A-League Round-Up: Wanderers Bailed Out Of Second Place By Santalab, Brisbane Rise

Wanderers fans in the crowd let off flares as police officers look on during the round 18 A-League match between the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on February 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. February 06, 2016| Credit: Scott Barbour
A-League Round-Up: Wanderers Bailed Out Of Second Place By Santalab, Brisbane Rise

In this week’s A-League Round-Up, Brisbane Roar came away huge winners in Round 18 of the competition, while Central Coast and Melbourne City got their teeth kicked in by poor performances. Meanwhile, Western Sydney came close to laying an egg of their own but miraculously remain at the top of the ladder.

Round 18 started with a match between Guillermo Amor‘s Adelaide United and Graham Arnold‘s Sydney FC. The match, held at Coopers Stadium in Adelaide, South Australia, ended in a 2-2 draw. Sergio Cirio scored a brace in the second and 45th minutes, while Matt Simon (37′) and Filip Holosko (48′) equalized for the Sky Blues.

Tony Walmsley‘s Central Coast Mariners were the big losers of the round. They went down to 10 men against John Aloisi‘s Brisbane Roar in the 71st minute on red card to Harry Ascroft at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland. The Mariners proceeded to get smashed, 4-0, and one may wonder if Luis “Lucho” Garcia is reconsidering spending time with arguably the worst club in the competition. Jade North (20′), Jamie Maclaren (36′), Corona (59′) and Henrique (72′) scored for the Roar.

A tense arm-wrestling session at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria saw Kevin Muscat‘s Melbourne Victory draw 1-1 with Tony Popovic‘s Western Sydney Wanderers. Besart Berisha (16′) and Brendon Santalab (89′) traded goals, while Alberto Aguilar was sent off in the 93rd minute. But the match will be known for the Red and Black Bloc letting out flares and daring the FFA to force its hand. David Gallop speaks.

“The behaviour of some fans and in particular a section of the Western Sydney Wanderers fans at last night’s match was unacceptable and will not be tolerated. FFA is currently compiling all reports from Victorian Police, stadium security and both clubs before deciding what action to take.

“This is a clear reminder of the type of people we do not want in our game and that will be reflected in the final outcomes of our enquiries.

“FFA is currently undertaking a review of the security and banning procedures to ensure a fair process for fans who are identified as misbehaving but will not waver from protecting the safety of spectators.

“Finding that balance during the banning process is central to our review but last night’s events should be a reminder that the actions of a minority can damage the reputation and image of the game. That is why we will continue to identify and ban troublemakers.”

At Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, a Chris Harold goal in the 21st minute was enough for Kenny Lowe‘s Perth Glory to shut out Ernie Merrick‘s Wellington Phoenix 1-0. Meanwhile, at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle, New South Wales, a brace from Milos Trifunovic (48′, 72′) against a late goal from Bruno Fornaroli in the 79th minute gave Scott Miller‘s Newcastle Jets a rare 2-1 win over John van’t Schip‘s Melbourne City. Jacob Melling was sent off in the 64th minute via the DOGSO rule.

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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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