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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 October 2016
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER 2016 SPORT GEORGE STOGIANNOU Tim Cahill's memorable goal in his A-League debut against Victory last Saturday night had the kids who witnessed it practising their long-range strikes on goal during the week, and the FFA hierarchy putting in orders for "more of the same, please Timmy", as it attempts to negotiate a more lucrative broadcast rights deal. Both Sydney FC and Melbourne City FC have staked early claims for title favouritism, although they may get to battle it out a lot earlier for the first piece of silverware available this season, the FFA Cup, if City can repeat its derby success against Victory when Victory hosts Melbourne City in the second FFA Cup semi at AAMI Park this coming Tuesday. But before that meeting, Round three of the A-League takes place this weekend, kicking off last night, with second-placed Melbourne City hosting Perth Glory. Today's matches begin in Gosford. Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar FC, Sat 22 Oct, 5.35 pm, Central Coast Stadium Both these teams are looking for a first win of the season and looking to bounce back from heavy 4-0 defeats last week. The Mariners under Paul Okon has the highest average possession percentage of any side in the A-League but has suffered from early defensive lapses, conceding a number of first half goals. Okon will be hoping for a tighter start against the Roar. Roar's away loss to the Jets last Wounded Victory looks for atonement in city of churches Tim Cahill of City FC celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 2 A-League match between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/JOE CASTRO. week raised a few more eyebrows than did the Mariner's loss to Sydney. Coach Aloisi said that for all his team's possession against the Jets, they just didn't look threatening which is puzzling given he has players of the calibre of Broich, Holman, MacLaren and Oar at his disposal. Aloisi has had to fill the void in the middle of the park caused by Corona's departure and Matt Mackay's suspension. The latter's return this week should boost the Roar’s chances against the Mariners. Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory, Sat 22 October, 7.50 pm, Coopers Stadium The reigning A-League champions host one of the pre-season favourites, and with both still looking for a first win in the current campaign, expect a keenly fought battle. Last week Tony Popovic's Wanderers showed resilience to bounce back from a heavy derby defeat to record its first win of the season at this venue and Victory will be hoping to do the same. Victory last week, looked shell-shocked, outmuscled and outplayed by its Melbourne rival. A "big knock to the jaw" was how coach Muscat described the experience, saying he was disappointed that his team didn't show a reaction to the initial setback. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 Mahazi comes back into the squad, although the team is still without the injured Troisi, and a problem of who to play in the playmaker role. Victory's new loan- signing, attacking German midfielder Maximillian Beister, won't be available for the match against the Reds. The hosts also have injury concerns, with pacy forward Sergio Cirio sidelined with a knee injury for some time after sustaining a bruising late tackle in last week's controversial loss to Western Sydney Wanderers when a couple of Wanderers tackles appeared late and dangerous. Cirio joins Marcelo Carrusca out on the sidelines. Wellington Phoenix vV Sydney FC, Sunday 23 Oct, 5.00 pm Westpac Stadium Bottom of the table, Phoenix hosts top side Sydney FC in this Sunday afternoon clash across the Tasman. It's also a meeting of the only side yet to find the back of the net and the most prolific scoring team this season. Phoenix boss Ernie Merrick lamented his team's lack of clinical finishing in the 2-0 loss to Perth last week, after both sides had the same number of shots on goal. Phoenix conceded both goals in the second half and may have suffered from player fatigue, having to come back from international duty. They should be sharper this Sunday, and they'll have to be to blunt the goal-scoring edge provided by Bobo, Holosko and Brosque, who are finding the net regularly for the Sky Blues this season. Phoenix centre backs Durante and Marco Rossi will have to be at the top of their game to contain the Sydney threat boosted by the return from injury of winger Berni Ibini, who scored off the bench in Sydney's midweek semi-final Cup triumph. Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets, Sun 23 October, 7.00 pm, Spotless Stadium Last week Tony Popovic's Wanderers showed resilience to bounce back from a heavy defeat in the season opener against arch-rival Sydney FC. Super sub Brendon Santalab scored twice to give the Wanderers a come from behind 2-1 win over Adelaide United. Both his goals came as a result of Mitch Austin assists. At home this week against the Jets, the Wanderers can expect to come up against a Jets side buoyed by its first win under new coach Mark Jones. Jones' team has got results in the first two matches by working hard to get players behind the ball when the opposition has possession, and hitting fast on the counter through speedy wingers Nabbout and Hoole as it did successfully against the Roar last week. Popovic may start the impressive Argentine Nicola Martinez, who did well coming off the subs bench in last week's win over the Reds.
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