Saturday 20 January 2018 / 12:44 AM

A-LEAGUE ROUND 9 WRAP

Both sides of Melbourne completed stirring comebacks, while Bobo burned Adelaide in familiar fashion. That plus much more in the week that was in Round 9 of the A-League.

Bobo haunts Adelaide again

For the second time in the space of 10 days, Adelaide United went down to Sydney FC by a single goal, with Brazilian forward Bobo the man to deliver the killer blow in FC’s 1-0 victory.

Having beaten Adelaide in extra time in the FFA Cup final on November 21, Sydney got off to a good start at Hindmarsh Stadium, with a clever save from keeper Paul Izzo denying Bobo one-on-one inside the opening 25 minutes. Nikola Mileusnic then headed over the bar to waste a grand opportunity just before the break, before Bobo took his chance after Luke Wilkshire squared a ball to him on the penalty spot. Both teams had a number of scoring chances through the second half, but lacked execution when it counted. The game was marred by ugly scenes pre-match, with sections of opposing fans clashing on their way to the game.

Roar down nearest rivals

Brisbane jumped a spot on the A-League ladder with a 2-0 victory over Western Sydney, led by a superb opener from Italian import Massimo Maccarone.

The Wanderers had a golden chance early, with Oriol Riera just wide with his header, but while Western Sydney’s star striker was off the mark, Brisbane’s hit it beautifully when Maccarone smashed a powerful volley past Vedran Janjetovic just before oranges. Western Sydney had a penalty shout waved away early in the second, and their afternoon quickly got worse when Brisbane’s Ivan Franjic came off the bench to score a curling effort from the top of the box with his first touch of the game inside the final 25 minutes. While they now sit second to last, the loss was just Western Sydney’s second of the season.

City comeback stalls Jets momentum

Fullback Manny Muscat became the unlikely hero for Melbourne City as they came from behind to pick up a valuable 2-1 victory over Newcastle, which lifts them to within a point of the Jets in second place.

Newcastle peppered City keeper Dean Bouzanis through the opening half hour, and after some heroic saves he was unable to do anything about Andrew Nabbout’s double effort to open the scoring, with the goal being the 24-year-old’s fifth in as many games. But seven minutes later things were even again after Ross McCormack was mowed down in the box and converted from the penalty spot. City were denied a second penalty 17 minutes from time, with the officials somehow missing blatant off the ball contact from Nikolai Topor-Stanley, but justice was served ten minutes later when Muscat got onto a bouncing ball inside the box and smashed it into the top of the net for the winner.

Stunning second half lifts Victory to second win

The Wellington Phoenix continue to be the A-League’s great enigma, finding a way to blow a two-goal lead after 50 minutes to go down to a Melbourne Victory side who may just have turned a corner in their disappointing campaign.

After dodging a pair of bullets in the shape of chances for Besart Berisha – one of which went in but was turned over by the VAR for offside – the Nix hit a purple patch on the half hour. First Andrija Kaluderovic nodded home from close range, before producing a powerful dink from the top of the box which eluded a diving Lawrence Thomas, leaving him as the competition’s joint-highest goal scorer this year. Up 2-0 as the final 35 minutes approached, Wellington should have been home, but had their lead halved when Berisha finally netted, and three minutes later scores were even after a poor corner clearance saw Goran Paracki score an own goal. Some calamitous defending by the Phoenix eventually went punished, with Berisha sliding a ball through to James Troisi for a clean finish and the winning goal in a remarkable game.

Mariners net late to edge Glory

After a frustrating day at the office up in the attacking end, the Mariners scored 12 minutes from time to get past Perth and cement themselves in the A-League’s top four.

There were plenty of chances for goals through the first half, with keepers Liam Reddy and Ben Kennedy both pulling off quality saves to leave the scoreboard attendant in their seat. Kwabena Appiah was looking likely for the Mariners, but the stubborn Perth defence kept coming up with answers at the back, as the Central Coast assumed dominance of the contest through the second 45. Eventually the result came via some Daniel De Silva magic, with the pint-sized midfielder twice completing a skillful one-two to free himself up down the left, where he cut in and delivered an accurate ball to a charging Blake Powell, who buried the winner in emphatic fashion.

[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 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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