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Griffiths: Red-hot Keogh inspires Glory

10 hours 30 min ago
Following on from a prolific pre-season, Keogh has scored four goals in the first two A-League games, including the winner against Brisbane Roar on Sunday. The forward claimed a hat-trick against the defending champions, popping up with a header in injury time to snatch a dramatic 3-2 win for Kenny Lowe’s men. Griffiths told FourFourTwo that Keogh, who joined the club from Millwall in the off-season, has inspired his teammates. “He’s been on fire and it’s exactly what we needed in this team - someone who’s going to put the ball in the back of the net,” Griffiths said. “It sounds simple but it’s obviously so crucial. “He’s sharp around the box but, for me, the thing I’ve been most impressed with is that he lifts his intensity of the game and brings people along with him.” Keogh, 28, played across the top three divisions in England during his career and has 30 international caps for the Republic of Ireland. Glory has now secured a perfect start to the season after a 2-1 away win over Wellington in round one prior to the victory over Roar. Griffiths believes Brisbane, which has lost both of their opening two matches, will bounce back. “We are absolutely buzzing after coming twice from behind to beat the reigning champions,” he said. “That’s what they’ve been doing to teams for the last few seasons so it’s a good feeling, especially because the whole team worked hard for it. “They’re still a top class team and will be right at the top end of the table come the end of the season.” Perth’s next test is an unbeaten Adelaide United on Sunday at Coopers Stadium and Griffiths said Glory are keeping a lid on expectations following their winning start to the A-League campaign. “We aren’t getting carried away just yet,” the defensive midfielder said. “I think the positive thing for us is we’re still not at 100% so we’ve still got more to give and can really only get better. “Plus we’ve got some injured players to come back and improve competition even more. “Adelaide will be another tough test for us, they’re looking really good, especially at home. “But then again there’s no easy games in this league so we will prepare how we have for every game and worry more about ourselves than the opposition.”
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A-League: Five things we learned from round two

11 hours 13 min ago
1. Playing surfaces will always be an issue Poor drainage, torn-up grass, uneven patches, terrible playing surface have all been major talking points before. Previous seasons have seen fans, managers and coaches of the A-League hit out at poor playing conditions. Having to share stadia with clubs from other codes is an issue. Unfortunately, rain is a scarcity, so immaculate pitches are a rarity. However, it seems after the spoils were shared in the cross-border Adelaide United-Melbourne Victory fixture, another problem with pitches has been added to the never-ending list of complaints. The pitch was “too fast” according to Kevin Muscat, who blamed the pitch’s carpet-like qualities for the stalemate. It seems pitch conditions will always be at the forefront of the blame games. A-League clubs 1-0 stadium grass. 2. Mariners lose out as McGlinchey has the last laugh For the Central Coast Mariners, their worst nightmare became reality. Following a soap-operatic transfer window in which the Mariners reluctantly allowed 27-year-old Kiwi sensation to leave Gosford for a return to New Zealand, a bitter round two confrontation was almost inevitable. The fact McGlinchey himself was seemingly thriving under Ernie Merrick’s system was also cause for concern. Fittingly, their worst case scenario was realised when the Kiwi equalised in the 35th minute from a set piece to silence the Gosford crowd. Phoenix, through Nathan Burns, struck once more in the second half for a narrow win, giving former Mariner McGlinchey the last laugh. 3. “Poor officiating...and goals cost games” If you’re a Western Sydney Wanderers fan, Saturday evening’s derby was one to forget. Sasa Ognenovski’s deflected goal, an off-side Bernie Ibini and Vitor Saba’s red card all helped Sydney FC take out the seventh instalment of the Sydney Derby. Coach Tony Popovic cried foul in his post-match press conference, saying: “What really went wrong is we were dealt with some poor officiating. The second goal is not a goal, as simple as that…Goals change games, that’s the reality.” Such factors, of course, played their part. But, as far as sayings go, the cliché “football is a game of two halves” could not be any more appropriate. Their loss now means they have lost three consecutive A-League matches (Grand Final v Roar, Round One v Victory and now the Sydney Derby). With the Champions League Final coming up, it’s back to the drawing board for a team so used to success. 4. City’s creative conundrum Two points, two games – not a bad start for John Van’t Schip’s Melbourne City. While seventh spot so early in the season is no cause for concern things could be better. City’s 4-3-3 line-up with a midfield trio of Erik Paartalu, Aaron Mooy and Massimo Murdocca has seen the Blues dominate possession with relative ease. Creating chances, though, is a worry, with City only managing to create two ‘big chances’, which suggests that not enough is being done to ensure that goal-scoring opportunities are at a premium. Their lack of prolificacy in front of goal too is a worry, and with eight matches remaining on Villa’s contract, it’s hard to see City making the finals this season. 5. Perth Glory lead the way The A-League currently finds itself in a rather interesting position. The two finalists of last season rest at the bottom of the table. Meanwhile, last season’s under-performers find themselves leading the A-League ladder, and they have a certain Irishman to thank. Andy Keogh scored a hat-trick in Perth Glory’s 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar, culminating in a late-winner which sees them racking up two wins from two games. They’ve already solved their striker problem - the 28-year-old, so far, has combined well upfront with Youssouf Hersi to wreak havoc – and it seems as though the Western Australians are finally starting to enjoy their football. The same cannot be said for Brisbane Roar though who seem to be faltering under pressure to perform. A win at home on Friday night against Sydney FC is a must to stay in touch with the rest.
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Ognenovski faces possible ban for derby dust-up

15 hours 13 min ago
In a melee sparked by an ugly challenge on Sydney’s Terry Antonis, Ognenovski - who was already on a yellow - appeared to slap the back of the head of red-carded Vitor Saba. Ognenovski has been cited for his part in the ensuing flashpoint and a show cause notice has been issued by the independent Match Review Panel. The ex-Socceroo and former Asian Player of the Year has until midday Tuesday to respond to the notice, after which the MRP will reconvene to consider any submissions from the player or club. In considering Saba’s infringement, the MRP decided the minimum one match ban was sufficient sanction for the flying studs up challenge on Antonis. Ognenovski was fired up for the crosstown clash, pushing away his own goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic for assisting Wanderers' Brendan Hamill after he went down with cramp. Football Federation Australia is also expected to investigate the use of flares at the game and a pitch invasion by fans following Sydney skipper Alex Brosque’s match winner. Sydney came from two goals down to seize the derby 3-2 on Saturday.
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The Breakdown: Mariners and Wellington share tactics out of left field

Mon, 20/10/2014 - 13:52
Wellington Phoenix have undergone something of an understated revolution under Ernie Merrick, who has transitioned them from a combative, physical team into a more proactive, technical side, with a new emphasis on short, neat passing football epitomised by a midfield containing Albert Riera, Roly Bonevacia and Alex Rodriguez, as opposed to players like Manny Muscat and Vince Lia. Merrick isn't particularly fussed about pure ball retention, however. “You have to keep the ball, certainly, but you have to get forward with the ball and into goal scoring positions,” Merrick says. “Controlling possession around the opposition penalty area is the important statistic.” Therefore, McGlinchey is the side's key player - starting from a wide left position, but drifting inside to become a #10, with the freedom to move where he pleases. His movement from outside in is difficult to track for an opposition full-back because he takes up clever positions between the lines. With the Phoenix using a 4-3-3 this season, it means they often have four players through the midfield zone which, combined with their technical ability, means they have been able to comfortably knit play through to the final third. That was certainly obvious in Saturday's fixture, where McGlinchey constantly got in behind the Mariners’ holding midfielders to find time and space. Right-back Storm Roux didn't want to follow him all the way inside, and Nick Montgomery was drawn towards Rodriguez ahead of him, meaning McGlinchey was often unmarked in a little pocket of space between the lines. Crucially, striker Jeremy Brockie made the reverse run whenever McGlinchey moved infield, so starting central, but pulling wide left when attacks entered the final third. With Nathan Burns also moving inside from his wide-right position, Brockie’s running across the line complemented the narrowness of the wingers, and it was a clever pass from Burns to Brockie down the left channel that led to the penalty. It was very fitting to the narrative that McGlinchey was the one to head home after Brockie cracked the resulting penalty against the bar. Interestingly, the Mariners had a very similar rotation of positions down their own left-hand side. Matt Sim was rewarded for his extraordinary four-goal haul in the FFA Cup with a start here, and started ostensibly as the wide left player in their usual 4-2-3-1. However, he often moved inside into very narrow positions, with the left flank instead occupied by centre-forward Malick Mane who likes to work the width of the pitch. While Tom Doyle 'scored' the opening goal, it was this interchange of positions from Mane and Sim that led to the goal, with Sim driving forward from a central position to put the Phoenix left-back under pressure, and Mane having created the space by making a run towards the left, occupying Wellington defenders. However, in a battle between two sides adopting an attacking tactic somewhat out of left-field, it was McGlinchey who proved the more decisive when his clever back heel allowed Doyle to cross for Nathan Burns' winner. Result: Mariners 1 - 2 Phoenix Tim Palmer writes extensively on A-League tactics atAustraliaScout.com
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A-League records smashed over bumper weekend

Mon, 20/10/2014 - 12:01
Off the back of an epic Sydney derby, round two saw attendance, stadium and broadcast records smashed for Australian football, including a new benchmark for the most fans to attend a single round of A-League matches. As fans flocked to matches in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Gosford a new record of 106,082 spectators came through the gates - up on last year's high point of 100,998. And for the first time in the league's history, clubs have attracted more than 100,000 members. Other records to tumble across the weekend included: Highest ever attendance for a single round of the Hyundai A-League – 106,082 fans. New attendance record for Adelaide United with 33,126 fans watching Adelaide United draw 1-1 with Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval on Friday night. Highest ever Sydney FC crowd with 41,213 fans watching the Sky Blues defeat the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2 in a pulsating Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium. The Sydney Derby attendance was the biggest crowd to watch a regular season match across any code at Allianz Stadium since it opened in 1988. The Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers match attracted the highest ever average audience on Fox Sports in the 10-year history of the Hyundai A-League with an average of 188,000 eclipsing the mark of 164,000 set when Alessandro Del Piero made his home debut for Sydney FC against Emile Heskey’s Newcastle Jets in round 2 of the 2012/13 season. Melbourne City set a new record crowd for a “non-Derby” match with 15,717 fans watching David Villa rescue a late point in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park. An ecstatic FFA CEO David Gallop said: “The Hyundai A-League has started with a flurry of records and atmosphere that has once again showed football’s growth and highlighted the colour and passion that is unique to the A-League. “The fans have shown that the thirst for the Hyundai A-League continues to grow and it has set us up nicely as we look to meet some bullish targets for attendance and broadcast numbers over the 2014/15 season. “The Sydney Derby and Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory games in particular highlighted the box office appeal of the marquee matches and we look forward to the growth trend continuing in the coming weeks and months.” Next weekend's blockbuster Melbourne Derby between Victory and City is likely to see the strong start continue
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Win ACL Final tickets!

Mon, 20/10/2014 - 11:25
Calling all gamers!Mindscape Gamesand FourFourTwo are giving you an exclusive preview of the amazing new PES 2015 with stunning online and offline advances. Be among the first to experience this new generation gameplay by snapping up one of the limited places at our free demo. You could win one of 3x pairs of tickets for the first-leg of the Western Sydney Wanderers' Asian Champions League final just for attending the event! Everyone who attends goes into the raffle for some great prizes. But you’ll have to hurry. To attend the preview atCheers Bar Sydneyat 6pm, Thursday October 23, you'll have toregister your interest here. THE PITCH IS OURS! PES 2015returns to its roots with unbeatable gameplay that never fails to satisfy. Every pass, shot and off-the-ball run is fine-tuned to deliver an unparalleled experience for true fans · Lightning fast controls allow instinctive reaction to every moment of play · Highly developed AI now constantly adjusts to action across the whole pitch. Teammates always offer options and support, making runs, finding space or marking opponents · Master a complete new range of dribbling skills and use your pace, jinking runs and responsive sprints to outmanoeuvre opponents · Choose exactly how and when to close down, tackle, or hold up play. Successful defending is in your hands FOX ENGINE.The power of next-gen harnesses the FOX Engine’s awesome potential to realise previously impossible levels of accuracy. Real-time lighting naturally brings players, crowds and stadia to vivid next-gen life. · PES 2015 boasts a vast number of unique animations and playing styles, meaning players not only look super realistic but play just like their real-life counterparts · Animations flow seamlessly from movement-to-movement, calculated in real-time in response to each unique in-match situation · Crowd animations have been hugely enhanced, delivering the ebb-and-flow of a match with convincing crowd effects and movements BUT REMEMBER - If you want to get hands on the game weeks before the scheduled release you have to register your details HERE. Mindscape and FourFourTwo invite you to join us alongside the PES AUS community to come and experience this amazing gameplay hands-on. There will also be a tournament for the more serious players. And if you are a beginner the PES AUS community will be on hand to walk you through the gameplay (PES AUS). Prizes will be awarded on night. More announcements to come. Please note- There is limited availability for this event so registering is imperative. Open to all Australian residents aged 18 and over. Registration closes: 20th October 11:59am AEST Prize is as stated. No cash alternative. Prizes are non-transferable. One entry per person. FourFourTwoterms and conditionsapply Remember to register here. ANd remember the date: Sydney on Thursday 23rd October.
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Blog: Wanderers outed by Sky Blues

Mon, 20/10/2014 - 10:54
In his post-match interview, Tony Popovic claimed that his side dominated the match and were only undone by his side’s poor defending. All was well with the Wanderers, apparently, and a few errors made the difference between the sides. Oh, and the refereeing. It was the ref what did it! Stats don’t lie, Poppa. The cold hard facts Total shots: 17-4 Shots on target: 6-1 (that’s one shot on target for their two goals!) Shots from inside the box: 13-1 Possession: 62.5%-37.5% Corners: 15-3 Total passes: 463-219 Passing accuracy: 83.4%-64.8% Outplayed. Outpassed. Outclassed. Outthought. Outfought. Outcoached. Sorry Poppa, I am not sure who you are trying to kid. Too many Sudafeds? Even allowing for the Wanderers’ two goal lead, one an excellent run by the classy Romeo Castelen followed by Mark Bridge’s cool finish and the other one tragicomical, there was only one team in the contest. And the stats bear out as much. Other than picking the ball out of his net on two occasions, Vedran Janjetovic had next to nothing to do all night. These are the facts. And they are indisputable. Some of us football tragics never dreamed that one day, a derby between two local clubs would pack out the Sydney Football Stadium. And this is now the norm rather than the exception. My personal view is that the Sydney Derby should be played once a season at Allianz, once at Parramatta and the third at Homebush, FFA heavily promoting it to eventually pack out the 80K capacity stadium, making it a must-see event on the Sydney sporting calendar. That’s how big this thing can get. In a classic derby encounter, there was plenty of passion, controversy and quality to satisfy everyone, from the football purist to the occasional visitor who just wants to be entertained. Examining the more controversial moments: Controversy 1 Sash Ognenovski’s goal Popovic’s offside claims are disingenuous. Here’s how it happened – as Big Sash takes the shot, Bernie Ibini is standing in a “passive offside” position, not interfering with play. The ball is aimed (if that’s what you’d call it) at the middle of the goal, with Ibini standing on the left post. Covic dives towards the middle to make the save. The ball deflects of a Wanderer leg, changing direction and trickling to the left side of the goal. Covic lies sprawled in the middle of the goal. If Bernie touches the ball, he is offside. Instead, he wisely lets it go, putting himself in a passive offside position as the ball rolls into goal, unchallenged by keeper or defender. GOAL - Correct call by Kris Griffiths-Jones. Controversy 2 Wanderers’ second goal Have a close look at the slo-mo and you’ll see Brendan Santalab giving Sash Ognenovski a nudge – pushing Sash into our keeper, just enough to put Janjetovic off his jump. Is it still Vedran’s error? Absolutely, and I am sure he would be the first one to raise his hand. But the nudge was there. GOAL - Correct call by Kris Griffiths-Jones. Controversy 3 The sending-off I can understand Popovic’s frustration. For two seasons reckless, lunging Wanderer challenges were punished by referees’ furrowed brow and a gentle tut-tut. Last season’s agricultural leg breakers by Jerome Polenz and Aaron Mooy on Richard Garcia and Alessandro Del Piero, and Iacopo La Rocca’s penchant for the elbow to the heads of opponents too numerous to mention, went unpunished. Deserved red cards were not given and Poppa’s whining stems from not being used to receiving red cards for red card offences. It was a clear sending off and idiots who suggest it wasn’t simply because Saba failed to shatter Antonis’ right fibula miss the point entirely. Under the rules, there doesn’t need to be contact. A reckless, flying, studs up challenge is a red card whether it connects or not. RED CARD - Correct call by Kris Griffiths-Jones. Controversy 4 The pitch invasion While the Cove’s passion is understandable (we were all screaming our lungs out!), the pitch invasion, while absolutely harmless in its intent, was wrong. I really hope the FFA take it for what it was – a spontaneous expression of ecstasy in what was a Boys’ Own ending – but I have a feeling more is to come of this. Controversy 5 The flares I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t mind the pyro – it only adds to the spectacle. But FFA take a very dim view of flares and my understanding is that the Wanderers were on their last warning. Will the Wanderers slide down the table from 0 to -3 points, as threatened by the FFA? The emotion Enough with the facts, the derby was super-charged adrenalin on steroids. That bouncing bundle of emotion, Corey Gameiro, continued his golden run, giving it to the jeering RBB in celebration on the stroke of halftime. Sash Ognenovski was colossal, and the sight of blood draining from Brendon Santalab’s face upon realising he’d picked a fight with the wrong bloke was hilarious. He never recovered. Ognenovski won the headers and tackles that mattered, but it was his never-ending passion for the Sky Blue shirt that made all the difference. You need to win the fight to win the derby and the former Asian Player of the Year literally willed his team to victory. Don’t mess with Big Sash. Ali Abbas came on and received a standing ovation. Last time round he was on the wrong end of a Santalab (“alleged”) bigoted spray. We made Ali feel at home and he responded by cutting Shannon Cole to shreds. Nikola Petkovic and Janjetovic blowing kisses at the RBB on full time after the latter had been pelted with bottles throughout the contest? Loved it. The Cove doing the Poznan at the RBB after Brosquey scored the winner? We were cracking up in the stands. It was our time. Does it feel like Alex Brosque never left? Well, yes and no. I see a new, improved version of Brosque – a better all-round footballer who has retained the pace and finishing of old. Would he have had the awareness to play that back heel pass four years ago? I don’t think so. We love Brosquey, we really do. Time to resurrect “Brosque, Brosque will tear you apart, Again”. He deserves that and more. Club legend. The keeper Sydney fans must keep faith with Janjetovic. Even Clint Bolton made high profile errors and Janjetovic is destined to assume Bolton’s mantle. At age 27 he is still a year or so off his goalkeeping prime and will undoubtedly become a club legend, such is his talent. The quiet colossus They say games are won in midfield and Sydney clearly won the day in the middle of the park (see stats above). Terry Antonis had a good game – not his best but a terrific all round effort nonetheless. But it is his midfield partner who, for mine, was the best player on the field. Milos Dimitrijevic arrived in the country out of shape and still managed a terrific contribution in our run to the finals last season. A quiet and unassuming man who prefers to let his feet do the talking, he demonstrated his complete array of skills on Saturday night, destroying the visitors’ midfield pairing of Mateo Poljak and Iacopo La Rocca with a feint and a dribble time and again, and was involved in most good things for the Sky Blues. They say he isn’t a patch on his old man, the late great Zoran Dimitrijevic. If that’s the case, Zoran must have been one hell of a player. The backline Other than one error apiece from Janjetovic and young Alex Gersbach (who was otherwise most impressive), the back four were impenetrable and in truth, much like our keeper, had comparatively little to do all night. Build-up from the back was very good, though still a work in progress. And while Big Sash led the confrontation, I thought Petkovic and Seb Ryall were excellent. To sum up Poppa’s whining is unseemly as we played the Wanderers off the park. A deserved, emotion-charged win that will live long in Sky Blue memory. What a night. My Sydney FC points award: 3 – Milos Dimitrijevic; 2 – Alex Brosque; 1 – Nikola Petkovic Going forward It’s FFA Cup night this Tuesday and Arnie has an array of talent to choose from. Making just one substitution on Saturday night, the coach has a fit and raring Ivan Necevski, Pedj Bojic, Aaron Calver, Matt Jurman, Peter Triantis, Nick Carle, Hagi Gligor, Chris Naumoff and Shane Smeltz to pick from. And Abbas only got 10 minutes so is ready to play his part. My guess is that from Saturday night’s first XI, Janjetovic, Petkovic and Gameiro will start against Adelaide United as Arnold keeps one eye on the tricky but very winnable Brisbane Roar fixture this Friday. Three games in seven days. Can we make it a trifecta? I believe we can. Roll on Cup Night.
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Perth Glory vs Brisbane Roar: Player Ratings

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 21:27
Keogh inspired Glory roar to the top PERTH GLORY DANNY VUKOVIC – 7 Caught flat-footed on the first goal. Should have come off his line and make himself big. Second goal couldn’t do much about, it was a good strike. DINO DJULBIC – 5.5 Found wanting in defence for the first goal. Didn’t have a great match. JOSHUA RISDON – 5.5 Got caught out on for the second goal. Was the nearest defender and should have committed, even if an overlapping runner was forcing him away. MICHAEL THWAITE – 7 Played ok. Wasn’t at fault for either goal. SCOTT JAMIESON – 7 Provided down the left pretty well. Job doer, very sound week to week. RICHARD GARCIA – 7 Deliveries into the box needed to be better but played in a winning team. NEBJOSA MARINKOVIC – 6 Lasted a half. Quiet ROSTYN GRIFFITHS – 7 Holding role. Screened pretty well. Always making a presence. MITCH NICHOLS – 7 Played in the central midfield role. Was ok. He works hard, chases, and never gives up. ANDY KEOGH – 9 Converted from the spot. Second goal was an own-goal but credited to him. The third goal was a class header. Deserved the hat-trick. Fantastic! YOUSSOUFF HERSI – 6 Will need time adapting into the Perth shirt, plays as a number 10. Not consistent enough. JAMIE MACLAREN – 8 Came on at half-time. Liked what I saw. Very sharp in that last third and always looked dangerous. DIOGO FERRIERA – N/A Came on in the 83rdminute. Made good impact when coming on with limited time. JACK CLISBY – 6.5 Came on in the 79thminute. Did well. Brisbane Roar JAMIE YOUNG – 6 Delt with crosses well although did flap at one. Made an important stop off a cross midway through the second half. Is lacking match concentration. JADE NORTH – 6 Conceded the penalty and a yellow card that led Perth’s first goal. Otherwise was ok. JAMES DONACHIE – 7 Played well. Didn’t give the ball away and defended solidly. SHANE STEFANUTTO – 6 Ok. Although the majority of Perth's attacks came down his side. MATT SMITH – 7.5 Did well. Didn’t deserve to play on the losing side. THOMAS BROICH – 7 Had to step with no McKay next to him and did fairly well. DIMITRI PETRATOS – 6 Played up front but was a little quiet. STEVEN LUSTICA – 6 Nothing special. HENRIQUE – 8 Scored a great goal to give Brisbane the lead again. Made a great move down the right hand side to assist the opening goal. One of the stronger players for Brisbane. LUKE BRATTAN – 7 Typical busy midfielder. Will always give 100% on the park. MENSUR KURTISHI – 6.5 Had the easiest of tap-ins in the first half off an Henrique cross. Was subbed off in the second-half. JEAN CARLOS SOLOZANO – 6 Came on with about fifteen minutes to go but we didn’t see him. JACK HINGERT – 6 On in the 79thminute. Not much time to do anything. KOFI DANNING – N/A Came on in the 87thminute.
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A-League Review: Villa rescues City again, Perth Glory top after late drama

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 19:51
City looked set to suffer a surprise loss after conceding against the run of play to Edson Montano's second-half goal, having dominated possession at AAMI Park. Marcos Flores sprayed the ball wide to Joel Griffiths, whose pinpoint delivery from the right flank was met at the near post by Montano, the Ecuador striker making no mistake from close range. But a week after coming off the bench to level and earn a point away to Sydney FC, it was Spanish superstar Villa who City had to thank again, as the World Cup winner continues to live up to the lofty expectations that greeted his arrival in Australian football. Damien Duff's driving run and delivery into the area saw Mate Dugandzic knock the ball down, Villa collecting it before driving a low finish beyond Mark Birighitti.  Substitute Jeronimo Neumann could have won it in the 94th minute for the Jets when he found himself free inside the area, only for the Argentine to scuff a rushed shot harmlessly wide of goal. In the day's other game, Perth Glory moved to the top of the table after Andy Keogh scored a late winner in a 3-2 triumph over Brisbane Roar. Keogh scored a brace and had a hand in the other to ensure Glory recorded their second win from as many games and kept the defending champions winless after the opening two rounds. Mensur Kurtisi opened the scoring with a close-range finish before Keogh hauled the sides level from the penalty spot after being felled by Jade North.  Henrique edged Roar back in front when he was given too much space just outside the penalty area, allowing him plenty of time to send the ball screaming past a hapless Danny Vukovic into the top right corner. A James Donachie own goal restored parity and Keogh's 92nd-minute header settled the five-goal thriller late on. 
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Keogh inspired Glory roars to the top

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 19:10
Andy Keogh was the man of the match with two goals, with a third strike coming off a Brisbane defender for an own goal. Brisbane went in to the break 1-0 up thanks to a Mensur Kurtisi tap-in but Glory drew level early in to the second period. Keogh was brought down in the box and he stood up to send Jamie Young the wrong way from the spot. Henrique put Brisbane back ahead soon after with a powerful finish from outside the box but the lead did not last. Keogh hit a shot that deflected of James Donachie and Glory were level once again. The game was poised for a 2-2 draw until Keogh popped up from a corner to head home the winner. More to follow. Perth Glory 3 (Keogh 49', 90+2', Donachie OG 74') Brisbane Roar 2 (Kurtisi, Henrique 55') nib Stadium
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Melbourne City vs Newcastle Jets: Player Ratings

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 18:31
David Villa rescues City point again. MELBOURNE CITY ANDREW REDMAYNE – 7 Quiet match with not much to do. Made a good one-on-one save from a quickly taken free-kick in the first half. Did well. ROB WEILAERT – 6.5 Beaten by Montano to the ball for the goal. Otherwise a quiet match. JASON HOFFMAN – 6.5 Had a good chance in the first half but was stranded with the header. Otherwise can do better. IAIN RAMSAY – 7 Hit a good volley but straight at Birighitti. Did well. Brought off for tactical reasons. PATRICK KISNORBO – 7.5 Always strong. ERIK PAARTALU – 6.5 Got substituted. Ok, is he the glue in a mobile midfield? Still finding his role for the side. AARON MOOY 7.5 Very mobile and provided some good things going forward for City. Great player in the A-League. MASSIMO MURDOCCA – 7 Plenty of touches on the ball and his passing was good. Linked up well with the front two strikers. Still think he’s going to take time to gel with the front players. DAVID WILLIAMS – 6.5 Ok. Wasn’t his best match but wasn’t disgraced. DAVID VILLA – 8 Always double teamed and didn’t get much room to move. Scored a late equalizer, has been great for City. DAMIEN DUFF – 7.5 For a 35 year old he is very sharp. Plays a roaming type of role. Always one to watch out for in the last third. Love his creativity from tight angles. PAULO RETRE – 7 Came on in the 67thminute. Did well. JAMES BROWN – N/A Came on 82nd minute. Didn’t make enough impact. MATE DUGANDZIC – 6.5 Came on in the 64thminute. Ok. NEWCASTLE JETS MARK BIRIGHITTI – 6 First half his team was under the pump but had little action. Cost his side the points with a ball let in at the near post. DAVID CARNEY – 6.5 Most of Newcastle's attacks went through him but his final delivery was lacking. SCOTT NEVILLE – 7.5 Did well with waves of attack going against them. SAM GALLAGHER – 6 Giving away unnecessary balls. KEW JALIENS – 8.5 Defended well under pressure. One of the best for Newcastle week in week out. JOEL GRIFFITHS – 7 Set up the first goal with a good cross. Apart from that he didn’t see a lot of the ball. JOHNNY STEELE – 6.5 Didn’t see much of the ball in the first half. Still working in his gears. MARCOS FLORES – 6 Not at 100% sharpness yet. Looks like he’ll need more matches to get better. TAYLOR REGAN – 7.5 Did well but him along with Newcastle’s defense sat back. Didn’t concede in the first half. Good aggression in the first third. JACOB PEPPER – 7.5 Played the holding role and did well. Passing good and made a few interceptions. EDSON MONTANO – 7 Popped up and scored Jets' only goal. ZENON CARAVELLA – 7 Came on in the 54thminute to make an impact. Did quite well and had a good opportunity late on but couldn’t capitalize. ANDREW HOOLE – 6.5 Came on in the 69thminute. Did ok. JERONIMO NEUMANN – 6.5 73rdminute came on. Probably better if he had started.
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David Villa rescues City point again

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 17:16
Edson Montano shocked the home fans by scoring the opening goal of the game mid-way through the second-half with a well-taken header. City were shaken and struggled to create any opportunities after that as the Jets took control of the match. But just like last week against Sydney FC, Villa struck the equaliser to rescue a point for City. More to follow Melbourne City 1 (Villa 87') Newcastle Jets (Montano 62') AAMI Park
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Preview: Perth Glory vs Brisbane Roar

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 10:49
Sunday, 19 October 2014 Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC nib Stadium, Perth Kick-Off: 2:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT) Referee: Shaun Evans Assistant Referee 1: Mathew Cheeseman Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella Fourth Official: Adam Fielding TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD 1 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand) Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, Local Radio WA, 612 ABC Brisbane, Local Radio QLD, Grandstand Digital, ABC Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvBRI Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel Vukovic (GK) 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS,18 Jack DUNCAN (GK) 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Scott JAMIESON 23.Michael THWAITE (C), 26.Harry O’BRIEN. ***Two to be omitted*** Ins: 2.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 26.Harry O’BRIEN (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (back – 1 week) ,16.Sidnei SCIOLA (calf – 3 weeks) Brisbane Roar: 2.Matt SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 7.Mensur KURTISHI, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 10.HENRIQUE, 11.Liam MILLER, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Kofi DANNING, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 30.Matthew ACTON (gk) ***two to be omitted*** Ins: 4.Adam SAROTA (returns from injury), 14.Daniel BOWLES (promoted), 20.Kofi DANNING (promoted) Outs: 17.Matt McKAY (suspension – 2 weeks) Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (wrist – 2 months), 5.Corey BROWN (rib – 1 week), 6.George LAMBADARIDIS (knee – 4 weeks) BLUFFER’S GUIDE Reigning champions Brisbane Roar will be looking to bounce back from their 2-1 opening-round loss at home to Adelaide United, but they may well have to do it to hard way out west. Kenny Lowe's revamped Perth Glory got off the mark with a deserved 2-1 win at Wellington Phoenix on Sunday. There must surely be a desire in the home camp to make the long trip to nib Stadium a daunting proposition for visiting teams in 2014-15. What better way to make a statement of that intent than by inflicting a second defeat in succession on the title holders? OPTA DATA STATS Perth have a choice between seeking to interfere with Brisbane's preference for possession or accept they aren't going to see much of the ball and choose instead to keep their shape, while plotting to hit the visitors on the break. The Roar had a hefty 57.8 percent of possession in the loss at home to Adelaide, played 139 more passes than the visitors (477 to 338) and boasted a superior passing accuracy of 81.8 percent compared to the Reds' 69.8 percent. Nevertheless, it was Josep Gombau's men who came away with all three points, evidence that Mike Mulvey's men can be undone even if you allow them to play their natural game. ROUTE TO GOAL Thomas Broich will of course be the Roar's creator-in-chief at nib Stadium, where his former partner in crime Mitch Nichols is settling in as the Glory's go-to playmaker. Broich opened the scoring for Brisbane on Sunday, had three shots, completed more passes (40) and took more touches (78) than any of his team-mates in an orange shirt. Nichols also had three shots in his match against Wellington, played 47 passes and took 59 touches. The 25-year-old may never hit the heights of the two-time Johnny Warren Medallist, but this season is an opportunity for him to remind us of his ability after an unproductive move to Japan last term. WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK Matt McKay has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, banned for two matches after being sent off in the loss to Adelaide for swearing at referee Ben Williams. His absence means one of fit-again Adam Sarota or Steven Lustica is likely to deputize alongside Luke Brattan and Liam Miller. FORM LINES Perth went into the opening round on the back of some decidedly mixed late pre-season form. They managed heavy wins over Sorrento and Rockingham City, but drew with Adelaide United and lost to both of Melbourne's A-League clubs. The Roar signed off on their pre-season with a thumping 10-0 win over Olympic FC. Prior to that they lost 2-0 to Adelaide in the FFA Cup round of 16, beat Palm Beach and Brisbane City 9-0 and 3-0 respectively and drew 1-1 with the Central Coast Mariners. DID YOU KNOW? There are only two survivors left at Perth Glory from the match-day squad that lost the 2011-12 grand final to Brisbane Roar, Danny Vukovic and Josh Risdon. The Roar still have six players who featured in the dramatic 2-1 win; Michael Theo, Shane Stefanutto, Matt Smith, Thomas Broich, Henrique and Luke Brattan. Two players have since swapped clubs, with Liam Miller now at the Roar and Nichols at Glory, via Melbourne Victory and now on loan from Cerezo Osaka. PREDICTION Result: Perth Glory 1-1 Brisbane Roar This is a tricky one to call. Perth look a much tougher prospect these days, especially as midfield anchor Royston Griffiths - under done on his return to the Hyundai A-League last season - now has the benefit of a full pre-season behind him. They have the makings of a potent attack, with Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi and Andy Keogh all potential match-winners. The Roar have enough in their arsenal to score at least once in Perth. Their chances of success though may depend on whether or not Mensur Kurtisi demonstrates an eye for goal. Besart Berisha's replacement added plenty of value in terms of combination play at home to Adelaide, but the two-cap Macedonia international has plenty to do if he is to prove a genuinely worthy successor to the Hyundai A-League's best striker.
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Preview: Melbourne City vs Newcastle Jets

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 10:44
AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-Off: 3:00 PM (Local) (3:00 PM AEDT) Referee: Jarred Gillett Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan Assistant Referee 2: Brad Hobson Fourth Official:Patrick Chaplin TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD 1 from 2.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand) Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, Local Radio VIC, 1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital Melbourne, ABC Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvNEW Melbourne City FC Line-Up: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.David VILLA, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (C), 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD ***two to be omitted*** Ins: 10. Robert KOREN (promoted) 15. David WILLIAMS (promoted), 17.Jason HOFFMAN (returns from suspension) Outs: 25.Jacob MELLING (not selected) Unavailable: 4.Connor Chapman (glandular fever – ongoing), 13.Jonatan Germano (2-5 weeks), 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO (2-5 weeks), 21.Stefan Mauk (returning from Young Socceroos duty) Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 3.Taylor REGAN, 4.Kew JALIENS (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7.Jeronimo NEUMANN, 8.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Joel GRIFFITHS, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andrew HOOLE, 12.Sam GALLAGHER, 13.Edson MONTANO, 16.Jacob PEPPER, 17.James VIRGILI, 20.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 21.Sam GALLAWAY, 22.Jonny STEELE, 23.David CARNEY ***two to be omitted*** Ins: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (return from injury), 21.Sam GALLAWAY (promoted). Outs: Nil Unavailable: 6.Adrian MADASCHI (calf– 1-2 weeks), 14.Billy CELESKI (groin – 5-7 weeks), 15.Josh BARRESI (knee – season), 19.Mitch COOPER (knee – 5-7 weeks) BLUFFER’S GUIDE These are two teams both looking for their first win of the 2014-15 season, although Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip is likely to be more encouraged with his side's performance in their 1-1 draw away to Sydney FC than Jets boss Phil Stubbins would have been in a 1-0 loss at the Central Coast Mariners. City dominated possession, were unfortunate to concede to a world-class finish from Corey Gameiro and only lacked something of a cutting edge at Allianz Stadium, while the Jets struggled to make an impact on the F3 Derby and were duly punished when they conceded during injury time in Gosford. David Villa, set to make his first Hyundai A-League start on Sunday, will be the centre of attention, but City fans have plenty of other new faces to get acquainted with, while travelling Jets supporters and those watching from back home will note with interest any signs of progress made under their new coach. OPTA DATA STATS City struggled to convert their possession into shooting opportunities last weekend, managing seven shots in the game, with three on target. Five of those came from outside the area with just two inside Sydney's penalty area. With Villa set to start and Robert Koren and David Williams due to return to selection contention, van't Schip will hope to see his team pose more of a meaningful threat in the final third. The Jets by contrast had 12 attempts on goal in Gosford, with five on target and an even split of six from outside the box and six within it. They are unlikely to see as much of the ball as they did against the reactive Mariners and will have to be less profligate with what chances they do carve out if they are to come away from their trip to Melbourne with anything to show for their efforts. ROUTE TO GOAL Damien Duff capped off an impressive, hard-working Hyundai A-League debut by supplying the assist for Villa's equaliser in Sydney and more of the same will be expected on Sunday. James Brown and Mate Dugandzic were less convincing, with one - likely the former - set to make way for Villa in the starting XI. With Erik Paartalu anchoring the midfield and Aaron Mooy and Massimo Murdocco linking with the forwards, going wide won't be City's only option. Keep an eye out for Mooy and Murdocco making runs into the box or trying to slip Villa in behind the Jets' backline. WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK? It can't be about anyone other than Villa this week, after the former Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid star announced his arrival in the form of a decisive, goal-scoring cameo. It's not just in the stands where he's making an impression, with team-mate Jonatan Germano gushing over the presence of a genuine superstar at City's humble La Trobe University training base. FORM LINES Prior to City's 1-1 draw in Sydney, Van 't Schip's men recorded friendly wins over Perth Glory and Pascoe Vale, lost to Adelaide United and drew 1-1 with the Mariners. The Jets' build-up to their 1-0 opening-round defeat at the hands of the Mariners saw them beat Australia's Under-20s 2-1, draw 0-0 with Central Coast and win against Wellington Phoenix and the North Queensland All Stars, 2-1 and 3-0 respectively. DID YOU KNOW? It was a home game against the Jets last season when the then-Melbourne Heart finally won for the first time in 2013-14. John Aloisi had been sacked by that point and Van 't Schip recalled, while the luckless international marquee Orlando Engelaar finally made his first appearance off the bench (having broken his leg in pre-season) as Heart recorded a drought-breaking 3-1 win. PREDICTION Result: Melbourne City 3-0 Newcastle Jets With Villa in the starting XI and some heavyweights likely to be on the bench and pushing for selection, we expect City to improve on last weekend's promising showing by converting dominance of possession into goals. Edson Montano looked lively enough for the Jets and Jeronimo Neumann is also a quality forward, but are their team-mates capable of carving out enough chances for them to take advantage of? We're doubtful.
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Pics: Sydney derby

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 09:56
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Merrick upbeat with Phoenix win

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 09:30
The Phoenix came from 1-0 down early in the first-half to secure a vital 2-1 away win against the Mariners. Merrick was happy and smiling in the press conference as he said: ‘’It’s always tough to come to Gosford and claim three points. I was impressed with the win’’ Merrick was pleased with his new star man and former Mariner Michael Mcglinchey along with the rest of his squad. ‘’He (McGlinchey) was fantastic," Merrick said. ‘’We’ve got good depth. Lia came on and did a good job for us’’ The Wellington boss also had praised Nathan Burns who scored the winning goal against the Mariners. ‘’I’ve known Nathan since he was a youngster," he said. "He’s full of life’’ Merrick was able to convey his belief in getting as many points as he can away and at home. ‘’I’m a great believer in getting three points home and away. It was vital to us to get the three points today and we achieved that." The 61-year-old also addressed a possible injury for Bonevacia, with the boss confirming that he had sustained a cork in his leg.
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Popovic furious with Sydney derby refereeing

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 09:23
Despite leading 2-0 inside 25 minutes, the Wanderers capitulated after that to go down 3-2 in front of more than 41,000 fans at Allianz Stadium. The Wanderers boss was particularly incensed with the Sky Blues equalizer just after the break when Sasa Ognenovski turned home a loose ball from a corner. Goal-keeper Ante Covic was wrong-footed by a deflection but Sydney attacker Bernie Ibini appeared to obstruct his view from an offside position. “What really went wrong is we were dealt with some poor officiating. The second goal is not a goal as simple as that,” a disappointed Popovic said afterwards. “Goals change games, that’s the reality. They’re at home, it goes 2-2 and they lift in confidence but it’s clearly not a goal. There’s not much more you can do about that. “I’m assured it changes and my turn will come where we’ll get the lucky breaks. I look forward to that day.” The controversial goal aside, Popovic felt his side were on the wrong end of a host of decisions over a combustible 90 minutes. “The officiating was poor throughout. They’re big games and we need officials that can handle that,” the Wanderers boss said. “There was a lack of consistency throughout. That’s all we ask for is consistency, nothing else. I’m not one to blame officials for why we have lost a game. I’ve never done that but it was poor officiating tonight.” Corey Gameiro’s goal just before the break swung the momentum of the match, with the home side lifting their intensity and performance in the second half. Ognenovski’s equalizer set up a thrilling finish and when Vitor Saba was shown a straight red card 20 minutes from time, the Sky Blues were always likely to win. And that got the decisive goal 11 minutes from the end through skipper Alex Brosque, condemning the Wanderers to back-to-back defeats to start the season. “It’s never nice to lose a derby but the circumstances it all happened…it’s disappointing,” Popovic said. Compounding matters for the Wanderers was a hamstring injury to striker Brendon Santalab, who must be in severe doubt for next weekend’s ACL final first leg against Al Hilal.
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Arnold: Gameiro strike changed game

Sun, 19/10/2014 - 09:17
In a pulsating derby in front of a record regular season Sydney crowd, the Sky Blues fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 thanks to Alex Brosque’s late strike. It was Gameiro’s classy finish which dragged the home side back into the contest at the end of the first half and they went on with the job after the break to claim local bragging rights. “Over 90 minutes we had 15 bad minutes and that’s when they got the two goals,” Arnold said. “For me the other 75 minutes was all us. I thought we played some real good stuff. Thankfully we got that goal just before half-time to give us that belief. I said to them at half-time that West Sydney’s had one shot and we’ve got to believe. “It’s a great night for our fans, a wonderful occasion, a huge crowd, a record-breaking crowd and to go 2-0 down and send our supporters home with a 3-2 win will stay in their memories for a long, long time.” With Mark Janko, Bernie Ibini and Ali Abbas back in the squad after missing the opening round on international duty, the Sky Blues had much more firepower and it showed as the match went on. Arnold declared his side is only going to get stronger as his new-look squad continues to gel with the more matches they play. “We’ve still got to learn when to give him (Janko) the ball at the right time and when he wants crosses put into the box,” the Sky Blues boss said. “Bernie Ibini has to get used to playing with different players. It’s a different system than what they played last year as well. “It will take time but tonight was definitely a point in the right direction.” Arnold also refused to criticize his goal-keeper Vedran Janjetovic, who produced an embarrassing blunder to gift the Wanderers their second goal. “Everyone makes mistakes. He’s down about it but he’s got to get on with it,” Arnold said of his shot-stopper. “He chose to be a goalkeeper and when they make mistakes that’s what happens. He’ll bounce back, he’s got good character.”
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A-League Review: Sydney win thrilling derby, Phoenix fight back

Sat, 18/10/2014 - 22:06
The visitors looked on course for a comfortable victory as they raced to a 2-0 lead inside 24 minutes thanks to Mark Bridge's volley and an embarrassing own goal by goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic. But Corey Gameiro pulled one back right on half-time and further strikes Sasa Ognenovski and skipper Alex Brosque – after Vitor Saba was shown a straight red card – capped an amazing comeback. The thrilling contest was played in front of 41,213 fans, Sydney’s biggest ever regular-season home crowd and the largest crowd of any code for a regular-season match. Elsewhere, Wellington Phoenix also came from behind to beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1. Tom Doyle's early own goal handed the hosts the advantage, but Michael McGlinchey levelled matters before the break with a close-range header after Jeremy Brockie's penalty had struck the crossbar. Nathan Burns grabbed the winner in the 54th minute, smashing home from Brockie's header back across goal.
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Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers: Player ratings

Sat, 18/10/2014 - 21:57
Sky Blues defeat Wanderers in thrilling Sydney derby VEDRAN JANJETOVIC - 5 Couldn't do anything on the first goal. Mis-judged a high ball on the second goal. Unconvincing in the second half. SASA OGNENOVSKI - 8 Scored. Even though it did come off Castelen it still stands as his goal. Big moment in the match. Was fired up and helped his team's cause. SEBASTIAN RYALL - 7 Seasoned for these games and did well. NIKOLA PETKOVIC - 7 Always composed on the ball. Calming influence. Did his job pretty well. ALEX GERSBACH - 7.5 Making his first start in the A-League. Just got out done with his defending on the first otherwise did very well. TERRY ANTONIS - 7 Great player for the A-League. Did well again. BERNIE IBINI-ISEI - 6 His strength is running at players but he didn't get too many opportunities to do so. MILOS DIMITRIJEVIC - 8 Was excellent. Full marks. ALEX BROSQUE - 8 Was also excellent. Well done with the deft finish. The match winner. MARC JANKO - 6 A couple of shots went flying over the bar. Didn't see much else from him. COREY GAMEIRO - 8 Such a dangerous player. Has come on from last season. ALI ABBAS - 6.5 Fresh from international duty with Iraq. Came on in the 83rd minute and was surprisingly played up the park more when 3-2 in front. Funnily was still busy on the left. WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS ANTE COVIC - 7 Couldn't blame him for the goals, although the 3rd goal perhaps he didn't anticipate it quick enough. Otherwise was solid with crosses and distribution. ANTHONY GOLEC - 7.5 Up against Ibini. Did well to thwart his forward runs. BRENDAN HAMILL - 8 Very good. Pleased. Looked like he got injured. DANIEL MULLEN - 6 A lot of Sydney's attack came from down his side. Was caught out a few times. NIKOLA TOPOR-STANLEY - 6.5 Coming off Socceroos match and looked solid. Defended well off set pieces. Although his side conceded three. ROMEO CASTELEN - 7 Not bad. Great move on the right for the first goal and first touch was great. Will see much more from him this season. VITOR SABA - 6.5 Formerly with Brescia in Italy. Very good while he was on. Busy in the middle linked well with the front strikers. Got sent off for a challenge on Antonis. MARK BRIDGE - 7.5 Class finish with the first goal. Always runs and works hard. Didn't deserve to be on the losing side. IACOPO LA ROCCA - 7 Did better than last week. Will improve. MATEO POLJAK - 7 Performed well. Unfortunate to be on the losing side. BRENDAN SANTALAB - 7 Was ok. Limped off. Hopefully not too serious. SHANNON COLE - 6 On in the 73rd minute. Had not much time to show anything. KWABENA APPIAH-KUBI - 6 On in the 76th and again didn't have a lot of involvement. LABINOT HALITI - N/A On in the 87th minute. Not much time
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