Thursday 22 February 2018 / 05:04 PM

A-LEAGUE ROUND 17 WRAP

Newcastle had their run halted by the most unlikely of sources, City torched Adelaide and the Central Coast made a statement. That plus the rest from an entertaining weekend of A-League action which saw four goals scored on average across the five games.

Roar get the edge in five-goal thriller

Brisbane leapfrogged Perth into eighth position with a 3-2 victory over the Western Australians on Thursday night, killing a three-game losing streak in the process.

It took just four minutes for Brisbane to get things going, with Avraam Papadopoulos sneaking to the back post to knock home the ball from a free kick. But six minutes later Chris Harold was played into a huge gap down the flank and finished to hit back, with his first of two goals on the night. Diego Castro was causing Brisbane some serious problems, but it was the Roar who were next to score thanks to Ivan Franjic’s leaping headed effort from Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s free kick. Continuing the topsy-turvy nature of the clash, Harold bagged his second minutes later, before the veteran connection of Italian Massimo Maccarone and Brett Holman combined to see the latter net the game’s fifth and final goal, earning Brisbane their fourth victory of the campaign.

Kosta can’t stop as Victory down Wanderers

The Melbourne Victory powered to a 3-0 rout of Western Sydney thanks to a brace from Kosta Barbarouses and another stellar game from Leroy George in the middle of the park.

A neat ball from Besart Berisha left Barbarouses with all the time in the world to weigh up his options on the opening goal, with the New Zealand international making the perfect choice when he ignored a passing option and instead slid the ball past a helpless Vedran Janjetovic. Two minutes into the second half Western Sydney had an equaliser denied for offside, which would prove to be the turning point in the match, as Melbourne started to assume a greater degree of control. George did all the work for the second, before cleverly flicking on to Berisha to score from close range, before Barbarouses, who was again given the gift of time on the ball, popped a shot from 25 metres into the top corner for the third. The goal was 27-year-old’s sixth in his last seven games and the second week in a row where he has scored after the 90th minute.

Phoenix upset high-flying Jets

Sitting dead last on the ladder after 16 games, Wellington showed enough to suggest their campaign isn’t a write-off just yet, stunning Newcastle on the road to record a 3-2 victory.

Despite only arriving at the Phoenix this month, Serbian ace Matija Ljujic can now lay a strong claim to owning Wellington’s two best goals of the season after he once again scored a long-range screamer, dribbling along the top of the box before wrapping his foot around a shot that curled past Jack Duncan in goal. Less than 10 minutes later Daniel Mullen doubled the visitors’ lead with a header off a corner. Andrew Nabbout breathed life into Newcastle early in the second, finishing one-on-one with the keeper, but Roy Krishna’s clever turn in the box re-established a two-goal buffer a short time later. Dimitri Petratos’s penalty four minutes from time gave Newcastle a shot at a dramatic comeback, but some late heroics from Wellington keeper Lewis Italiano, who was duly awarded Man of the Match honours, assured his side would take all three points.

Mariners dominate, Sydney rescue draw

The Central Coast achieved the rare feat of outplaying Sydney FC, but missed the chance to take all three points due to a horror miss and the brilliance of Bobo.

The first goal came from a slow back pass from Joshua Brillante, which put his keeper Andrew Redmayne in two minds and ended in him collecting the leg of Kwabena Appiah-Kubi for a clear-cut penalty. Blake Powell stuttered and sent Redmayne the wrong way to place the ball into an open net, giving the Mariners a lead they would sit on for close to the next hour. In that time the Mariners had looked nicely in control of the match, pressuring Sydney into a bunch of uncharacteristic errors, while keeper Ben Kennedy made a quality save to deny FC one-on-one. The Mariners should have doubled their lead but for one of the worst open-goal misses you will ever see from Lachlan Wales, and that poor execution would come back to bite them when Bobo equalised for FC with his 16th goal of the season, avenging an earlier missed opportunity which was called back for offside, to calmly head into the corner of the goal.

City power home to destroy United

A late flurry of goals saw Melbourne City embarrass Adelaide United on Sunday, clocking a 5-0 romp to remain clear third on the ladder.

It was Adelaide who had the best chance of the opening exchanges, blowing a muffed back pass to miss one-on-one, in what would turn out to be a feature point of their sad highlight reel from the match. Melbourne started to take control in possession, and got the opener right on the half hour when Marcin Budzinski powered up from outside the box. Four minutes later Budzinski’s name was on the scoresheet again, but the scoring would take a long break from that point, as Adelaide composed themselves and threatened to come back, narrowly missing goals via Daniel Adlung, Ryan Strain and George Blackwood, with Melbourne GK Dean Bouzanis making some big saves along the way. Two minutes from time the floodgates opened, with Dario Vidosic smashing home a beautiful effort before grabbing his second, followed by Ross McCormack’s long-range whack which made it five.

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About the author

Corey Rosser

One of CBS’s newest contributors, Te Aroha product Corey is the New Zealand correspondent for NRL.com, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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