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Opinion

What happened? A-League Round 19

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Roar Guru
16th February, 2020
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In Round 19, there were only four games as Melbourne Victory, Perth Glory and Sydney FC had the bye.

This round is indicative of why there is no difference in standard between the top and bottom teams on the A-League ladder with the Newcastle Jets and the Central Coast Mariners performing admirably, despite being last and second last on the A-League ladder.

Carl Robinson coached his first game in the A-League for the Newcastle Jets, in which the Jets played some quality football. Last but not least, Mohamed Toure from Adelaide United is now the youngest ever scorer in the A-League at 15 years of age.

It was the same old story for the Central Coast Mariners. They were arguably the better team yet they came away with nothing against Adelaide United. Mohamed Toure remarkably helped Adelaide United control the balance of play. On top of that he scored in just his second appearance off the bench.

The crowd was fantastic in the game between the Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne City and the atmosphere was great at Eden Park with 15,347 in attendance. Wellington Phoenix have Stefan Marinovic to thank for claiming all three points with Melbourne City having seven shots on target, but failing to score from any of them.

Western Sydney Wanderers were fantastic for the opening half an hour. From then on, the Newcastle Jets were exceptional so a draw probably wasn’t a fair result as the Newcastle Jets controlled more of the game. Jason Hoffman put in a good shift on the left wing.

Western United put in a disappointing performance, while the visitors the Brisbane Roar continued the momentum they have built up of late. Alessandro Diamanti showed that he should have been in the Western United starting line-up if he was fit enough as he played well in the time that he was on the field, which was the majority of the second half. Mirza Muratovic scored the only goal of the game in the second half.

Adelaide United 2, Central Coast Mariners 0

The Reds win difficult contest

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Magic moments
George Blackwood scored a freakish goal in the 82rd minute. It was an outstanding strike from outside the area.

Riley McGree provided an exquisite cross that was well finished off by Mohamed Toure in the 84th minute.

Who stood out from the pack?
Ruon Tongyik did a good job in his maiden start for the season. Tongyik wasn’t only prolific in defence, but passed the ball exquisitely.

What went right?
Kristian Opseth had a goal prevented in the 22nd minute by a fantastic save from Mark Birighitti. It was a trigger for Adelaide United to improve on their performance in the first half of the opening half, as it was a wonderful opportunity, despite the fact it wasn’t a goal.

Both teams had an attacking outlook on the game. Credit to both coaches following Opseth’s effort on goal in the 22nd minute.

George Blackwood dedicated the goal he scored to Nathan Konstandopoulos, who is injured for the season with a knee injury. Blackwood held up Konstandopoulos’ number 16 shirt when celebrating the goal.

After the game Gertjan Verbeek admitted that the game could have been a draw, which was extremely honest and humble of him as it’s arguable that the Central Coast Mariners were the better team.

What went wrong?
Chris Harold hit the bar in the eighth minute. Adelaide United started the game extremely poorly. They seemed unprepared for the Central Coast Mariners’ style of football.

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Gianni Stensness could have got a second yellow in the 43rd minute for kicking the ball away when a free kick was awarded to Adelaide United. Stensness was extremely lucky to be on the park.

Jordan Murray squandered an opportunity in the 52nd minute. Jordan Elsey received a yellow card, which could have been a red in the 70th minute.

Ben Halloran nearly scored an own goal in the 72nd minute.

Ben Halloran in action for Adelaide United

(AAP Image/Jeremy Ng)

Facts and figures
Mark Birighitti has made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the A-League this season.

Jair was brought on in the 57th minute for Chris Harold and Jair never looked like scoring.

Michael McGlinchey was substituted off in the 73rd minute, despite having a good game.

Mohamed Toure being substituted on in the 77th minute changed the game with Adelaide United looking more dangerous in the final third following the youngster’s introduction.

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Adelaide United have scored in 18 games in a row, following George Blackwood breaking the deadlock in this game against the Central Coast Mariners – a club record against any team.

Mohamed Toure became the youngest ever player to score in the A-League with Adelaide United’s second goal within the space of two minutes.

The Central Coast Mariners controlled possession with 56 per cent and had 23 shots to Adelaide United’s 12, but lost 2-0, but that’s football.

Wellington Phoenix 1, Melbourne City 0

Melbourne City fail to fire

Magic moment
Gary Hooper provided a fantastic cross for David Ball who scored in the 58th minute.

Who stood out from the pack?
Stefan Marinovic showed why he is such a good goalkeeper and has the capability to go overseas.

What went right?
Jamie Maclaren had a shot well saved by Stefan Marinovic in the eighth minute. Marinovic made up for a poor error by Marinovic, which led to the chance being created.

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Craig Noone had a shot well saved by Stefan Marinovic in the 48th minute.

Melbourne City looked more dangerous in the final third when Markel Susaeta was substituted off.

What went wrong?
Florin Berenguer played a superb cross in the 13th minute, but there wasn’t a Melbourne City player to benefit. Jamie Maclaren butchered a chance to score a goal in the 38th minute.

It was a fairly monotonous first half with both teams offering little in the final third.

Craig Noone played a great cross that Adrian Luna failed to take advantage of in the 49th minute.

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Adrian Luna had a shot well saved by Stefan Marinovic in the 70th minute. Curtis Good missed a golden opportunity to score on the follow-up attempt.

Lachlan Wales should have scored thanks to a good cross by Markel Susaeta in the 73rd minute.

Facts and figures
Matti Steinmann scored a goal from a Rene Piscopo set piece in the 32nd minute, which was overturned by VAR due to Steinmann deemed to be offside, correctly.

Melbourne City offered little in the sense of the Wellington Phoenix controlling the tempo of the game.

Despite losing the game Melbourne City had seven shots on target to the Wellington Phoenix’s four despite the Phoenix having 56.4 per cent of possession.

Western Sydney Wanderers 1, Newcastle Jets 1

Jets play well in Robinson’s first game

Magic moment
Matthew Millar scored a fantastic goal in the 74th minute, thanks to some good lead-up work.

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Who stood out from the pack?
Matthew Millar had a fantastic game on the right wing.

What went right?
Bruce Kamau played with a high level of confidence in the first half. He never looked fearful.

Daniel Georgievski had a shot well saved by Lewis Italiano in the 58th minute.

The Newcastle Jets deserve plenty of credit for the way in which they played after the opening half an hour. They dominated the game, controlling the tempo of the game and the balance of play.

What went wrong?
The Western Sydney Wanderers were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute against Bobby Burns on Bruce Kamau, which was a rare mistake from Burns, as he had been outstanding up until that error in judgement.

Mitchell Duke scored from the resultant penalty in the fifth minute. Duke hit the post in the 13th minute. Abdiel Arroyo missed an opportunity to score from a header in the 33rd minute.

Steven Ugarkovic had a couple of shots in the first half that were wayward. Nikolai Topor-Stanley put in a poor cross in the 43rd minute. Matthew Millar butchered a chance in the 44th minute.

Dimitri Petratos had a good shot well saved by Daniel Lopar in the 47th minute. The Newcastle Jets could have got a penalty from the resultant corner, at least according to the Newcastle Jets players as they claimed there was a handball by a Western Sydney Wanderers player.

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Bobby Burns hit the bar in the 56th minute. Nicolai Muller squandered a chance in the 60th minute as he could have passed the ball to Mitchell Duke.

Facts and figures
In the opening 20 minutes there were eight fouls conceded by the Newcastle Jets to none by the Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Newcastle Jets had 55.6 per cent of possession, but it was predominantly quality – not passing in defence and accumulating possession like the Wellington Phoenix did in the first half against Melbourne City in the other game on Saturday.

The Newcastle Jets had eight shots on target to Western Sydney Wanderers’ seven, which is an indication that both goalkeepers from the two teams were on form as there was only two goals were scored from a combined total of 15 shots on target from both teams.

Carl Robinson

Carl Robinson saw his Jets play well in his first game in charge. (Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)

Western United 0, Brisbane Roar 1

The Brisbane Roar roar yet again

Magic moments
Bradden Inman played a good cross to substitute Mirza Muratovic, who broke the deadlock in the 61st minute.

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Aiden O’Neill had a shot brilliantly saved by Filip Kurto in the 85th minute.

Who stood out from the pack?
Filip Kurto kept Western United in the game, despite the fact that his team was outplayed.

What went right?
Tom Aldred prevented a goal in the 73rd minute for Alessandro Diamanti. Aldred curtailed a Western United attack in the 89th minute, using his head to clear a cross.

Mirza Muratovic had a shot well saved by Filip Kurto in second-half stoppage time. Jamie Young prevented a goal in second-half stoppage time, preventing a cross from amounting to anything.

What went wrong?
Alessandro Diamanti should have started the game if he was fit enough. Connor Pain failed to score, when he should have, early in the game. Max Burgess could well have scored in the 11th minute.

Corey Brown should have a got a card for pulling down Josh Risdon in the 13th minute.

Alessandro Diamanti played a great cross from a free kick, which Besart Berisha failed to score with in the 70th minute, thanks to a wayward header.

Bradden Inman could have given the Brisbane Roar a 2-0 lead in the 81st minute.

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Facts and figures
Andrew Durante played his 330th game in the A-League.

Tomoki Imai, a new signing for Western United, was straight into the starting line-up for Western United. He is a defender from Japan.

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Besart Berisha was captain in the absence of Alessandro Diamanti, who started on the substitute bench.

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Neither team had full control of the game up until the midway point of the first half.

Bradden Inman correctly received a yellow card for delaying the restart of the game in the 43rd minute. It was the correct decision, but needs to be a consistent ruling as there have been players doing the same as what Inman did but escaping a card.

Brisbane Roar failed to score due to some desperate defending by Western United in first-half stoppage time.

Max Burgess wasn’t making the most of his talent in the first half. I’m not sure why. Maybe he isn’t in the correct position or is just lacking confidence.

Brisbane Roar assistant coach Tony Grant received a yellow card in the 83rd minute. Andrew Durante got a yellow card in the 88th minute.

Western United had no shots on target for the entire game.