The second round of the Hyundai A-League saw last season’s grand finalists Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers claim a draw for the second week running. Other action saw controversy in two separate games where contentious refereeing decisions came under the spotlight.
Friday night saw a controversial encounter between arch rivals Adelaide United and hosts Melbourne Victory. The referee awarded Adelaide a dubious penalty after a fair challenge by the keeper. Not long after that he disallowed a goal for offside when the player in question was well on side. Adelaide led 2-0 at the break much to the ire of Victory coach Ange Postecoglou. A spirited comeback by the visitors, which included an injury time goal, salvaged a point from a game that could have had a very different outcome had it not been for some poor refereeing decisions.
Melbourne Heart let a two goal lead slip away against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday at AAMI Park. After a dour first half that didn’t yield any goals, the home side took the initiative through successive goals by David Williams early on in the half. But some ill discipline by the Heart in defence led to two penalties in 5 minutes that were well taken by Marcos Flores to earn the Mariners a share of the spoils.
Brisbane Roar hosted Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night in a game that saw FC superstar Alessandro Del Piero forced to come off after only 33 minutes due to injury. Sydney FC looked absolutely vulnerable in defence as Brisbane scored three goals in 8 minutes just before half time. The second half saw a more focussed but still defensive Sydney FC who were constantly under pressure from Brisbane’s attack. There was a final nail in the coffin with one more goal as Brisbane wrapped up proceedings with an emphatic 4-0 scoreline.
The Newcastle Jets were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Perth Glory on Sunday amid controversy after a clear last minute penalty was waved away by the referee. The Jets hammered the Glory goal on a number of occasions, but the keeper was in fine form keeping the home team at bay. A Nathan Burns run through on goal saw him cut down after beating the challenge of a defender right at the end, but referee Shaun Evans had other ideas as he waved away claims of a penalty by the Jets players.
The last game saw the Western Sydney Wanderers held to a 1-1 draw at home by Wellington Phoenix on Sunday. Jerome Polenz scored his first goal for the club to open the scoring but the introduction of the talismanic Paul Ifill had the Wanderers on the back foot and his efforts created an opportunity for striker Jeremy Brockie to earn his side an unexpected point.
A-League Round 2 Scores
Adelaide United 2 – Melbourne Victory 2
Melbourne Heart 2 – Central Coast Mariners 2
Brisbane Roar 4 – Sydney FC 0
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 – Wellington Phoenix 1
Newcastle Jets 0 – Perth Glory 0