Perth Glory took a major step towards the A-League Premiership, extending their lead at the top of the table to seven points after an impressive win against second placed Melbourne Victory. Meanwhile, at the other end, a hapless Newcastle were hammered by a resurgent Melbourne City.
Newcastle Jets 2-5 Melbourne City
(Montano 71’, Jeronimo 79’ / Mooy (pen) 4’, Koren 9’ 63’ 74’, Duff 24’)
Crowd: 9935 @ Hunter Stadium
After missing the first third of the season with injury, marquee man Robert Koren has repaid the faith put in him by scoring a hattrick to help cement City’s spot in the top six. Aaron Mooy gave City the lead from the spot before Koren grabbed his first from a Jets mistake just five minutes later. Two more goals in the second half secured his hattrick, although John van’t Schip will be disappointed his team shipped two goals in the final 15 minutes.
Brisbane Roar 0-0 Sydney FC
Crowd: 15,765 @ Suncorp Stadium
In a match that didn’t reach any great heights the greatest talking point was the state of the Suncorp Stadium pitch just one week out from the start of the Asian Cup. While Jamie Young and Vedran Janjetovic both made fine saves, the reality was neither side really looked like taking the lead. The result means an injury ravaged Sydney FC extended their winless run to six games while Brisbane are still looking for their first win at home this season.
Adelaide United 1-3 Wellington Phoenix
(Cirio 73’ / Cunningham 54’, Boyd 77’ 90’+3)
Crowd: 10,060 @ Coopers Stadium
Wellington proved their title credentials with a thoroughly impressive win away on New Year’s Eve. Both sides were missing key players – Nathan Burns, the league’s hottest player, and Roy Krishna for the New Zealanders and Marcelo Carrusca, Nigel Boogaard and captain Eugene Galekovic for Adelaide – but it was the Kiwi side who coped best. Adelaide had the best chances in the first half but Costa Rican Kenny Cunningham gave the visitors the lead early in the second half, before Cirio equalised with 15 minutes remaining. Two late goals to young gun Tyler Boyd ensured Wellington had an extra spring in their step at their New Year celebrations.
Western Sydney Wanderers 0-0 Central Coast Mariners
Crowd: 14,137 @ Pirtek Stadium
These two teams faced off in the A-League Grand Final not that long ago, yet both teams looked a shadow of their former selves on New Year’s Day. Neither side hit their straps, ensuring the 14,000 in attendance were treated to one of the most drab games in quite some time. The result means Western Sydney are still without a win and that fact seems to be causing trouble, with Shannon Cole and Ante Covic clashing with fans after the match.
Melbourne Victory 1-2 Perth Glory
(Berisha (pen) 58’ / Keogh 9’, Harold 16’)
Crowd: 21,289 @ Simonds Stadium
Those who had claimed Perth weren’t the real deal as they hadn’t beaten a genuine title challenger will now be eating their words after they delivered a clinical performance to hold off Melbourne Victory in Geelong. Two defensive mistakes were punished by Perth in the opening 15 minutes before Melbourne started to wrestle back control of the game. They got one back just before the hour mark but despite having plenty of chances couldn’t find a second, allowing Perth to open up a seven point lead at the top of the table.