If it wasn’t already, it’s now time to hit the panic button for Western Sydney after another loss, making it nine games without a win. To make matters worse, a pay dispute has broken out between the players and club over prize money for the FIFA Club World Cup. At the other end of the table, Perth, Melbourne Victory and Adelaide have opened a little gap at the top of the table after each side recorded wins.
Sydney FC 1-2 Perth Glory
(Smeltz (pen) 57’ / Griffiths 83’, Keogh (pen) 87’)
Crowd: 11,280 @ Allianz Stadium
Played on Thursday night amid another night of thunderstorms in the Harbour City, Sydney looked to continue their unbeaten start to the season and looked on track for all three points after Shane Smeltz calmly converted a penalty against his former side. But with just over five minutes remaining Perth struck after Rostyn Griffiths was found unmarked in the box to head the visitors level. Four minutes later Scott Jamieson was upended in the box and Andy Keogh stepped up to secure all three points for the table-topping Perth Glory.
Central Coast Mariners 0-3 Melbourne Victory
(Berisha 62’, Georgievski 68’, Pain 73’)
Crowd: 7098 @ North Sydney Oval
All the talk before this game was about Central Coast’s decision to shift this game from their usual base of Gosford to North Sydney in search of more fans, a decision that came in for intense criticism from their own fans. It backfired in the worst possible way, with only 7000 turning up and Melbourne Victory putting on a clinic to dispatch a poor Mariners outfit. A ten-minute burst in the second half that saw goals to Besart Berisha, Daniel Georgievski and Connor Pain was enough to secure all three points for Victory and keep their unbeaten start to the season alive.
Newcastle Jets 1-3 Wellington Phoenix
(Griffiths 24’ / Burns 73’, McGlinchey 74’, Krishna 78’)
Crowd: 9152 @ Hunter Stadium
Pressure is starting to mount on Jets coach Phil Stubbins after the cash-strapped club gave up another lead at home, succumbing to a scintillating five minute spell from Wellington. It started well for Newcastle when fan favourite Joel Griffiths gave them the lead midway through the first half, yet three goals in five minutes in the second half blew Newcastle away and allowed Wellington to keep in touch with the top four and move within one point of Sydney FC.
Adelaide United 2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
(Carrusca 36’, Ferreira 55’)
Crowd: 12,122 @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide cemented their status as one of the best sides in the league with a one-sided demolition of Asian champions Western Sydney. They were helped when Western Sydney captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley received his marching orders within the first 20 minutes, but what followed was a warning to the rest of the competition – Adelaide are a force to be reckoned with. The only thing missing was a cutting edge up front. While goals in either half to Marcelo Carrusca and Fabio Ferreira sealed the win, in reality it should have been four or five as Adelaide were profligate in front of goals, especially in the second half.
Melbourne City 1-0 Brisbane Roar
(Mooy (pen) 49’)
Crowd: 7721 @ AAMI Park
It might not have been pretty, but Melbourne City earned a much-needed three points when they saw off the defending champions on Sunday afternoon. With pressure mounting on City coach John van’t Schip, it was a timely result, even if there was an element of luck in the result in the awarding of the penalty. Getting the better of Daniel Bowles and advancing into the box, Mate Dugandzic went down after light contact from Bowles and referee Shaun Evans had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Aaron Mooy stepped up and made no mistake to earn a valuable three points for City that lifts them above Brisbane into sixth spot.