central Coast Mariners claimed an unbelievable comeback win over Melbourne Victory, after trailing 2-1. Off the bench, Matt Simon scored two goals from the penalty spot, which took a lot of mental strength.

Top two coaches

Ufuk Talay (Wellington Phoenix)
Wellington Phoenix probably played the best football of any team in the A-League in Round 14.

Tony Popovic (Perth Glory)
Popovic’s team were outplayed in the first part of the opening half, but they weathered the storm to win 3-nil against Adelaide United.

Coaches under the pump

Markus Babbel (Western Sydney Wanderers)
It appeared as if the Western Sydney Wanderers don’t train at shooting and other basic skills as they didn’t seem to have an adequate system in place.

Gertjan Verbeek (Adelaide United)
Adelaide United’s loss means that they have lost four games in a row, which are worrying signs. What is more concerning is the fact that Verbeek is now blaming his players for his team’s losses. In Round 13 it was Jordan Elsey and in Round 14 it was Ryan Kitto. You don’t single out players in public.

Gertjan Verbeek.

(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Newcastle Jets 1, Sydney FC 2
Jets respond to Merrick’s sacking against the best team in comp

Magic moment: Steven Ugarkovic scored a stunning equaliser for the Newcastle Jets from outside the box.

Who stood out from the pack? Bobby Burns made many marauding runs forward on the left-hand side.

What went right? Kosta Barbarouses scored a fairly elementary goal thanks to some great lead-up work by Milos Ninkovic in the 36th minute. Andrew Redmayne did brilliantly to prevent a goal from Dimitri Petratos in the second half.

What went wrong? Adam Le Fondre scored a goal that came from nowhere thanks to poor defence by the Newcastle Jets to break the deadlock in the 14th minute. Sydney FC didn’t perform well in the second half, partly due to the fact that they weren’t allowed to. They were outplayed.

Wellington Phoenix 2, Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Same old story for the Wanderers

Magic moments: Ulises Davila scored a stunning goal in the 15th minute and Liberato Cacace scored an even better goal in the 88th minute.


Who stood out from the pack? Liberato Cacace was in a class of his own. Cacace constantly made intelligent runs and was rewarded late in the game when he scored an unbelievable goal.

What went right? Mitch Duke had a shot well saved by Stefan Marinovic in the 40th minute. Luke DeVere prevented a chance from Kwame Yeboah in the 77th minute.

What went wrong? Nicolai Muller’s turnover in the 53rd minute was indicative of the manner in which the Western Sydney Wanderers played. They didn’t appear to have much of a system or a plan.

Markus Babbel

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Brisbane Roar 2, Melbourne City 2
All square in a classic

Magic moments: Jamie Young made an amazing save from Lachlan Wales in the 37th minute. Jamie Young made an amazing double save in the 43rd minute from Jamie Maclaren and then Lachlan Wales. Bradden Inman made it a brace with a classy finish in first-half stoppage time. Nathaniel Atkinson scored the first goal of his A-League career with a freakish goal from distance.

Who stood out from the pack? Nathaniel Atkinson from Melbourne City was constantly involved on the right-hand side, combining with other players passing the ball and scoring a goal to equalise that will be remembered for a long time due to its quality.

What went right? The game was exciting throughout with four goals scored. The game ebbed and flowed as the tempo was high.


What went wrong? Scott Neville was forced to be substituted due to injury in the first half. Tom Aldred earned himself a suspension with his fifth yellow card of the season. Scott Galloway injured himself during second-half stoppage time, which forced Melbourne City to play out the game with ten men.

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Perth Glory 3, Adelaide United 0
Glory have too much class for the Reds in the heat

Magic moment: Bruno Fornaroli scored his third goal in three matches just prior to half time.


Who stood out from the pack? Diego Castro’s skills were at another level to everyone else on the pitch.

What went right? Joel Chianese scored in his third game in a row.

What went wrong? Adelaide United controlled the game, but they didn’t capitalise in the final third. It was the same story as the first half as far as the final third was concerned for Adelaide United in the second half. Chris Ikonomidis scored in the 68th minute due to a goalkeeping error by Paul Izzo.

Central Coast Mariners 3, Melbourne Victory 2
Mariners claim a well deserved win in a fairy tale finish

Magic moments: Matt Simon scored the second and third goals for the Central Coast Mariners from the penalty spot. Even though the second penalty hit the bar, it went in.

Who stood out from the pack? Gianni Stensness helped the Central Coast Mariners control the midfield battle.

What went right? Kristijan Dobras had a shot well saved by Mark Birighitti early in the contest. Jordan Murray equalised in the 44th minute thanks to a cross from Lewis Miller. The Melbourne Victory got what they deserved due to the fact that they didn’t take their chances.

What went wrong? The Melbourne Victory squandered an opportunity in the 38th minute. Marco Kurz got a red card.