A-League Round 15 Recap
Ben Garuccio's Scorpion Kick Steals Headlines
It's round 15 and we are heading headfirst into the business end of the A-League regular season. This week Melbourne Victory got back on the winner's books whilst Macarthur FC thumped Adelaide United 4-1. Read on for a complete look back at the week that was round 15
City Sweep Jets Aside To Move Into Second Place
Melbourne City defeated Newcastle 3-0 comfortably on Friday night, moving up to 2nd position at the end of round 15.
Jamie McLaren broke the deadlock in the 46th minute, with a nice volley at the near post, to give City a 1-0 halftime lead. In the 52nd minute, after a nice run from Marco Tilio taking on a total of 6 defenders, his low pass found Matthew Leckie who buried it into the net and doubled City’s lead.
Newcastle's misery was complete when Taylor Regan received a second yellow in the 54th minute within a minute of going 2-0 down. 10 minutes later, Carl Jenkinson added a bit of icing on a beautiful City cake, calmly slotting the 3rd goal and sealing a 3-0 win.
Melbourne City will look to maintain 2nd spot when they host the Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday night. Newcastle will look for a better outing when they host the Western Sydney Wanderers (WSW) on Wednesday night.
Sydney FC & Wellington Phoenix Share Spoils
Wellington Phoenix played out an exciting 1-1 draw with Sydney FC on Saturday afternoon.
David Ball broke the deadlock for Wellington in the 42nd minute, with a clever finish that Ollie Sale got his hand to but ultimately, couldn’t keep out. That would be all the nix needed for a 1-0 halftime lead.
Bobo rescued Sydney hopes in the 67th minute, with a stunning volley from close range. Rhyan Grant also had an attempted volleyed finish a minute later but was denied. Bobo was also denied a 2nd 3 minutes later off a corner kick with a clever tap away from Sale. In the 76th minute, Bobo was denied for a 2nd time, with a bullet header that Sale just managed to get a finger on.
Even for a 3rd time, Bobo was denied a late winner, with a first-time strike at the left-hand post that surely would have won the game for Sydney in the 92nd minute. Gael Sandoval attempted to win the game for Wellington in the 94th minute, but his shot was high and wide. That would be all she wrote, as the game finished 1-1, with Wellington knocking on the door of the top 6 and Sydney remaining in 4th.
Sydney FC face a tough challenge in a trip to face ladder leaders Western United on Wednesday night. Whilst Wellington will travel to rebound against WSW on Sunday night.
Velupillay Valiant For Victory
Melbourne Victory got themselves out of jail and back on the winner's list, following a 94th-minute header from Nishan Velupillay, to triumph 1-0 over Central Coast on Saturday night.
In the 25th minute, the Victory thought they had taken the lead through Jake Brimmer. But after a very long review process, the VAR found him offside, canceling the goal out. It would be all we needed for a goalless 1st half.
At the hour mark, Jason Davidson attempted to recreate the free-kick he delivered in the FFA Cup final, however this time he was way wide. In the 85th minute, the Victory squandered the best chance of the game. Velupillay played it through to Francesco Margiotta who was 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper but dragged his shot terribly wide. Late drama would decide this game, after Chris Ikonomidies cross to the back post found Velupillay, who headed it straight into the net and sent the Victory crowd into raptures.
It was to prove decisive, as the Victory climbed out of their 3 game slump after the FFA Cup final to get back on the winner's list in exciting fashion. The Victory will look to build on this when they travel to face last-placed Brisbane on Friday night. Whilst for the Central Coast, it does not get any easier when they remain in Melbourne to take on the 2nd placed City.
Bulls Thumps Reds To Consolidate Top 6 Place
Macarthur FC comfortably took care of Adelaide United 4-1 on Saturday night.
After Craig Goodwin broke the deadlock for Adelaide in the 20th minute, it was all Macarthur from that point on. In the 42nd minute, Apostolos Giannou equalized for Macarthur after burying a low cross. Sending the sides into the break level at 1 all.
Macarthur was given a penalty in the 65th minute when Ulises Davila was brought down by George Timotheou. Craig Noone’s first penalty was saved, but he tapped in the rebound to give Macarthur their first lead of the game. Al Hassan Toure doubled the Bulls lead in the 73rd minute, with a first time beautifully struck volley. Michael Ruhs simply iced the game for Macarthur, after Al Hassan Toure’s strike was deflected, he got the rebound and struck the 4th blow for Macarthur.
This win solidifies Macarthur’s place in the top 6. They were ultra-impressive at home. They will look to continue this form when they travel to face Perth on Wednesday, while Adelaide will look to get back to winning form when they host Central Coast on Saturday night.
Goalfest As United Defeat Wanderers
Western United moved into top position, following an exciting 3-2 win over WSW on Sunday.
Alexandar Prijovic gave Western the lead in the 27th minute with a clever chip that stood despite a VAR check of a potential offside, which was cleared. Ben Garuccio doubled United’s advantage at the half, with a strong strike in the 47th minute.
WSW was given a lifeline when they were given a penalty for a handball in the 50th minute. Tomer Hemed sent the keeper the wrong way and cleverly slotted it into the left bottom corner. Garuccio would then score what will potentially be the goal of the year in the 67th minute. After a cross from Prijovic, he flicked it with the bottom of his foot for a scorpion kick that found the net from close range. Steven Ugarkovic also pulled an amazing goal out of the hat in the 85th minute, after taking a touch he volleyed it low into the left-hand corner from outside the box.
But it was too little, too late for the Wanderers, as Western United came away victorious 3-1, and returned to the top of the table. They will look to continue this form when they host Sydney FC on Wednesday night, while WSW has an opportunity to bounce back against Newcastle on Wednesday night.
Glory Keep Roar Rooted To The Foot Of The Table
Perth Glory took care of Brisbane Roar 2-0 on Sunday, confining Brisbane to the bottom of the table at the end of round 15.
It was Bruno Fonroli who would prove to be the game-winner for the Glory. First scoring a penalty in the 7th minute, then wrapping up the contest with a beautiful goal in the 73rd minute, after he controlled a low pass and buried it into the top right corner. Ending Brisbane’s misery as this 2-0 defeat confines them to last place currently.
It doesn't get easier for Brisbane when they host Melbourne Victory on Friday night. Perth will face a tough challenge when they face Macarthur on Wednesday night.
Here's the A-League table as of 21st February 4.38 PM
Jamie Samuel has completed a double degree in sports media and business at Holmesglen. He is passionate about sports including AFL, A-league, Basketball, and Cricket. He currently works full-time as a chief marketing officer for Apple iSports.
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