Each round for the remainder of the A-League season I’ll present my highlights and lowlights of the weekend that was. Get involved each week by sending me your thoughts and opinions by using #FCAUHighLow, @FootballCentAU & @Matthew_Berry
Super Saturday was simply Super
For the first time this season fans got to enjoy three A-League games back-to-back-to-back. Most importantly the third game in the trifecta was a match in Perth. Practically non-stop football right up until the first of the Premier League games kicked off. And what a beauty it was too with an enthralling and highly entertaining Merseyside Derby between Everton and Liverpool. Unfortunately while Perth play a few more 6:30pm (WST) matches this season, the only other triple header occurs in round 26.
Speaking of Super Saturday, Sydney and the Central Coast enjoyed last minute goals to earn three points. Supporters of both clubs would be obviously happy, however even the neutral would’ve have enjoyed the endings to these games. A ten man Sydney side had new recruit Ranko Despotovic to thank after his goal in the dying minutes of injury time got the Sky Blues over the line against a gallant Wellington.
While on the west coast, Mitchell Duke would be the saviour for the Mariners as his well placed volley from a Josh Rose cross saw his side claim a 2-1 win over Perth. They may be the best/worst experiences for a clubs supporters however lets hope we see many more this season.
If you’re fortunate enough to have this man in your fantasy side you’ll be thanking your lucky stars, much the same as Gary Van Egmond does. Not content with scoring a brace last weekend against the Roar, Taggart decided to up the ante yesterday with a hat trick against the Heart. Scoring for fun has Taggart full of confidence which is something that his Jets teammates are enjoying too. A few weeks ago many were calling for GVE to go, now with Newcastle sitting in third place, the pressure has certainly eased on the coach and he only has one person to thank.
Dumb Decision Defenders
This weekend saw two defenders sent off after receiving two yellow cards, with one nearly costing his team dearly. Pedj Bojic was the first as the Sydney defender got an early shower for a sliding tackle in the first half, and a clumsy tackle in the second after he was between for pace down the wing. He could have been in more trouble when an earlier tackle in the box was was waved away, though replays showed a penalty should have been given. Luckily for him, Sydney scored in injury time, immediately after Wellington’s equaliser.
While in Melbourne, Adrian Leijer was given a second yellow for a tackle identical to Bojic’s. The Victory cruised home for a 3-0 win over Adelaide, meaning his dismissal didn’t have too much of an effect in the end. However if results went the other way for either team, Bojic and Leijer would have cost their sides dearly.
While Melbourne Heart could feature in this article each week, another poor performance against the Jets has seen the active supporters call for a silent sit down protest for their upcoming home clash against Adelaide. Josep Gombau’s side is struggling as well with the Reds sitting in 8th spot, only three points clear of the Heart who sit last with 2 points. Adelaide were just as poor against Melbourne Victory on Saturday evening even after the home side were reduced to 10 men. Their frustration was compounded when a missed penalty from Sergio Cirio saw Archie Thompson score an easy goal at the other end immediately after. Pressure is mounting on both coaches to deliver results, and depending on the score this coming weekend either coach could be out of a job.
The Glory defender has unfortunately suffered a season ending achilles injury which is a huge blow to Perth and also Jamieson’s chance to be a bolter for the Socceroos squad for next year’s World Cup. He has certainly improved this season, and is one of the Glory’s best each week. Here’s hoping he can recover quickly and return even better next season.