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What happened? A-League Round 18

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Roar Guru
9th February, 2020
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There were lots of goals and plenty of action in Round 18 of the A-League. The quality of football was generally good and every game featured at least three goals, with a total of 19 goals scored in four games.

Western United had the bye, while the Sydney derby was called off due to rain and will be played at a later date.

This round will be remembered for the number of goals scored, some contentious decisions and three out of the four matches being derbies.

The Melbourne derby was a great spectacle with the game played at a high tempo.

Perth Glory and the Wellington Phoenix – the so-called distance derby – was a high-scoring affair with plenty of cards.

Brisbane Roar against Adelaide United was a game of two halves, with Adelaide United the better team in the first half and Brisbane Roar in control for most of the second.

It was yet another high scoring contest between the Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners in what was the third derby of the four games.

Who was a standout?
Nick D’Agostino scored a brace for the Perth Glory, which helped them claim all three points.

Biggest impact off the substitute bench
Gary Hooper claimed a brace off the bench.

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Mohamed Toure remarkably made his debut at age 15. He helped change the balance of play despite the fact Adelaide United failed to score an equaliser.

Angus Thurgate had an impact on the game by coming on early for the Newcastle Jets and playing in an attacking role.

Ruon Tongyik and Chris Harold both scored for the Central Coast Mariners after both started on the substitutes bench.

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Melbourne City (2) vs Melbourne Victory (1)

City claim victory over Victory in tight affair

Magic moment
Jamie Maclaren scored in the 71st minute thanks to some great lead-up work by Maclaren himself and a back heel from Florin Berenguer.

Who stood out from the pack?
Florin Berenguer scored the all important opening goal of the match to break the deadlock, which was also his first goal in the A-League. Berenguer was a pivotal part of the second goal scored by Melbourne City with some intelligent and creative work, which led to the goal scored by Jamie Maclaren.

What went right?
Florin Berenguer scored the first goal in the eighth minute thanks to great lead-up work by Adrian Luna and a clever run by Jamie Maclaren that drew the attention of James Donachie.

Victory brought on Marco Rojas and Robbie Kruse early in the second half, which showed they had an attacking intent.

What went wrong?
James Donachie escaped a caution for a shocking tackle on Florin Berenguer in the sixth minute. Tim Hoogland had a wasted shot from distance in the 22nd minute. Jamie Maclaren should have scored near the midway point of the first half. Storm Roux missed a good opportunity in the 25th minute. Tom Glover accidently gave away a free kick in the penalty box for handling a back pass. Ola Toivonen took the free kick that led to the ball hitting the post in the 30th minute.

James Donachie received a yellow card for a bad challenge on Florin Berenguer in the 56th minute. Shortly after scoring Melbourne City’s second goal, Jamie Maclaren was forced to be substituted off and ice up what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Ola Toivonen wouldn’t shake Scott Jamieson’s hand. Marco Rojas drew a foul from Joshua Brillante in the 77th minute that didn’t appear to be a foul. Tom Glover let in a goal from the resultant free kick through a simple error as he dropped the ball that was a regulation catch. Robbie Kruse suffered a hamstring injury, which meant Victory were down to ten men because they had used all three subs at that stage.

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Facts and figures
Josh Brillante prevented Andrew Nabbout from scoring in the tenth minute. Desperate defending from Melbourne City prevented a goal being scored in the 40th minute. The VAR decided that Rostyn Griffiths didn’t handle the ball in the 52nd minute. Melbourne Victory finished the game with more possession, with 53.3 per cent and more shots – 12 to Melbourne City’s 8.

Overall, it appeared that Melbourne Victory were slightly the better team as they controlled the balance of play and the tempo of the game.

Melbourne City fans

(Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Perth Glory (4) vs Wellington Phoenix (2)

Six goals in just over a half says it all

Magic moments
Bruno Fornaroli had a shot well saved by Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic in the 42nd minute. Nick D’Agostino made it 3-0 due to a great cross from Kim Soo-Beom in the 54th minute. Tim Payne provided an exquisite cross for Gary Hooper who finished it off with a header in the 68th minute. Rene Piscopo took an unbelievable free kick that was brilliantly saved by Liam Reddy in the 75th minute. Bruno Fornaroli scored a freakish goal in the 90th minute.

Who stood out from the pack?
Nick D’Agostino was possibly the difference between the two teams.

What went right?
The game was a good spectacle following the opening goal scored by Tomislav Mrcela in the 43rd minute. They say goals change games, and the opening goal of the game scored by Perth Glory made the game a much more open contest.

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Going into the break trailing by two goals to nil forced the Wellington Phoenix to have a more attacking game plan in the second half, which featured a total of four goals scored – two from each team – which was great from a viewer’s perspective.

What went wrong?
Jake Brimmer didn’t receive a card for a reckless challenge early in the game. Cameron Devlin received a yellow card in the 17th minute when Brimmer got away with an earlier one. Tim Payne received a second yellow card and therefore a red card when it was difficult to see whether he deserved a second yellow card.

Facts and figures
There were too many turnovers from both teams in the opening half an hour. Jake Brimmer finally got a yellow card in the 32nd minute. It should have been a second yellow card and subsequently a red card, but that’s football. David Ball missed the first real chance in the game in the 34th minute, which would have changed the whole complexion of the game, as Perth Glory went into the half time break leading 2-0. Wellington Phoenix were too conservative in the first half as they failed to produce anything in the final third and appeared to be content with the score at 0-0

Ufuk Talay received a yellow card in the second half following Tim Payne being sent off as he didn’t agree with the decision. The Glory probably deserved the win, but there were some contentious decisions and there was a period in the second half where the Wellington Phoenix were the better team.

Ivan Franjic takes a throw-in

(James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Brisbane Roar (2) vs Adelaide United (1)

Reds fail to Roar

Magic moment
Ben Halloran scored a sensational goal in the 58th minute. Tom Aldred scored a goal in the 74th minute with a clinical header thanks to a great cross from Scott McDonald.

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Who stood out from the pack?
The Roar would have won by more than a goal if Jordan Elsey wasn’t playing.

What went right?
Jordan Elsey was outstanding particularly in the first half. Riley McGree had a shot well saved in the 72nd minute by Jamie Young. Young made a good save in the 88th minute from Kristen Opseth. Stefan Mauk had a good first game of the season for Adelaide United.

What went wrong?
The rain was pouring down in the 15th minute, with Kristen Opseth not passing the ball to an unmarked Stefan Mauk at a similar point in time, which most likely would have given Adelaide United the lead. Mauk put the ball on a plate for Kristian Opseth in the 27th minute, but it amounted to nothing.

Aaron Amadi-Holloway should have scored in the 77th minute. Louis D’Ariggo missed a chance in the 87th minute. Ryan Kitto tried a long shot late in second half stoppage time that went well over the bar.

Facts and figures
Ryan Strain was having a good game until he got substituted off at half-time due to a hamstring injury. Nikola Mileusnic didn’t shake the coach’s hand when he was substituted off. Adelaide United controlled the first half slightly without any joy in the final third, while the Brisbane Roar were the better team in the second half.

Roy O'Donovan

(AAP Image/Dan Peled)

Newcastle Jets (4) vs Central Coast Mariners (3)

Jets scrape home in high-scoring, seven-goal sensation

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Magic moment
Chris Harold gave the Mariners some hope in the 86th minute to reduce his side’s deficit to one goal in his first game at the club, with a good finish from outside the penalty area.

Who stood out from the pack?
Dimitri Petratos scored a brace – he was the only one of the six goal scorers to score more than one goal.

What went right?
Craig Deans made an attacking substitution, bringing Angus Thurgate on for Ben Kantarovski early in the game due to Kantarovski suffering an injury. It wasn’t a like for like change. Thurgate had a shot from distance well saved by Mark Birighitti in the 72nd minute. Steven Ugarkovic had a shot well saved in the 77th minute by Birghitti.

What went wrong?
Both teams would be disappointed with the game from a defensive perspective. Ben Kantarovski of the Newcastle Jets and Kye Rowles of the Central Coast Mariners suffered injuries and were forced to be substituted off. Sammy Silvera wasted a chance in the closing stages of second-half stoppage time.

Facts and figures
Conceding goals in this game made it 33 away games without a clean sheet for the Central Coast Mariners. The Newcastle Jets were the better team and deservedly claimed all three points.