Apr 29

Sydney FC advance to A-League grand final after VAR controversy

  • Sydney FC beat Perth Glory 3-0 at Allianz Stadium
  • The VAR controversially overturned two disallowed Sydney goals

Sydney FC advanced to the A-League grand final after downing Perth 3-0 in a drama-filled semi at Allianz Stadium. The Sky Blues’ record-breaking season was on the line in front of 21,938 on Saturday night, and they didn’t disappoint against a confident Glory side that couldn’t quite match the class of the premiers.

The video assistant referee (VAR) played a prominent role, overturning two disallowed goals to help Sydney to a 3-0 lead at halftime, a scoreline that proved more than enough to set up a May 7 season-decider against either Melbourne Victory or Brisbane Roar.

Related: David Squires on … the first week of A-League finals

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/29/a-league-sydney-fc-perth-glory-semi-final

Apr 27

Wanderers can ‘take a lot out of’ latest Asian Champions League hammering

  • Western Sydney Wanderers fall to 6-1 defeat at Urawa Red Diamonds
  • ‘Now we know where we stand,’ says defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis

Twenty goals conceded from five games is pretty ugly viewing from any angle but defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis says it has only made Western Sydney more determined to scrape pride from their final Asian Champions League outing against star-studded Shanghai SIPG.

That is all the Wanderers will be playing for in Campbelltown next month, after Wednesday night’s 6-1 hammering by J-League leaders Urawa Red Diamonds mathematically ruled them out of an unlikely knockout-stage berth.

Related: FFA to close centre of excellence to provide more youth opportunities

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/27/wanderers-can-take-a-lot-out-of-latest-asian-champions-league-hammering

Apr 25

Liverpool’s internationals will all travel to Australia friendly, says Jürgen Klopp

• Club face Sydney FC three days after end of Premier League season
• Gerrard, Carragher, Agger and McManaman will also play

Jürgen Klopp has said he expects Liverpool’s England contingent will be involved in friendly in Australia three days after the end of their Premier League season and less than a month before the national team face Scotland in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden Park.

Liverpool will play Sydney FC in a lucrative match at the ANZ Stadium on 24 May after closing their domestic campaign at home to Middlesbrough and have announced that Steve Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Steve McManaman will feature in the game.

Related: Manchester United show ‘concrete interest’ in £85m Antoine Griezmann

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/25/liverpool-australia-jurgen-klopp-sydney-fc-lucrative-friendly

Apr 23

Melbourne City’s desperately timid ending is a microcosm of their slump | Jonathan Howcroft

Six wins in 20 games tells its own story, but even those damning numbers hide constipated play and an uncertainty in tactics and selection

Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar progressed from contrasting elimination finals to move within one game of the A-League championship decider, but it was Melbourne City’s abject capitulation against the former that grew into the story of the weekend. Uncertain in possession, apathetic without the ball, the home side looked overawed by the occasion at AAMI Park. It was a desperately timid end to a campaign that could hardly have begun with greater fanfare.

Related: Perth Glory post rare away win to move within a game of A-League grand final

Related: Brisbane Roar knock Wanderers out of A-League finals on penalties

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/24/melbourne-citys-desperately-timid-ending-is-a-microcosm-of-their-slump

Apr 23

Perth Glory post rare away win to move within a game of A-League grand final

Perth Glory beat Melbourne City 2-0 at AAMI ParkGlory to play Sydney FC next Saturday for place in championship deciderDiego Castro embarrassed Melbourne City in their elimination final and sent Perth Glory into the final four of the A-League for the f…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/23/perth-glory-post-rare-away-win-to-move-within-a-game-of-a-league-grand-final

Apr 21

Brisbane Roar knock Wanderers out of A-League finals on penalties

  • Brisbane defeat Western Sydney 1-1 (6-5) in A-League elimination final
  • Roar will play Melbourne Victory for a spot in the A-League final

Brisbane Roar will battle Melbourne Victory for a spot in the A-League decider after beating Western Sydney on penalties in an epic elimination final on Friday night. The Roar won the penalty shootout 6-5 after scores had been locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes, with back-up goalkeeper Jamie Young making the winning save to deny Jumpei Kusukami’s sudden-death effort at Suncorp Stadium.

It was an easy save for Young, who was able to stay on his feet to pluck the spot-kick from the Japanese import to spark wild celebrations among the 17,530 fans in attendance. Young was only on the field because first-choice stopper Michael Theo was forced off with a knee injury after a heavy collision with Terry Antonis in the first half of extra time.

Related: David Squires on … the football season climax, A-League style

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/21/brisbane-roar-knock-wanderers-out-of-a-league-finals-on-penalties

Apr 19

David Squires on … the football season climax, A-League style

Our resident cartoonist takes a look at the A-League’s insistence on making its season-ending storyline the same as every other Australian football code

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/picture/2017/apr/20/david-squires-on-the-football-season-climax-a-league-style

Apr 19

Tim Cahill relishing underdog status: ‘I’ve been written off my whole life’

  • ‘I like it like this. We know what’s on the line,’ says Melbourne City star
  • City face Perth Glory in Sunday night’s A-League elimination final
  • John Aloisi blames salary cap for the departure of Thomas Broich

Tim Cahill has dared A-League opponents to write off Melbourne City for the title, but the odds are stacked against City, who face Perth on Sunday night in an elimination final for a place in the final four.

Cahill’s side has beaten top-six opposition just twice all season, the last being three months ago – a 1-0 win over Western Sydney. City also have losing form against the Glor, and the latest of two losses this season came last Sunday in a madcap 5-4 loss in Western Australia.

Related: Arturo Vidal rages at referee after Bayern Munich go out to Real Madrid

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/19/tim-cahill-relishing-underdog-status-ive-been-written-off-my-whole-life

Apr 16

A-League premiers plate proves Graham Arnold to be an oblique strategist | JP Howcroft

There is nothing much left to say about Sydney FC’s winningest A-League season, but Graham Arnold’s methods are worthy of unconventional appraisal

Congratulations Sydney FC. The runaway premiers enjoyed the first of what should be two presentation ceremonies this season on Saturday, hoisting the premiers plate aloft after a typically methodical dismantling of Newcastle Jets.

It’s good manners in moments like this to laud the best team in a competition, especially one a record margin ahead of its nearest challenger. But what more is there to say about the winningest team in an A-League season that hasn’t been said already? We’ve talked up the coach, drooled over the marquee No10, and marvelled at the collective ability to seize the moment. Anything else you care to factor into Sydney’s peerless achievement has been raised somewhere between October and now during the 27 unbroken weeks the Sky Blues have topped the ladder.

Related: A-League: 16 goals as Glory beat City and Brisbane pip Wellington

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/17/a-league-premiers-plate-proves-graham-arnold-to-be-an-oblique-strategist

Apr 16

A-League: 16 goals as Glory beat City and Brisbane pip Wellington

Brisbane Roar 4-3 Wellington Phoenix Perth Glory 5-4 Melbourne CityPerth Glory beat Melbourne City 5-4 to close the A-League regular season but it was not enough to earn a home final against the same opponent.Glory and City were destined to meet in an …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/16/a-league-brisbane-roar-wellington-phoenix-perth-glory-melbourne-city

Apr 16

Newcastle Jets parts ways with Mark Jones after club fails to avoid wooden spoon

Announcement made after 2-0 defeat to Sydney FCAssistant coach Clayton Zane to oversee training in the coming weeks Mark Jones has parted ways with the battling A-League club the Newcastle Jets.The club announced on Sunday that Jones, who was appointed…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/16/newcastle-jets-parts-ways-with-mark-jones-after-club-fails-to-avoid-wooden-spoon

Apr 15

Sydney FC break A-League points record to win Premier’s Plate

  • Sydney FC beat Newcastle 2-0 at Allianz Stadium
  • Adelaide FC and Western Sydney Wanderers drew 2-2 at Coopers Stadium

A-League premiers Sydney FC amassed the greatest points tally in the competition’s history after a final-round 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday. But it has come at a cost to the Sky Blues, after goal scorer and standout Milos Ninkovic limped off the Allianz Stadium pitch after a sliding tackle by Ben Kantarovski.

Ninkovic’s 56th-minute goal and skipper Alex Brosque’s 87th-minute effort took Sydney to 66 points from 27 games, one point more than the previous mark of 65 set by Ange Postecoglou’s brilliant 2010-11 Brisbane side over a 30-game season.

Related: David Squires on … the introduction of video assistant referees

Related: World first as video assistant referee called into action in Wellington and Sydney FC stalemate

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/15/a-league-round-27-saturday-match-reports

Apr 14

Berisha reaches goal-scoring century in Victory A-League win

  • Melbourne Victory 1-0 Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park
  • Besart Berisha scores his 100th A-League goal to break Victory drought

Besart Berisha has snapped Melbourne Victory’s six-hour goal drought with his landmark 100th A-League strike ending Central Coast’s season with a 1-0 loss. The Kosovo international ended a procession of near misses for Kevin Muscat’s side, stroking home Jai Ingham’s cutback in the 80th minute at AAMI Park after swinging and missing at James Troisi’s cross seconds earlier.

The three points earned are of little use to Victory, who had already locked up second spot – and a home semi-finalin week two of the finals. But the momentum that Berisha’s Good Friday goal brought could be crucial, given the alternative was entering the finals on a four-game winless and goalless streak.

Related: Premier League relegation fight: where clubs’ hopes lie and the impact if they fall

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/14/berisha-reaches-goal-scoring-century-in-victory-a-league-win

Apr 12

Adelaide United stay grounded despite ACL red-letter night in South Korea

  • Adelaide United beat Jeju United 3-1 in South Korea
  • FC Seoul beat Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2 at Campbelltown

Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor has refused to get carried away after the Reds’ stunning 3-1 Asian Champions League win over Jeju United. Tuesday night’s victory in South Korea, coupled with Gamba Osaka’s 3-0 loss to undefeated Group H leader Jiangsu Suning, saw the Reds climb off the bottom of the table and move into second place with four points.

Related: Liverpool to visit Australia again with Sydney FC friendly confirmed for May

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/12/adelaide-united-stay-grounded-despite-acl-red-letter-night-in-south-korea

Apr 10

Liverpool to visit Australia again with Sydney FC friendly confirmed for May

  • Premier League club will play in Sydney for the first time
  • Capacity 80,000 crowd expected at ANZ Stadium

An exhibition match between A-League Premiers’ Plate winners Sydney FC and Premier League heavyweights Liverpool has been locked in for 24 May at ANZ Stadium.

The NSW Government on Monday confirmed last week’s reports Jürgen Klopp will bring Liverpool’s first team squad to Sydney for the first time.

Related: Video assistant referees: A-League experiment serves up food for thought | Jonathan Howcroft

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/10/liverpool-to-visit-australia-again-with-sydney-fc-friendly-confirmed-for-may

Apr 09

Jets on brink of collecting A-League wooden spoon after derby defeat to Mariners

Central Coast Mariners beat Newcastle Jets 2-0 in GosfordNick Montgomery screamer and Fabio Ferreira effort settles F3 derbyCentral Coast took the upper hand in the fight to avoid the wooden spoon, dismantling Newcastle 2-0 to consign the sorry Jets to…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/09/jets-on-brink-of-collecting-a-league-wooden-spoon-after-derby-defeat-to-mariners

Apr 08

Video assistant referee awards controversial penalty in A-League game – video

The new video assistant referee is used for the first time in a competitive football match during the A-League meeting between Wellington and Sydney FC on Saturday. With 20 minutes remaining, Sydney FC players surround referee Shaun Evans arguing that …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/apr/08/video-assistant-referee-awards-controversial-penalty-in-a-league-game-video

Apr 08

World first as video assistant referee called into action in Wellington and Sydney FC stalemate

  • Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC draw 1-1 at Westpac Stadium
  • First time VAR used decisively in a competitive match
  • Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory draw 0-0 at ANZ Stadium

The video assistant referee was called into action for the first time in a domestic football competition during a 1-1 draw between Wellington and A-League leaders Sydney FC on Saturday.

Wellington snatched a share of the spoils late on through Michael McGlinchey’s injury-time header, cancelling out a 70th-minute Bôbo penalty awarded in ground-breaking fashion.

Related: Tim Cahill magic earns Melbourne City A-League win over Adelaide

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/08/aleague-round-26-match-reports

Apr 07

Tim Cahill magic earns Melbourne City A-League win over Adelaide

  • Melbourne City 1-0 Adelaide United at AAMI Park
  • Tim Cahill heads home stunning winner to push side close to home final

Melbourne City are within touching distance of a home A-League final after Tim Cahill’s stunning header earned them a well-deserved 1-0 win over Adelaide United. Yet again, Cahill produced the goods for City, elevating his side above above the Reds in a fiery contest on Friday night.

The veteran Socceroo arched his back perfectly to flick Nicolas Colazo’s corner over the Reds defence and inside the back post on 36 minutes. It was a goal that very few could have scored or would have even attempted, putting City in the box seat to return to AAMI Park in a fortnight’s time for just their second home final in their history.

Related: Football transfer rumours: Koscielny, Giroud and Sissoko to Marseille?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/07/tim-cahill-magic-earns-melbourne-city-a-league-win-over-adelaide

Apr 06

Roy Hodgson brought to A-League by Melbourne City in advisory role

Former England manager to spend month with City coaches and leadersFriendship with City executive Brian Marwood paves way for moveFormer England national team coach Roy Hodgson has been seconded to Australia in an advisory role to assist A-League club …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/06/roy-hodgson-brought-to-a-league-by-melbourne-city-in-advisory-role

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