Monday 19 February 2018 / 04:59 PM


The A-League has a new top dog after six weeks, while Sydney FC suffered their first loss of the year and the Wellington Phoenix piled on the goals against Perth. Here’s the Commentary Box Sports wrap of the round.

FC suffer first loss in fiery encounter

For the first time this year Sydney FC left a stadium without a point, as the gritty Central Coast Mariners shocked them 2-0 on Friday night.

After absorbing some early pressure, the Mariners struck first with Andrew Hoole picking his shot past a planted Andrew Redmayne, before Jake McGing added a second just before the hour with a thumping header which clipped the underside of the crossbar and went in. The match soured late with a number of borderline clashes, resulting in a total of six yellow cards and one red being shown. A late rally from Sydney was repelled by the Mariners, with keeper Ben Kennedy a standout, as the Central Coast held on for a memorable victory.

Jets edge United, go top

In recent times they have become far more intimate with the other end of the A-League ladder, but this week the Newcastle Jets can enjoy the feeling of being up top thanks to a 2-1 win over Adelaide which puts them clear first.

An accurate long ball from Ryan Kitto allowed Nikola Mileusnic to give United the initial lead on 25 minutes, but the joy would be short lived as the Jets rallied to score twice in quick succession either side of the half. Benjamin Kantarovsk got a foot to a powerful cross to even things up, before Andrew Nabbout took full advantage of a wayward back-pass from Ben Warland to win the ball, round rushing Michael Marrone and slot the go-ahead goal on the road.

Roar and Victory battle out draw

The respective struggles of the Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar were reflected when they met on Saturday night, with the two unable to be split in a 1-1 draw at Etihad Stadium.

A mostly dour opening 70 minutes saw more action in the referee’s back pocket than on goal, as both sides battled through a scrappy match with a number of yellow cards being shown, with a couple of classy saves required by both keepers along the way. Eventually a long break down the left resulted in Besart Berisha finishing in the top of the goal, but any thought that it was the breakthrough goal was short lived, with Roar substitute Brett Holman losing his marker to tap the ball in five minutes later and secure a point for the current cellar-dwellers.

Nix run rampant at expense of Glory

The enigmatic force that is the Wellington Phoenix put in their best showing of the season to crush Perth 5-2 on Sunday, doing so without any of their New Zealand representatives as well.

The match was the second fixture to be held on Westpac Stadium in 24 hours, following on from the All Whites’ draw against Peru in World Cup qualifying, and the Phoenix held up their end of the bargain with a fine performance. Wellington went down early after keeper Keegan Smith handled a back pass and conceded a free kick, which Xavi Torres duly powered home. Goals to Dario Vidosic and Goran Paracki gave the hosts the lead before half-time, before Shane Lowry equalised just after the break. But the run home was all Wellington, with Gui Finkler netting and Andrija Kaluderovic scoring from both the penalty spot and general play to cap an emphatic first victory of the season.

City held by Wanderers

An early goal was enough to see Western Sydney earn a point and maintain fourth position, while a wasteful Melbourne City will rue a missed opportunity to grab their fifth victory of the season.

Oriol Riera stole the ball and laid the pass on for Jaushua Sotirio to open the scoring on 18 minutes, giving Western Sydney the lead despite Melbourne dominating the majority of the possession and chances. The usually prolific Ross McCormack was having tough day at the office, missing a number of chances which he would have typically buried in the back of the net, and by the end of the half the Wanderers were comfortably in control on the ball. After starting the second period with a spring in their step, City were awarded a penalty after the VAR intervened to rule Osama Malik was brought down illegally in the box, allowing McCormack to equalise from the spot. Western Sydney threw plenty at City in the final half hour, but couldn’t find a way through, leaving new head coach Josep Gombau with a draw to open his Wanderers career.

[YouTube – Matchday Highlights]

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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, the editor for the excellent new site Kiwi League Central, and a guru of the local Auckland rugby league scene.

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