Sydney FC claim third trophy of 2017 with 2-1 win over Adelaide UnitedExtra-time scuffle on sideline sees United’s Michael Marrone sent off There was extra-time and a late all-in brawl, but Sydney FC beat Adelaide United in the FFA Cup final 2-1 to cli…
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- Bruce Kamau brace settles first game of new campaign
- City get their season off to decent start at AAMI Park
It might not have been the exciting season opener wanted by A-League executives, but Melbourne City fans won’t be complaining after commencing their campaign with a comfortable two goal victory over Brisbane Roar on Friday. An edge-of-the-box strike from Bruce Kamau on the stroke of half-time gave City the initial advantage, before the silky winger doubled his tally late in the second stanza.
Kamau was frustratingly inconsistent throughout the night, combining the two goals and several other chances with poor first touches and dead-end runs. But he was ultimately the difference, combining well with emergency loan signing Ross McCormack and midfielder Nick Fitzgerald to regularly trouble Brisbane. City’s Dutch signing Bart Schenkeveld was calm and collected in defence, ensuring a few half-chances from the Roar were just that.
90 + 4 min: Peep! Jarred Gillett brings proceedings to a close. Not the most glamorous opener to A-League season XIII, an ultimately comfortable win for home side Melbourne City. Bruce Kamau with his first career brace.
90 +2 min: The result is very much sorted, but don’t tell City’s Bruce Kamau, who is everywhere trying to complete his hat-trick.
89 min: Brisbane make one last throw of the dice … with a defensive substitution, Luke De Vere on for Avraam Papadopoulos.
Unless there is a dramatic turn-around in the final minutes, Melbourne City fans will be going home happy tonight.
83 min: Brisbane boss John Aloisi rolls the dice, bringing on youngster Rahmat Akbari for Nicholas D’Agostino. The Afghan-born attacker is immediately in the action, forcing the first save of the night for City keeper Eugene Galekovic.
82 min: Bruce Kamau with another nice run towards the Brisbane box, but the double goalscorer is brought down. Melbourne City make two substitutes: marquee Marcin Budzinski on for Ross McCormack; Nick Fitzgerald for Scott Jamieson.
More insight from the twittering class.
One of the strangest individual games by Bruce Kamau, turns it over, can’t stand up, loses the ball, scores twice #MCYvBRI
Maccarone is cooked #MCYvBRI
Seagulls look fresh after the long offseason. Terrific work rate. #MCYvBRI
73 min: Goal! Bruce Kamau gets a brace. Nick Fitzgerald with a slicing pass from the left finds Kamau in the box, and even a deflection can’t prevent the 22-year-old from finding his second of the night. All over for Brisbane Roar?
72 min: Bruce Kamau lobs in a ball to Ross McCormack, who plays it to Stefan Mauk to blaze over.
71 min: Bruce Kamau wins a corner for Melbourne. City fans – thoughts on your Kenyan-born winger? He has been single-handedly the most frustrating and most exciting player tonight. As is often the way, I guess.
69 min: Another opportunity for Brisbane, before City counter quickly through Bruce Kamau. Closed down by the Roar at the top of their box, but Melbourne regather. Dangerous stuff.
67 min: Brisbane’s Petros Skapetis takes the ball on the right-hand side, dances down the flank and along the byline, before hitting it straight at Melbourne custodian Eugene Galekovic.
The seagulls are everywhere tonight. Perhaps one of the Melbourne teams should hire a bird trainer and put them to use as a collective 12th man. Innovative.
The seagulls are playing well….. #MCYvBRI
65 min: City’s Nick Fitzgerald puts in a floating ball for Ross McCormack at the back post, but the Aston Villa loanee can’t control.
‘Maccarone saving his legs.’ It’s R1!!! #MCYvBRI
62 min: Brisbane marquee Massimo Maccarone dances through the Melbourne defensive line but ultimately comes unstuck. Maccarone has had a few dangerous moments, but generally been too anonymous for the Roar tonight.
59 min: Petros Skapetis with an incisive run down the right-hand flank for Brisbane, but his cross can’t find an orange-shirted colleague.
Brisbane gaffer John Aloisi, he of that famous 2005 penalty strike against Uruguay, has been touted as a possible replacement to current Socceroos manager Ange Postecoglou. Will Aloisi still be with the Roar come April?
55 min: Some nice build-up play from Melbourne City, with Bruce Kamau again involved. Nothing comes of it, but the pressure is increasing on Brisbane.
52 min: Brisbane are struggling to find the attacking chances they need to have any hope of drawing level with the home team. I wonder whether the Roar’s Afghanistan-born wonderkid, Rahmat Akbari, might be substituted on to add some flair.
47 min: Fahid Ben Khalfallah collects the match’s third yellow for a nasty tackle on Osama Malik.
46 min: Referee Jarred Gillett resumes play. Can Brisbane get back in the game? Asked this very question, Fox Sports commentator Robbie Slater offers an inspired answer: “With a goal”.
Some statistics courtesy of the A-League. Second half about to get underway.
City’s Bruce Kamau unleashes his goal-scoring strike.
Highlights from Sokkah Twitter.
Ross McCormack really isn’t as exciting a signing as some unknown South American #MCYvBRI
While you’re waiting for the second half, here’s some thought-provoking analysis from Ante Jukic of the Socceroos’ draw with Syria last night. And do write in to let me know your views on the first 45 minutes of the A-League season, via email or Twitter.
Well, a goal right on the edge of the half to Bruce Kamau has livened up the A-League season opener. Otherwise it has been a reasonably balanced affair, neither side controlling the game. Melbourne City has had 66% of the possession, but it had not showed until Kamau’s late strike.
44 min: And Bruce Kamau immediately redeems himself! The resulting corner is headed back to a waiting Kamau, who slots in a slick shot from the edge of the box. Melbourne City with the first goal of the 13th A-League season.
44 min: Bruce Kamau found himself alone in the Melbourne City box, with the offside flag down, but can’t make anything of it. A wasted opportunity there.
43 min: Nasty collision between Nicholas D’Agostino and Luke Brattan causes a stoppage. D’Agostino comes off second best.
41 min: More great defending from Jade North puts out a dangerous Melbourne City cross for the corner. Also, I keep almost typing Manchester City…
39 min: Manny Muscat finds Ross McCormack in the box, who miscontrols and fires wide. That could have been the opener for City…
37 min: Bruce Kamau creates a nice opportunity on the right-hand side for Melbourne City. The ball is then switched to the left before bobbling to Brisbane custodian Michael Theo. A very mixed night so far for Kamau – flashes of brilliance and flashes of ordinariness.
City’s last-minute loan signing Ross McCormack of Aston Villa has had some nice touches tonight, but failed to threaten Michael Theo in the Brisbane goal.
33 min: Petros Skapetis causing more grief for Melbourne City on the right-hand side of their box. Nothing coming of it, yet…
Some of the Twitterati are not inspired with the A-League’s choice of season opener.
So if its a draw at full time, we award the 3 points to whomever had the most possession right? #MCYvBRI
Cam Melling has been in touch via Twitter. He wants to know whether Brisbane fans are happy with Massimo Maccarone as their marquee. “Surely too old now,” he offers. Thoughts, Roar supporters?
29 min: Petros Skapetis fizzes a ball across the goal mouth, but Nicholas D’Agostino cannot convert for Brisbane.
24 min: 22-year-old Bruce Kamau has been active for Melbourne City, but his first-touch is looking shaky. I’m told Kamau wants to be a rapper. Who would win a rap battle among the A-League clubs?
Ron Smith, a respected coach and technical analyst, doesn’t think much of the Brisbane strip.
That has to be the worst strip Brisbane Roar have ever had to wear. #MCYvBRI
21 min: City’s Manny Muscat collects the first yellow card of the A-League season with a reducer on Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
Brisbane’s bald-headed marquee Massimo Maccarone has had some nice early touches during his A-League debut.
18 min: Luke Brattan plays a nice slicing pass to Stefan Mauk on the right-hand flank, but Brisbane’s Jade North cuts it out. Moments later some nice build-up play unleashes Nicholas D’Agostino for the Roar, who comes close to an opening goal.
No prizes for guessing who Tim Cahill is cheering for, as he watches the game with his Socceroos team mates in Sydney.
Let’s go CITY ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/oGb2xQt54t
14 min: Luke Brattan has been involved in plenty of the early action for Melbourne City. He’s also had a haircut.
12 min: Bruce Kamau goes on a marauding run through the Brisbane Road midfield, although it comes to nothing. Moments later Iacopo La Rocca lays off for Stefan Mauk on the edge of the box, but Mauk blazes wide.
9 min: Nothing too exciting to report – the ball gets bogged down on one flank and we have about five consecutive throw-ins. Meanwhile, AAMI Park’s seagulls are enjoying themselves in the City half.
5 min: End-to-end football so far, with Brisbane and City both creating some nice attacking movement. The Roar’s bright orange new playing strip is causing controversy on Twitter. Thoughts, fashion critics?
2 min: Brisbane’s new signing Maccarone already in the thick of the action, holding the ball up near the City box before picking out team-mate Caletti who shoots just wide.
1 min: Peeep! Referee Jarred Gillett commences proceedings at AAMI Park. Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar – the 13th A-League season is underway!
Can someone take the memes away from the A-League? Okay, I’ll admit I am a little excited too.
What are your predictions tonight? I’m reliably informed that there has NEVER been a goalless encounter between these two teams, so a 0-0 tip would be brave. Let me know your thoughts via email or Twitter.
It will be interesting to see how many Melburnians turn out for the A-League season opener, after a sport-packed past month. Journalist Vince Rugari is in the stands:
While we’re waiting for kick-off (7.50pm AEDT), have a read of the best A-League pre-season analysis in town: Jonathan Howcroft’s three part preview. The contenders, the outside chances and the underdogs are all put under scrutiny by Jonathan. Recommended reading!
Team news is in – McCormack up front for Melbourne City and Brisbane’s marquee Maccarone also starting.
Lucky 13? The latest season of the A-League begins tonight with Australian football on the brink of crisis. The enigmatic Socceroos are in very real danger of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while the brawl between Football Federation Australia and other stakeholders (A-League clubs among them) shows no sign of detente. Amid the gloom, will the domestic league emerge as a ray of hope?
Player recruitment has been sensible, if not splashy, and administrators have revamped the competition’s marketing. The likes of Xavi Torres (Perth Glory) or Tom Hiariej (Central Coast Mariners) might not improve gate receipts, but they do bring European quality to the pitch. With little to separate the top six or seven sides, fans could be in for a riveting season. As the off-field drama inevitably continues, perhaps some actual football could do everyone a world of good.
Kieran will be here shortly. In the meantime, have a read of Jonathan Howcroft’s season preview.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/oct/06/melbourne-city-v-brisbane-roar-a-league-season-opener-live
Despite war between clubs and FFA and a summer full of big sporting events, A-League fans have much to look forward to
If the turmoil wasn’t so familiar it would be tempting to regard the 13th instalment of the A-League as cursed. On the eve of the new season clubs are at war with the governing body (again), the Socceroos are shredding nerves in a World Cup playoff (again), and the once clearish air of midsummer will be tested like never before with an Ashes series, an ascendant Big Bash League and the nascent AFLW competing for attention. Fortunately, the on-field product promises to be robust following one of the smartest off-seasons of player recruitment yet.
The season kicks off tonight with Melbourne City hosting Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park. City will be without Tim Cahill, who 12-months ago was almost single-handedly responsible for any hype around the competition. This time around he will be recovering from the first leg of Australia’s AFC playoff against Syria in Melaka and preparing for the vital second leg in Sydney on Tuesday.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/06/a-league-off-season-recruitment-augers-well-for-new-season
It’s the third and final instalment of our A-League season preview – AKA the if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it edition. There’s no prizes for guessing which teams we reckon should be challenging for the championship and premiership during the 2017-18 campaign, with another Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory ding-dong on the horizon.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/05/a-league-2017-18-season-preview-part-three-the-title-contenders
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/04/a-league-2017-18-season-preview-part-two-the-outside-chances
Our team-by-team guide to the new season kicks off with the four sides least likely to make the finals this year
Wellington, Central Coast, Adelaide and Newcastle – if you support any of these teams you probably think what follows is a stitch-up or further evidence of some kind of bias. And the truth is, they could all equally go on to make the top four; this is Australian football we’re talking about after all, a universe about as reliable as a Trump administration spokesperson.
Yet there also happens to be some logic behind the decision to include them. This quartet occupied the bottom four spots on last year’s ladder, three of them have been hanging around there for the past two seasons, a pair of them for the last three years, and in the case of the Jets, seven seasons on the trot. So, while each can look forward to improved efforts, they still have plenty of ground to make up on sides above them.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/03/a-league-2017-18-preview-part-one-the-teams-bubbling-under
- Coach leaves to join Turkish Süper Lig club Karabukspor
- ‘The timing is not great,’ Popovic says
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has quit the A-League club just a week out from the start of the new season.
After five seasons at the Wanderers, Popovic confirmed his resignation on Sunday and will join Turkish club Karabukspor.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/oct/01/tony-popovic-quits-western-sydney-wanderers-on-eve-of-a-league-season
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