A-League

A-League Round-Up: FFA, Top Dogs Gets Kicked In The Teeth Again

A flare is ignited in the Melbourne Victory supporters area of the crowd during the round 19 A-League match between Melbourne City FC and Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on February 13, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. February 13, 2016| Credit: Scott Barbour
A-League Round-Up: FFA, Top Dogs Gets Kicked In The Teeth Again

AC/DC’s Bon Scott may have foreseen the carnage coming this past weekend in that track from their most underrated album ever: “Powerage.” A set of electric action, insipid officiating, insipid defending, fan defiance and massive production highlighted Round 19 of the 2015-16 Hyundai A-League season. The week started with a match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia between John Aloisi‘s Brisbane Roar and Scott Miller‘s Newcastle Jets. The matched ended in a 2-2 draw on goals from Jamie Maclaren (6′) and Newcastle’s Enver Alivodic (69′) on an own goal from Brisbane, and goals from Mitch Cooper (15′) and Milos Trifunovic (19′) for the Jets.

At Allianz Stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Graham Arnold‘s Sydney FC lost again, this time to Kenny Lowe‘s Perth Glory 2-1. Andy Keogh (23′) and Chris Harold (65′) scored for Perth, while Shane Smeltz scored a consolation goal in the 79th minute for the hosts. However, no one was ready for referee Chris Beath delivering arguably his worst performance of his career as a match official: issuing nine yellow cards, one red card and disallowing a clear goal and a would-be match winner for Kevin Muscat‘s Melbourne Victory in their 2-2 draw with John van’t Schip‘s Melbourne City at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Victoria.

Forget the fan defiance from the Victory supporters. That’s not the issue here. The issue is Beath’s decision to disallow a goal from Gui Finkler, perhaps to deliberately punish the Victory fans for ripping the flares. Finkler did score in the 47th minute and so did Fahid Ben Khalfallah in the 28th, but that’s countered by a Bruno Fornaroli brace in the 22nd and 31st minutes. Anthony Caceres was sent off in the 79th minute of play but the designated visitors were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.

Some of the 12,589 fans that were in attendance at Parramatta Stadium in Paramatta, Western Sydney could have gone to nearby Blacktown and watched the Australian national baseball team qualify for the World Baseball Classic next year. Instead, they opted for soccer and paid for it dearly. Literally and figuratively.

Beath’s presence as a fourth official may have contributed to Tony Popovic‘s Western Sydney Wanderers getting their teeth kicked in by Ernie Merrick‘s Wellington Phoenix 5-2. But this was about the Yellow Fever’s very own human flare: Blake Powell was the star of the show for the Nix, scoring in the fourth, 20th, 33rd and 71st minutes. Michael McGlinchey added a penalty conversion in the 90th minute of play for Wellington. Mitch Nichols (73′) and Mark Bridge (84′) scored for the Wanderers, who also played down a man after Jonathan Aspropotamitis was sent off in the 89th minute of play.

Finally, the weekend concluded with another high-scoring shootout, as Guillermo Amor‘s Adelaide United defeated Tony Walmsley‘s Central Coast Mariners 3-2 at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, New South Wales. Isaias (54′), Bruce Djite (66′) and Stefan Mauk (91′) scored for the Reds, while Fabio Ferreira (32′) and Josh Bingham (94′) got on the sheet for Central Coast.

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@joryansalazar

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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