Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 November 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER 2015 25 SPORT Finkler precision skewers the Mariners Win gives Victory top position GEORGE STOGIANNOU Despite the absence of its most prolific goalscorer Besart Berisha due to general soreness, Melbourne Victory scored the goals needed to defeat Central Coast Mariners 2-1 at AAMI Park on Thursday evening. Brazilian ace Gui Finkler stepped into the breach, scoring twice within three minutes in the first half to give his team a comfortable lead and eventually the three points which took it back to the top of the table for the first time this season. The Mariners began brightly before Oliver Bozanic fired a warning shot across the bow of the Mariners in the eighth minute. Seven minutes later he and Finkler combined on the edge of the box to slice open the Mariners' defence and create a world-class goal. Finkler took possession and played a forward pass through the legs of a Mariner opponent to Bozanic, whose clever back heel through the legs of another Mariner opened up the Central Coast's defence for Finkler to collect the return and slot the ball past exposed keeper Paul Izzo. Three minutes later Finkler doubled the lead from a direct free kick. The Mariner's wall left Izzo exposed at his near post and Finkler's perfect strike from 25 metres gave the keeper little chance. Victory continued to create the better chances in the first half, with Berisha's replacement George Howard skying a difficult half chance from a Barbarouses cross. The Mariners looked hesitant in their final third, playing with just lone striker Roy O'Donovan, who tried to pressure the Victory defence but only managed to receive a booking for a late challenge on Leigh Broxham. The technically talented midfielder Caceras was the Mariner's most impressive player but even he couldn't provide the final pass to open up a solid Victory defence. Finkler celebrates one of his goals, Brazilian style. The Mariners again started the second half on the front foot, with skipper Nick Montgomery forcing a good save by Victory keeper Vukovic. Although Victory wasn’t as dominant in possession in the second half, it continued to create the better chances against a Mariner's team forced to chase the game. For all its effort, too often the final pass went astray. It managed to score a belated consolation in the 90th minute when sub Matt Sim headed home from close range after a corner wasn't cleared. After the match, Victory coach Kevin Muscat commented: "It would have been a shame for us to go to Syd- ney, take the three points, and then not capitalise on the points here tonight. That was certainly spoken about. Two very different performances but clearly both performances worthy of the three points." Can Phoenix stop the Wanderers’ run? GEORGE STOGIANNOU The big news on the national football front this past week occurred off the park, with a change in leadership at the national level. FFA chairman Frank Lowy handed over the chairmanship to son Steven Lowy after 12 years at the top. Lowy's legacy includes the introduction and growth of the A-League, and Australia's entry into the Asian Federation, culminating in the Socceroos' highest-ever achievement on the international stage - winning the Asian Championship. On the park, the football continues with round seven of the A-League. Wanderers striker Frederico Piovaccari (L) and Phoenix playmaker Roly Bonevacia both scored last week. Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix, Saturday 21 November, 5.15 pm at Pirtek Satdium On paper there's little separating these two sides, with each having three wins and 10 points. WSW will be keen to build on the momentum of having won three on the trot in the league for the first time since November 2013. Not only are the results coming, but the Wanderers are delivering them in style, producing an attacking brand of football, in no small part due to the creativity of attacking midfielders Mitch Nicholls and Dario Vidosic. Their marquee striker Federico Piovaccari also broke his duck, scoring in last week's win over Melbourne City. The Phoenix can also boast attacking prowess with Roly Bonevacia, speedster Roy Krishna and Michael McGlinchey, who returns from international duty after missing last week's 4-2 home win over Adelaide United. The match promises to produce goals. Perth Glory v Sydney FC, Saturday 21 November, 7.30 pm at NIB Stadium Second from the bottom Perth will have its hands full trying to stop a second-placed Sydney outfit still smarting from its first defeat of the season last week against rival Melbourne Victory. Despite the loss to Victory, Sydney travels interstate for the first time this season with plenty of confidence in its record breaking away form - 17 regular away matches undefeated, with the last 10 of them wins. The Glory, on the other hand, languish near the foot of the table with four defeats from five games, their only win coming against bottom side Adelaide. Ken Lowe's team welcomes back Chris Harold and Mitch Oxborrow from injury, and full back Josh Risdon from Socceroo duty. However it will be without injured defender Dino Djulbic and attacking midfielder Gyorgy Sandor. Sydney will be strengthened by the return from international duty of Christopher Naumoff and Andrew Hoole, while Jacques Fatty is out of the squad for personal reasons. Adelaide United V Newcastle Jets, Sunday 22 Nov, 5.00 pm at Coopers Stadium The last time these sides met was in January this year when the Reds sent the Jets crashing 7-0, triggering a player revolt. A lot has happened since that day, with both teams under new coaches and the Jets undergoing a huge turnover in playing personnel. Only David Carney and Ben Kantarovski remain from the Jets' line-up of that ignominious day. Scott Miller's new look Jets have made a solid start to the season, notching up three wins in the opening six rounds to equal last season's tally of wins. Host Adelaide, on the other hand, has made its worst start to an A-League season and is the only team remaining winless. Under pressure rookie coach Guillermo Amor welcomes back skipper Eugene Galekovic for his first match of the season, in a move he hopes will stem the flow of goals conceded. The Reds have conceded 14 in their last four matches, including four last week against the Phoenix.
28 November 2015