This is shaping up to be massive race for the Hyundai A-League Premiership Plater as 16 rounds are officially in the books. The Western Sydney Wanderers (more on them in a bit) are back at the top of the ladder, while the Melbourne sides continue to polish their form and ask the question to Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar. With Adelaide finding their form, the Finals Series field is looking much clearer.
Round 16 started with a match between John Aloisi’s Brisbane Roar and Guillermo Amor’s Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. Bruce Djite snapped out of his scoring drought with a brace in the 56th and 67th minutes to lead the Reds to a 4-1 win over the Roar. An own goal for Corey Brown in the 19th minute and an insurance strike from Marcelo Carrusca in the 92nd minute added to Brisbane’s misery. Henrique scored in the 50th minute for the hosts.
At Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Tony Walmsley’s Central Coast Mariners 2-1 on goals from Mark Bridge (11′) and Brendan Santalab (88′). Fabio Ferreira scored in the 67th minute for the Mariners, who played down to 10 men with the ejection of Nick Montgomery in the 79th minute of play.
In one of the most one-sided results in the young history of this competition, Kenny Lowe’s Perth Glory routed Scott Miller’s Newcastle Jets 6-1 at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle. Diego Castro (45′, 88′) and Chris Harold (24′, 54′) scored braces for Perth. Also scoring for the Glory were Alex Grant (74′) and an own goal from Daniel Mullen (48′). Milos Trifunovic scored in the 14th minute for Newcastle, who played down to 10 men with the second yellow card awarded to Nigel Boogaard in the second minute of first half injury time.
Harry Novillo was the hero for John van’t Schip’s Melbourne City in their 3-1 victory over the Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Novillo scored a brace in the 31st and 49th minutes, while Bruno Fornaroli continued his race for the golden boot with an 11th minute strike. Roly Bonevacia scored for Wellington in the 66th minute of play.
Finally, the Big Blue between Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory and Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC was sure to be a massive goal festival, right? Think again. It was a defensive clinic with wasteful offensive sequences all around. An own goal from Sydney Derby hero Matt Jurman rendered him the Big Blue Meanie 79 minutes in to give the Victory a 1-0 shutout win over their sky blue rivals to keep pace with their in-city neighbors.
The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, has you covered with more A-League goodness. We have a set of previews for Round 17 coming, to go with a Friday night/Saturday morning live blog of three matches, culminating with Perth Glory against Melbourne Victory from nib Stadium. Be sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter.