Mar 25

Roar’s wonder goal sinks Victory and hands Premiers Plate to Sydney FC

  • Brisbane Roar 1-0 Melbourne Victory
  • Central Coast Mariners 2-3 Adelaide United
  • Sky Blues now uncatchable at top of ladder

Brisbane sharpshooter Jamie Maclaren delivered a timely reminder of his quality to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou with an A-League wonder-goal to sink Melbourne Victory and deliver the Premiers Plate to Sydney FC. Brisbane’s 1-0 win confirms the Sky Blues’ first silverware in seven years as the runaway leaders enter Sunday’s clash with Perth 11 points ahead of second-placed Victory with three rounds to play.

Related: A-League: Santalab sets club record as Wanderers beat Melbourne City

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/25/adelaide-leapfrog-mariners-in-battle-to-avoid-wooden-spoon

Mar 24

A-League: Santalab sets club record as Wanderers beat Melbourne City

  • Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 Melbourne City at Spotless Stadium
  • Brendon Santalab hat-trick lifts him to record 14-goal season

Evergreen Western Sydney Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab has set a new club goalscoring record as his hat-trick helped shore up the club’s A-League finals hopes with a 3-1 home victory over Melbourne City. The 34-year-old poacher swelled his tally for the season to 14, eclipsing the previous record of 11 he had shared with Mark Bridge.

Sanatalab equalised midway through the first half at Spotless Stadium on Friday, after City took a fortuitous lead in the third minute when a Neil Kilkenny shot deflected off Wanderers’ defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis. He then added two more in four minutes in the second half.

Related: Tottenham’s Dele Alli banned for three European club games over red card

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/24/a-league-santalab-sets-club-record-as-wanderers-beat-melbourne-city

Mar 22

David Squires on … the fiery ending to Adelaide’s encounter with Brisbane

Our resident cartoonist casts an eye back over the controversial clash at Coopers Stadium

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/ng-interactive/2017/mar/23/david-squires-on-the-fiery-ending-to-adelaides-encounter-with-brisbane

Mar 21

Brisbane assistant coach Ross Aloisi cited by FFA over Adelaide tunnel incident

  • Aloisi clashes with Adelaide counterpart after stormy A-League encounter
  • Roar football director Craig Moore also cited over alleged referee comments

Brisbane assistant coach Ross Aloisi has been cited and is facing hefty punishment for an alleged incident involving Adelaide United assistant coach Jacobo Ramallo.

Aloisi clashed with Ramallo in the tunnel exiting Coopers Stadium after the Roar’s last-gasp loss in Adelaide, where Brisbane conceded a controversial penalty and lost the game 2-1.

Related: Tempers flare as Adelaide nick A-League win over Brisbane amid controversy

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/21/brisbane-assistant-coach-ross-aloisi-cited-by-ffa-over-adelaide-tunnel-incident

Mar 19

Melbourne City give reminder that for football to flourish it has to entertain | Jonathan Howcroft

Watching City briefly reach a level comparable to last season brought home how many A-League teams have stagnated or declined year on year

On Saturday night, a funny thing happened: Melbourne City entertained their home crowd for a full 90 minutes. The 4-0 rout of Newcastle Jets was only the second time City have scored more than twice at AAMI Park this season and the first occasion they’ve won at home by more than a single goal.

Related: A-League: Tim Cahill sparks Melbourne City rout of Jets

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/20/melbourne-city-give-reminder-that-for-football-to-flourish-it-has-to-entertain

Mar 19

Tempers flare as Adelaide nick A-League win over Brisbane amid controversy

Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Coopers StadiumWestern Sydney Wanderers beat Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Spotless StadiumTensions boiled over after Adelaide United stole a controversial last-gasp 2-1 win against Brisbane as a 98th-minute Sergio…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/19/adelaide-nick-a-league-win-over-brisbane-after-98th-minute-controversy

Mar 18

A-League: Tim Cahill sparks Melbourne City rout of Jets

  • Melbourne City 4-0 Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park
  • First-half Cahill header puts City on path to home final

Tim Cahill delighted both his club and country bosses on Saturday night, sending Melbourne City on their way to a 4-0 A-League rout of Newcastle Jets. The Socceroos veteran kept City in control of the race for third place on the ladder, and a home final, with a trademark first-half header against the Jets.

Nick Fitzgerald, who replaced him as a second-half substitute, doubled their lead with a delightful chip before Bruno Fornaroli’s late double. But Cahill stole the show on the way from AAMI Park to two World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight. The 37-year-old hung in the air on the back of young defender John Koutroumbis, powerfully heading past goalkeeper Jack Duncan.

Related: Pep Guardiola’s zonal theory will take time for Manchester City to learn | Jonathan Wilson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/18/a-league-tim-cahill-sparks-melbourne-city-rout-of-jets

Mar 15

Wanderers gain confidence after rescuing ACL campaign in Korea

FC Seoul 2-3 Western Sydney WanderersAdelaide United 3-3 Jeju UnitedCoach Tony Popovic senses FC Seoul will again be there for the taking when revived Western Sydney resume their Asian Champions League campaign in four weeks.The Wanderers rescued their…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/16/wanderers-gain-confidence-after-rescuing-acl-campaign-in-korea

Mar 14

John Aloisi puts on brave face after Brisbane fall to second ACL defeat

  • Brisbane Roar beaten 3-0 by Kashima Antlers in Japan
  • A-League side prop up Group E with one point and minus-9 goal difference

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi is refusing to believe his side’s AFC Champions League hopes are gone, clinging to hope they can win their remaining three games and qualify for the knockout phase.

Aloisi put on a brave face after his side’s 3-0 defeat to Kashima Antlers in Japan on Tuesday night, which leaves them winless on bottom of Group E with a minus-9 goal difference.

Related: David Squires on … Australian clubs in the Asian Champions League

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/15/john-aloisi-puts-on-brave-face-after-brisbane-fall-to-second-acl-defeat

Mar 13

Sydney FC’s underwhelming crowds should be cause for alarm | Mike Ticher

The A-League premiers-elect may not have been helped by scheduling or some inclement weather, but the low average is remarkably at odds with their success

This A-League season has been one of unprecedented success for Sydney FC, with only one defeat so far and the Premiers’ Plate all but sewn up with four games to go.

They have scored pretty freely, defended meanly and won convincingly, often against their bitterest rivals, with the single exception of a 1-0 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers last month. New signings have performed brilliantly, injuries have been scarce and as a result the team has barely changed all season.

Related: Sydney close in on Premiers’ Plate with tight win over Mariners

Usually fans stay away from games when their team is struggling, not the polar opposite #SYDvCCM #aleague pic.twitter.com/WWVkPGq13j

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/13/sydney-fcs-underwhelming-crowds-should-be-cause-for-alarm

Mar 11

Victory tighten grip on second place with emphatic win over Glory

  • Melbourne Victory 4-1 Perth Glory
  • Result temporarily extends race for Premiers Plate

Melbourne Victory overwhelmed Perth Glory 4-1 in a high-quality encounter to cement their grip on second spot on the A-League ladder and temporarily extend the race for the Premiers Plate. Kevin Muscat’s men hadn’t beaten the Glory in their past eight A-League attempts but were thoroughly deserving winners at AAMI Park on Saturday night. The result means Sydney FC will have to wait another week at least before they are mathematically assured of top spot.

Related: Sydney close in on Premiers Plate with tight win over Mariners

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/11/victory-tighten-grip-on-second-place-with-emphatic-win-over-glory

Mar 10

Sydney close in on Premiers Plate with tight win over Mariners

Sydney FC can officially claim the A-League Premiers Plate within 24 hours, after an underwhelming 1-0 win over Central Coast put them on the brink of a first trophy in seven seasons. The Sky Blues struggled to find their ruthless streak at Allianz Stadium on Friday night but Filip Holosko’s seventh goal of the season was enough to extend their lead to 14 points, meaning Melbourne Victory must defeat Perth at AAMI Park on Saturday evening to keep the race alive for another week.

Related: Les Murray and Craig Foster launch southern Sydney A-League bid

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/10/sydney-mariners-league-plate

Mar 10

A-League: Sydney FC 1-0 Central Coast Mariners – as it happened

  • All the action from Sydney FC’s 1-0 win over the Mariners at Allianz Stadium
  • Holosko hits the winner in tight clash

11.00am GMT

It wasn’t exactly a classic performance but the ruthless Sydney machine rumbles on towards the minor premiership – potentially delivering a fatal blow to the Mariners’ finals hopes as it does. There were chances and a few nice tricks, but the only thing the Sky Blues lacked was a killer touch – although some of that can be attributed to the excellent Necevski, who answered (almost) everything thrown at him. The Mariners defence worked hard to restrict the hosts too, making them work for every opening while offering up only a handful of errors on a poor pitch in an unusually disciplined display. That said, the Sydney strikers were a little off colour as well. Not that Graham Arnold will be too worried. And despite what he says, you can bet he and the team will be celebrating if Victory drop points tomorrow.

As for the Mariners, no one really expected them to get something from this game, but they didn’t disgrace themselves either. It’s perhaps a measure of how far they’ve come since that early season 4-0 thrashing at this venue that they matched Sydney for long periods this time out – although Necevski had a large part in that. With Adelaide up next, they’ll still feel they’re not out of the running just yet, but another defeat in their last few games and it’ll be curtains on another campaign.

10.47am GMT

90+3 mins: I stand corrected. A corner at the death from the Mariners but – surprise, surprise – it’s cleared comfortably, this time from Matt Simon. It comes back into the box from a throw but, despite a few nerves, Sydney hoof it away and that’s all she wrote.

10.45am GMT

90+2 mins: It’s game over and both teams know it. The Mariners just haven’t been incisive enough to trouble the hosts. Pain fails to keep the ball in play from a through-ball down the left wing and that could be their last chance.

10.44am GMT

90 mins: Time running out for the Mariners. They’ve played well without seriously threatening the Sky Blues.

10.42am GMT

10.41am GMT

87 mins: Sydney finishing the game as the stronger side although the Mariners are still trying to attack when they get the ball. They’re finding it very difficult get any sort of penetration though. A deep free-kick into the Sydney box is scooped up comfortably by Vukovic.

10.39am GMT

86 mins: Another good flying save from Necevski, if a little showboaty (the free-kick was on target but lacked power). He pokes it away for a corner, which comes to nothing.

10.38am GMT

85 mins: Simon uses his muscle to create an opening – and then wins a free-kick about 20 metres out. Dead centre. It might be a little too close to the goal to get it up and under.

10.37am GMT

83 mins: Buijs delivers a free-kick into the box but a high header floats into Necevski’s grateful arms. Sydney look the more likely to score now the game’s opened up. The Mariners goalkeeper has had an impressive night though.

10.35am GMT

81 mins: Bobo races down the right and curls it towards the bottom corner – but Necevski is equal to it. A good stop although the Sydney man should have done better. That’s his last act. He comes off for Simon.

10.32am GMT

77 mins: Sydney FC turning the screw now, the intensity going up a notch as the Mariners look to get back into the game and Sydney look to kill it off. Ibini cracks one off the bar. It bounces just outside the line and away to safety. Necevski didn’t even see it.

10.29am GMT

75 mins: A very poor effort from Ibini is saved by Necevski. It was struck just at the right height for the keeper, not especially powerful either. Fair play to Necevski for choosing the right direction though. Why did Ibini take it? Very odd. The Mariners are still in this.

10.28am GMT

74 mins: Rose brings down Ibini in the box, poor defending from the Mariners from a fairly innocuous attack. A shame because Rose has played well. Ibini made the most of the contact but Rose had his arms wrapped around the Sydney forward. He can’t have any complaints.

10.26am GMT

72 mins: A Sydney corner highlights the differences between the two defences. It’s not the greatest, but it bounces through a swathe of players before the danger finally passes. Wilkinson (or someone in a Sky Blue shirt) would have put his foot through that if it had been at the other end, safety first.

10.24am GMT

Now you’re talking. A guaranteed booking at the very least.

10.22am GMT

69 mins: I’m not sure why the Mariners are even bothering with high balls into the box – the Sky Blues are dominating in the air. Another thumping defensive header clears the potential danger. Holsoko comes off for Mariners old boy Ibini.

10.20am GMT

67 mins: Montgomery with a chip into the box from a free-kick but it’s defended well by Sydney. Again. The game has certainly opened up though, hopefully we’ll see a few more chances in the last 20 minutes.

10.19am GMT

65 mins: Easy as it is for me to bemoan the lack of urgency and directness from both sides, the state of the pitch isn’t exactly helping the flow of the game. Too many bobbles for the players to feel confident in their passes and runs.

10.17am GMT

64 mins: Galloway with some nice twists and turns to keep the Mariners out of danger despite the attention of two Sky Blue shirts. The visitors swing forward and, for once, they have men in support. Risky but necessary.

10.15am GMT

62 mins: Here we go. Pacey Pain on for big Bingham. The Mariners going for it.

10.14am GMT

61 mins: Bobo with a strike but Rose defends well enough to make sure it’s not a clean connection and the ball bobbles out for a goal-kick.

10.13am GMT

60 mins: Well we’re on the hour mark and surely Okon will be thinking of making a change some time soon. For all their huff and puff they’ve barely tested Vukovic.

10.11am GMT

58 mins: Sydney on the attack now. They haven’t done much of that so far this half, although that will surely change as the game goes on. Free-kick to the Sky Blues as Zullo goes down under a harsh O’Donovan tackle. Too far out for a shot. It’s drilled into the box and bounces harmlessly off a press of yellow shirts.

10.08am GMT

56 mins: There’s been no real urgency in the game since that early surge from the champions-elect. The good news is that will have to change at some stage soon if the Mariners want to get back into this game. Sydney content just to mop up each attack and probe away when a mistake is made.

10.07am GMT

54 mins: The Mariners have certainly had their fair share of possession, and look quite comfortable playing it on the deck. Until they get in the final third – then they seem to run out of ideas. Story of their season.

10.04am GMT

52 mins: O’Donovan offside from a chip over the top. Vukovic got there first anyway. Come on boys, a bit more va va voom please.

10.03am GMT

50 mins: Sydney on the attack now, muscling past Mariners players without really opening up enough space to get a clear shot away. Necevski flaps a little at a cross but it’s harmless enough in the end.

10.02am GMT

47 mins: Another slow start, much like the first half. The Mariners with a few early touches but not in dangerous positions. They try to find a way through the Sydney defence but Sky Blue shirts close out each potential gap like the cliffs in the original version of Clash of the Titans.

9.59am GMT

Peeeeep! And we’re back, the Mariners getting us under way. They need to pick up where they left off – and then go up a gear. If they can.

9.44am GMT

And that’s it for the first 45 – not quite the mauling it threatened to be in the opening exchanges but Sydney will still be the happier of the two sides. Good finish from the Mariners though. More of the same and this might actually get juicy. See you in 15.

9.42am GMT

45+1 mins: The Mariners are finishing the half well, although every time Sydney get a sniff they look more dangerous. Not much injury time.

9.40am GMT

44 mins: O’Donovan fails to connect with (what would have been) a fierce header in the box. That could, perhaps should, have been an equaliser. He left Buijs standing.

9.39am GMT

41 mins: Little bit more excitement to finish the half, both sides looking to snatch one before the break without really creating a clear chance. Sydney still look more likely to score but the Mariners are willing to commit men forward for the first time this half.

9.37am GMT

39 mins: Buijs blocks a potentially dangerous cross to the near post from O’Donovon. Montogomery whips in the corner but it hits a wall of Sky Blue. Sydney race up the other end, with the Mariners defence bursting a vessel to keep up – and they just manage to keep the danger at bay. Just.

9.34am GMT

37 mins: Good response from the Mariners, with a spell of pressure around the Sydney box. It comes to nothing, a poor ball to Roux on the right flying out for a goal-kick.

9.32am GMT

35 mins: Ooo, almost 2-0. Bit of a scramble in the box and it falls to Grant – who can’t get it past a wall of yellow and blue bodies. It falls to Brosque who smashes it over.

9.30am GMT

9.29am GMT

31 mins: Not sure if it’s a good thing or not that the Sky Blues haven’t gone for the jugular. It’s not thrilling football at the minute but at least this is still a contest – if the hosts had forced the issue, it could be game over by now. Then again, the Mariners might have found a gap in a counter-attack and equalised. Coulda, woulda shoulda.

9.26am GMT

28 mins: Sydney don’t seem in any rush to add to their lead, passing it around in their own half. Can’t really blame them. It’s not exactly the gung-ho, attacking flair game the fans love but it’s effective and with this Mariners defence, you always sense they’ll get a few more clear chances without pushing too hard to look for them.

9.23am GMT

26 mins: Solid defending from Rose to cut out a throughball to Bobo. If that had gone past him it would have been Kenny Loggins for the Mariners (in the danger zone).

9.22am GMT

9.21am GMT

25 mins: Bingham fails to connect with a deep cross into the box from Appiah, to be fair he was under pressure from Grant. Have I been too quick to write-off the Mariners? They’re looking a little more competitive. Let’s hope they can make a game of this.

9.18am GMT

22 mins: It’s a poor ball in, overhit by Galloway, but the Mariners fight to win a corner out of it. A bit better from the visitors. The corner comes to nothing but the last few minutes have been their best so far.

9.18am GMT

21 mins: Only the most one-eyed Mariners fan would have backed the side before this game, but on the evidence of the opening exchanges I’d suggest even they would be revising their opinion. They’ve had a fair bit of possession but in non-dangerous areas. When Sydney go forward, they always look like they might score. The Mariners get a free-kick off Grant though. This is a chance to cause some chaos in the box.

9.15am GMT

18 mins: Well the gas has gone out of the game for a spell… probably not the worst thing in the world as far as the Mariners are concerned, it could have been over in half an hour if Sydney had kept the pressure up.

9.13am GMT

I’m slightly worried about the pending award of the league title (Premiers Plate not being part of me lexicon) to Sydney. Having spent the season having them lauded as, potentially, the greatest side in A League side of all time. They aren’t. The majority of the time they play an overly aggressive, visually moribund game of attrition. A little like the German side in Escape to Victory.
Phil Withall via email

The German side from Escape to Victory? You’ve made some valid/defensible points but egads that’s harsh.

9.09am GMT

13 mins: A great ball by Brillante sends Grant away on the right but the Mariners defend it well. They’ll need more of that if they’re going to get back into this.

9.07am GMT

11 mins: Another chance for Sydney but Necevski is equal to the shot. This is not looking good for the Mariners, Sydney have carved them open several times already.

9.06am GMT

10 mins: Ferreira gets a ball into the chest and goes down in agony. He should be able to shake that off though… and indeed he’s running around a minute later.

9.05am GMT

8 mins: It begins! Zullo with a fantastic cross into the box, curling it right into the path of Holosko, who fires home. Great ball, great run, great finish. No chance Necevski.

9.03am GMT

7 mins: Well that almost went against the script, O’Donovon setting up Appiah but he can’t get his shot past Vuck in the Sydney goal

9.02am GMT

5 mins: Sydney making most of the early running. No surprises there. The ball has barely been out of the Mariners half so far. Here come the visitors with a foray though, winning a free-kick and knocking it around the halfway mark. They’ve put their foot on the ball and are playing it around well. Should settle their nerves. For now at least.

8.59am GMT

3 mins: OOOooo! Buijs comes inside of Roux, and curls it just over the bar. Great pass by Grant to find him. Early warning sign for Central Coast.

8.57am GMT

Peeeeeep! And we’re off. This could be a long 90 minutes for the Mariners… or it could be the launchpad for fairytale turnaround that jumpstarts their finals campaign. Can’t see the latter happening though I must admit. Slow start so far. As you can tell by my rambling.

8.56am GMT

Kick-off looming. The Cove in good voice as the Sky Blues get ready in the centre circle.

8.54am GMT

Bit harsh, I’ve always found it quite endearing. And if they’re sacrificial lambs for Sydney tonight, would that make them the Laminators? Now that does sound daft.

8.51am GMT

Despite their position on the ladder, the Mariners haven’t been hammered too many times this season… but they won’t need reminding that their biggest loss came in this fixture back in October, just when the Sky Blues steamroller was hitting top gear. Necevski in particular won’t want to see that last goal again. So here it is.

8.46am GMT

Before this gets in danger of becoming too silly. Here are tonight’s line-ups. It looks ominous for that Mariners defence.

8.44am GMT

Bear with me on this, but tonight’s match feels a bit like the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, starring Graham Arnold as Indy, Kevin Muscat’s head as a giant rolling boulder and the Premiers Plate as that melted World Cup-looking thing on a weight-sensitive plinth, which will be triggered if Sydney get things wrong tonight. And you can bet old Arnie will be celebrating long into the night if they do win the Plate this weekend. Right Arnie?

Not a chance, no chance. That’s what other teams want. The other teams want us to celebrate and take our foot off the pedal and that’s not going to happen. It’s about driving this team to be better and better and we know we’ve still got a lot left in us. Graham Arnold

8.39am GMT

So here we are folks, the race is almost run, the chequered flag is in sight and Sydney FC are so close to snatching the Premiers Plate you can almost hear the drip, drip, drip of Graham Arnold salivating. The fat lady hasn’t sung just yet, but Adele is in town so someone chuck her one of those fake pregnancy suits and she can give it a go while we wait.

The equation for Sydney fans is simple enough. A win against the Mariners today and a slip by Victory tomorrow will be enough to seal the minor premiership – not that there’s any real doubt they’ll claim it at some stage anyway. With respect to Victory, even Barcelona couldn’t comeback from this one.

4.02am GMT

Richard will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s David Squires’ latest cartoon, buddy.

Related: David Squires on … the world game changers: a recruitment advert for new A-League clubs

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/mar/10/a-league-sydney-fc-v-central-coast-mariners-live

Mar 08

No guarantee Tim Cahill will make final squad for qualifiers, says Postecoglou

  • Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic earns Socceroos call-up
  • crucial World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and UAE coming up

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou says Tim Cahill and a trio of other regulars are not guaranteed to make his final 23-man squad for this month’s crucial World Cup qualifiers.

Cahill was a shock omission from November’s squad that drew 2-2 with Thailand due to an Achilles issue, and Postecoglou is concerned about the veteran striker’s lack of game time for Melbourne City.

Related: Graham Arnold the architect builds impressive Sydney FC machine | Jonathan Howcroft

Related: Socceroos slated to play Brazil in June friendly in Melbourne

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/08/danny-vukovic-sydney-fc-goalkeeper-earns-socceroos-call-up

Mar 05

Graham Arnold the architect builds impressive Sydney FC machine | Jonathan Howcroft

The Sky Blues coach deserves credit not only for his tactics but also his squad-assembling after his side effectively secured the A-League’s Premiers’ Plate

The best team in the A-League defeated the second-best on Friday night to, barring the most spectacular of late-season implosions, confirm the destination of the Premiers’ Plate. The premiers-elect have won the most games this season, scoring the most goals and conceding the fewest along the way. The latest win was the third time in 18 weeks Sydney FC have overcome Melbourne Victory.

Related: A-League: Bobo strike seals Sydney FC victory in Big Blue

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/06/graham-arnold-the-architect-builds-impressivel-sydney-fc-machine

Mar 05

Melbourne City hold on in frantic finish to keep Central Coast at bay

  • Central Coast Mariners 2-3 Melbourne City
  • Newcastle Jets 1-3 Brisbane Roar

Melbourne City climbed into third place after surviving a frenetic 3-2 A-League thriller against 10-man Central Coast, thanks to some luck and Paul Izzo’s goalkeeping implosion.

A Bruno Fornaroli brace, own-goals and goalkeeping howlers were the order of the day as Mariners captain Nick Montgomery and young City defender Ruon Tongyik both found the wrong net, before Izzo’s 62nd-minute red card and the subsequent penalty finished City’s job for them.

Related: Further frustration for Wanderers in stalemate with struggling Adelaide

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/05/melbourne-city-hold-on-in-frantic-finish-to-keep-central-coast-at-bay

Mar 04

Further frustration for Wanderers in stalemate with struggling Adelaide

  • Western Sydney Wanderers 0-0 Adelaide United
  • Wellington Phoenix 3-3 Perth Glory

It was a new night but the same old struggles for Western Sydney, whose A-League finals ambitions are no healthier after they were held to a goalless draw by lowly Adelaide. A highly contentious disallowed goal denied the Wanderers a win they so sorely craved after Tuesday night’s 5-1 Asian Champions League disembowelling by Shanghai SIPG, and leaves their top-six spot at risk of being snatched away by Newcastle.

Related: A-League: Bobo strike seals Sydney FC victory in Big Blue

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/04/a-league-football-phoenix-glory-wanderers

Mar 03

A-League: Bobo strike seals Sydney FC victory in Big Blue

  • Sydney FC 1-0 Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium
  • Sky Blues likely to claim Premiers’ Plate after Bobo’s 60th minute winner

Sydney FC have effectively won their first piece of silverware in seven A-league seasons, dismantling Melbourne Victory 1-0 to all but claim the Premiers’ plate. Bobo buried his 11th goal of the campaign to seal Friday’s defining Big Blue, lifting the Sky Blues 11 points clear of second-placed Victory and rendering a comeback for Kevin Muscat’s men nigh on impossible.

Graham Arnold’s tearaway leaders need just four more points from the five remaining rounds to lift the trophy. It was the Brazilian striker’s name on the scoreboard 50 minutes in, but the goal really belonged to his whole team and was orchestrated by playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

Related: Sydney FC to unveil sea of rainbow flags in support of LGBTIQ community

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/03/a-league-bobo-strike-seals-sydney-fc-victory-in-big-blue

Mar 03

Sydney FC to unveil sea of rainbow flags in support of LGBTIQ community

  • Club to unveil large rainbow flag at ‘Big Blue’ in support of Mardi Gras
  • ‘We are committed to welcoming everyone into the Sky Blue family’

Last year they wore rainbow laces and this year Sydney FC will step up their Mardi Gras support by walking onto the pitch behind a sea of rainbow flags. The Sky Blues will be the first club in A-League history to promote LGBTIQ inclusion at a professional game when they take on Melbourne Victory in Friday’s Big Blue, a day before the Sydney gay and lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

They’ll be led onto the field by players from Sydney Rangers FC, Australia’s first football club for gay men, and The Flying Bats Women’s FC, the world’s largest lesbian football club, carrying a large rainbow flag and waving eight smaller flags.

Related: Barcelona open-mouthed, not broken-hearted, at Luis Enrique’s imminent exit

Related: Away Days: Matt Cleary at the gay Rugby World Cup

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/03/sydney-fc-to-unveil-sea-of-rainbow-flags-in-support-of-lgbtiq-community

Feb 28

Review of scheduling called for after dismal night for Australian clubs in ACL

  • Scheduling ‘doesn’t help’, says Brisbane coach John Aloisi after 6-0 loss
  • Western Sydney also fall to heavy defeat, 5-1 against Shanghai SIPG

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi believes Football Federation Australia will be forced to re-examine A-League scheduling because they have made it “virtually impossible” for teams to compete in the AFC Champions League.

The Roar were smashed 6-0 by Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea on Tuesday night, continuing the utter humiliation of Australian sides at this year’s tournament.

Related: Phoenix lead late-season scramble as finals race remains wide open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/01/review-of-scheduling-called-for-after-dismal-night-for-australian-clubs-in-acl

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