The ‘In Gombau We Trust’ banner that was on display at the home active end would have provided some confidence to the under siege Adelaide coach after a tumultuous week personally. Heading in to the weekend’s fixture the Reds were facing a team they hadn’t beaten in their last twelve attempts and had recorded only one win in season 9. They were well and truly under the pump to get a positive result, and boy did they get one, putting four past the reigning champions. Central Coast for the most part were poor across the park and failure to capitalise on early opportunities would be punished by Adelaide, who were two goals to the good by half time. Another two before full time would cap off a memorable win for the home side and provide a glimpse of how well the Reds can play; something Gombau has been desperate to show off. They must now maintain that momentum as they face a tought test next weekend away to Perth.
Increased W-League Coverage:
For the first time in the competitions short history, a W-League match was shown live on Fox Sports, which is a big boost for the women’s game in Australia. In a repeat of last season’s W-League decider, Sydney squared off with Melbourne Victory providing football fans an opportunity to watch two quality teams play before the main game between Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart. The next women’s fixture to be televised live on Fox Sports comes on the 24th of January when Brisbane hosts the Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium. Hopefully there will be more fixtures like this in season’s to come, and along with the ABC, Fox Sports can televise more live W-League matches.
I wouldn’t be surprised if when Ivan Franjic departed Wellington with his teammates New Zealand Immigration marked his passport to never be allowed back in to the country, after he again scored the winner as the Roar beat Wellington 2-1. It’s the second time Franjic has gotten his side out of prison across the ditch this season, with his goal covering up Besart Berisha’s earlier failed penalty. In what was an entertaining clash in which both sides had chances to seal victory, Matt Smith would score his 3rd goal for the season which is impressive for a central defender.
Central Coast Mariners:
After a strong performance and result at home last week, the Mariners entered their clash with Adelaide full of confidence that they could record consecutive wins for the first time this season. How wrong they were. Central Coast looked on top early, but after a skewed attempt from Trent Sainsbury that found Daniel McBreen wide open (his eventual shot would’ve landed in row 20, had it not been for the net in front of the crowd) it was all downhill from there for the reigning champions. After Bruce Djite’s opener the Mariners were never in the game, ill-discipline seeing five players booked from the away side, a howler from keeper Liam Reddy, and Jeronimo Neumann sealing the Reds win in the 90th minute. Central Coast now face Wellington on Thursday night, in a must win game. While three points are vital for Phil Moss’ side, what’s more important is a performance that is the complete opposite that was dished up in the City of Churches.
While this game was a pretty dire affair in the first half, the second half would provide plenty of highlights, except for the former Socceroos’ incredible miss from the penalty spot. Sydney had scored two goals in three minutes just before half time providing a much needed buffer. Enter Harry Kewell. Heart coach John Aloisi brought on his star recruit in the 57th minute and nine minutes later, Kewell had the opportunity to peg one back for his side. In what commentator Simon Hill said was ‘one of the worst penalties he’s ever seen’, Kewell shanked his attempt to the right, causing disbelief among not only Heart supporters but the wider viewing audience. His miss would prove crucial with Michael Mifsud scoring in the 72nd minute to cut the deficit, however 2-1 is where it would stay. While some were quick to bag Kewell, his presence in the A-League is important to its success as a whole, and hopefully he can bounce back and show glimpses of what made him one of the greatest Socceroos ever.