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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 19 October 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 19 OCTOBER 2019 27 SPORT Western United to host its maiden A-League home match Round two of the Hyundai ALeague features an F3 derby between the Mariners and the Jets as well as a preview of Wednesday evening's FFA Cup final between Adelaide United and Melbourne City when the two finalists meet at AAMI park on Sunday in a league clash before their FFA Cup final showdown in Adelaide on Wednesday. Brisbane Roar has the bye this round, which kicked off on Friday when Victory hosted the Wanderers at AAMI Stadium. Round two also gives neutral fans the chance to get a closer look at the newest team in the competition Western United, whose Rd 2 match against last season's minor premiers Perth Glory will be Saturday's feature match on the ABC. WESTERN UNITED V PERTH GLORY, 5.00PM GMHBA STADIUM, GEELONG Coach Mark Rudan and several of his players endured a hostile reception at their former club across the ditch last week to come away with Western United's first league win in its first ever A-League match thanks to a late addition to the squad, striker Beshart Berisha. Rudan and team can expect a much warmer reception for their first ever home match against the reigning minor premiers Perth Glory. Last week, Glory made a positive start to its match against Roar with Chris Ikonomidis continuing from where he left off last season by scoring in the first half. However the Roar fought back well in the second half, actually having more possession than the tiring Glory, and they snatched a point at the end. This could be a tough game for Glory against a team with lots of experience and potential match winners such as Diamanti, Kone and Berisha. Glory welcomes back full back Ivan Franjic from suspension. will be available after coming home from international duty with the Socceroos. MELBOURNE CITY V ADELAIDE UNITED, 4.00 PM SUNDAY AAMI PARK Perth Glory’s Chris Ikonomidis made a successful return from shoulder injury last round, finding the net against Brisbane Roar. CENTRAL COAST MARINERS V NEWCASTLE JETS , 7.30 PM CENTRAL COAST STADIUM, GOSFORD The Jets will be raring to go after sitting out the opening round due to the bye. They'll come up against a much improved Mariners who were unfortunate not to Young Matildas defender Hristodoulou bound for AFC U19 Championship Tournament GEORGE STOGIANNOU It's been a long time since the Young Matildas have qualified for a FIFA U20s World Cup. At the end of this month, the Young Matildas travel to Thailand on a quest for that elusive qualification, where they will contest the AFC U19 Women's Championship tournament which rewards the top three teams with World Cup qualification. One of the players who will be part of the Young Matildas 23-player squad helping them in that quest, is 18-year-old Sydney FC and Sydney Olympic defender Angelique Hristodoulou. For Hristodoulou, it will be her second AFC Women's Championship tournament, having captained the Austral- ian U17 national team squad at the 2017 AFC U16 Women's Championships. The Young Matildas will compete in the upcoming AFC U19 Women's Championships tournament as one of eight teams, divided into two groups of four. Australia's group A opponents will be DPR Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, whilst the four teams in Group B are Japan, China, South Korea and Myanmar. The top two teams in each group progress to the semi-finals and the top three of the semi-finalists qualify for next year's U20 World Cup. Young Matildas coach Leah Blayney told Neos Kosmos about the past three weeks spent holding a series of "short but highly beneficial camps" in Sydney. "These camps have helped the coaching staff finalise our squad for the Asian Championship, which is the most prestigious tournament for females of this age group across our confederation," Blayney said. "We believe that with the squad we have going to this tournament we are a strong chance of earning Australia qualification for the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup for the first time since 2006. "Many of the players in the squad have had significant Westfield W-League exposure across the nation, while players such as Karly Roestbakken, Mary Fowler, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Princess Ibini, Rachel Lowe, and Courtney Nevin have had varying levels of exposure to the senior Matildas' set-up, too." come away from the Wanderers last round with at least a point after having more possession in the game. The Mariners welcome back skipper Matt Simon from suspension, and no A-League player has scored more goals in F3 derby games. For the Jets, Dimi Petratos By a twist of scheduling fate, the two FFA Cup final protagonists, will meet on Sunday in the league, just three days before they battle it out for the season's first silverware the FFA CUP. With three league points at stake, and momentum going into the cup a vital ingredient, both teams will be eager to register the win on Sunday. City had to settle for a scoreless draw against rival Victory in the derby last round, and will be hoping the return of in –form striker Jamie MacLaren will help it to a winning score. By contrast, the Reds conceded three against Sydney United last round, and have suffered a further defensive blow losing central defender Jordan Elsey to injury and full back Ryan Strain to suspension. On the plus side, it welcomes ex Victory man James Troisi into its match-day squad. Nathan Konstandopoulos is also promoted. SYDNEY FC V WELLINGTON PHOENIX , 6.00 PM SUNDAY, LEICHARDT OVAL Champions Sydney got off to a confident start with two goals to Adam LeFondre, in the win against the Reds last week. New signings Alexander Baumjohann and Ryan McGowan made positive starts. If anything Sydney looks even stronger going into this round two match at home to the inexperienced Phoenix, having regained full back Rhyan Grant and Andrew Redmayne from Socceroo duty. Phoenix has signed former Celtic and Norwich City striker Gary Hooper but he won't be available to make his debut until the following week. Socceroos continue commanding start to World Cup Qualifying campaign GEORGE STOGIANNOU Angelique Christodoulou (R) in action for W-League team Sydney FC. PHOTO: SYDNEY FC TWITTER The Socceroos plundered a bag full of goals in Kaohsiung on Tuesday evening with its 7-1 win over Chinese Taipei making it three wins from three starts to its 2022 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Following on from the five goal haul against Nepal at home last week, it took its tally of goals scored in the campaign, to 15 goals in three matches, more than any of the AFC's 40 nations involved in World Cup qualifiers. In the first match against Kuwait, it was Matthew Leckie who was the multiple goalscorer, but in the most recent two matches, central strikers Jamie MacLaren and Adam Taggart got amongst the goals as did Jackson Irvine, and debutante central defender Harry Souttar. After calling on his team to be more ruthless in front of goals and to convert their dominance in possession and chances created, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold was pleased with the improvement in the team's offensive play. "I was very pleased with the energy. I thought it was an improvement on the Nepal game where we weren't ruthless enough. It shows that the work that we've done on our attacking patterns, on the attacking side of things, is gelling together well," Arnold said, commenting after Tuesday night's game in Kaohsiung. "It's great to see Taggart and Jamie (MacLaren) scoring and the chances that we're creating. The movement is getting better and better with each camp. That's the important thing. I did a review of my first year in charge and that's the only thing that's been missing. Our build-up has been good, our defence, our pressing has been good. But it's been the last part of the pitch where – and it's always the hardest at national team level – you've got 23 players that come in and play at different clubs, playing under different coaches and play in different ways. Last two camps, we've worked very, very hard on our attacking patterns, our combination play, and you can see it coming together." Arnold rotated his squad in the match against Chinese Taipei, starting with a different front three to that which started against Nepal. Adam Taggart started up front and his early brace, followed by a Jackson Irvine brace put the Socceroos in the driver's seat by half time. All four of Australia's first half goals came from assists from down the flanks, either from the wing- er Awer Mabil who started in place of an injured Matt Leckie, or from the full backs Ryan Grant and left back Brad Smith. In the second half, Dutch based winger Ajden Hrustic made an impact off the bench when he came on for Borrello and provided three assists for goals to Harry Souttar (brace) and fellow sub Jamie MacLaren. A former Heatherton United and South Melbourne youth player, Hrustic has done his cause no harm with his confident displays off the bench in the Socceroos last two games. The same can be said about the six foot five inch centre back Harry Souttar. Few centre backs can boast of scoring three goals in their first two international matches before they've turned 21. Scottish born Souttar, who has an Australian mother, literally adds another dimension to the team's attack at set pieces. As Arnold commented, "Having Harry is great. Scoring goals at set plays can break open games." The Socceroos next qualifier is away to second placed Jordan on the 15th of next month. Towering centre back Harry Souttar has made an impressive start to his international career, scoring in both his appearances.
12 October 2019
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