Read on for a summary of all the action from Round 23 of the A-League.
Brisbane Roar 1, Central Coast Mariners 0
Having lost one of their last four games, the Brisbane Roar were hitting form in the right time of the season. Hosting a struggling Central Coast Mariners side, the Roar were confident in taking all three points. Scott McDonald scored the opening goal two minutes into stoppage time of the first half to give the Roar a 1-0 lead going into the halftime break. It would be enough to secure all three points for the Roar who jumped into fourth place on the ladder.
Sydney FC 0, Perth Glory 0
Coming off a thumping 4-1 win over the Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC came into their clash against the Perth Glory full of confidence. However both teams failed to take their chances during the game and would have to settle for a 0-0 draw.
Melbourne City 1, Western Sydney 1
If Western Sydney Wanderers wanted to keep their finals chances alive, they would need to scalp a victory on the road against second-placed Melbourne City. The away side got off to the ideal start with Tate Russell scoring the opening goal of the game in the 21st minute. However, their lead wouldn’t last long with Jamie Maclaren levelling the scores in the 30th minute with both sides going 1-1 into the halftime break.
Wanderers’ Simon Cox looked to be in the clear in the second half to slot an open goal, City defender Curtis Good had other ideas with a goal-line clearance tackle. It would be a chance gone begging for the Wanderers. Both teams shared the points with a 1-1 draw.
Wellington Phoenix 3, Melbourne Victory 0
Wellington Phoenix came into their home clash against Melbourne Victory as the favourites and would waste little time making a stance in the match. Ulises Davila scored the opening goal of the game in the fifth minute, Gary Hooper then doubling the lead in the 21st minute. The Phoenix took a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.
The Phoenix furthered the damage on the opposite side of the break, David Ball making it 3-0 in the 55th minute. The Victory looked to have finally got on the board with Ola Toivonen finding the back of net, but VAR ruled him offside. The Phoenix took all three points and a clean sheet as they continue their good run of form.
Adelaide United 0, Newcastle Jets 3
With Adelaide United having lost four of their past three games, the Newcastle Jets came into their away clash with confidence they could conjure up three points. Roy O’Donovan opened the scoring for the away side, firing home in the 41st minute. Taking a 1-0 lead into halftime, the Jets doubled their lead in the 51st minute through Matthew Millar. Steven Ugarkovic put the icing on the cake in the 54th minute, the Jets cruising to a 3-0 win on the road and building on their current rise in form.
So who was hot and who was not this weekend?
He is having a renaissance in the back end of his career, having been prolific for the Brisbane Roar since his arrival at the start of 2020. In addition to scoring the only goal of the game, McDonald set up attacking play, making 59 passes for the game at 83 per cent efficiency.
While fellow defender Curtis Good’s tackle is the highlight of the round, Atkinson’s performance overall was better, setting up play from defence by playing 77 passes at 81 per cent efficiency. He also made five tackles, three ball recoveries and a clearance. A well-rounded performance by the youngster.
They have been on a roll in recent weeks, winning four of their last five. They dominated a side that they have historically been poor against in the Melbourne Victory. Though having less possession and less shots, the Phoenix were far more efficient in front of goal, hence their 3-0 victory.
A harsh entrant, but when your team is need of a win and you’re running into an open goal, you must score. Curtis Good came up from behind and cleared the shot. He needed to be composed and clinical in a crucial moment, and instead it was a chance that went begging.
Having conceded eight goals in the last two games, the side are leaking goals. Their embarrassing loss at home against the Jets marks their fourth loss in a row as they continue to lose touch with the top six.