Fans were treated to a Sunday filled with goals as ten were scored across two entertaining affairs.
Sydney FC 2 -1 Adelaide United
Many would have you believe the A-League title is a two-horse race between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory, but after some impressive performances under new boss Steve Corica, Sydney FC have all of a sudden thrown themselves right into the mix.
Coming off a loss to the Glory in Perth, it remained pivotal the Sky Blues win this match against a rejuvenated Adelaide United after the Reds’ midweek win over the Victory.
Sydney FC wasted little time to get the ball rolling as marquee Siem De Jong scored his second league goal for the club. De Jong placed his 13th minute free kick ever so perfectly in the top corner – a strike reminiscent of his FFA Cup goal – giving the Sky Blues an early lead.
The home side doubled their advantage minutes after half time as an unmarked Jacob Tratt punished Adelaide from a corner to score his second goal of the season.
Adelaide’s response was swift as substitute George Blackwood drew a foul inside the penalty area, allowing Craig Goodwin to convert from the spot to breathe life into the game and give the Reds hope.
After scoring a hattrick last time at home, Alex Brosque was unable to find the back of the net despite a chance late to seal the win for his side. This missed opportunity almost proving costly as Adelaide had one last chance in stoppage time, forcing Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne off his line and into action to save the three points.
Despite the loss Adelaide United remain inside the top six, seven points clear of the Newcastle Jets whereas Sydney FC draw level with Melbourne Victory on points in second position.
Perth Glory 4 – 3 Western Sydney Wanderers
The best was saved to last.
A seven goal thriller with a hint of controversy and a post-match ‘f-bomb’ concluded Round 13 and the first half of the A-League season.
Coming into the match Perth Glory had the chance to jump six points clear of Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC in second whereas this was a chance for the Western Sydney Wanderers to get back on the horse.
Markus Babbel looked to his department of youth for this trip to Perth, fielding five players under the age of 21 who made an immediate impact, catching the Glory off-guard and finding themselves in front just before the break.
Kwame Yeboah opened his account for his new club, giving the Wanderers an unexpected lead heading into the break.
The Wanderers looked more comfortable as the game wore on and had a second midway through the second half from one of their more experienced players in Roly Bonevacia.
But if the league has learned anything from this Perth Glory side under Tony Popovic is to never rule them out, regardless of how far behind they are.
Diego Castro stepped up with an important captain’s goal to get the Glory back into the game, and while the Glory threatened to equalise, it was the Wanderers who scored next through substitute Abraham Majok, flipping the script and worrying the home fans.
With 13 minutes left at 3-1 down the Glory needed something special – and what happened next needed to be seen to be believed.
A rare diving header goal from Ivan Franjic saw the Glory get themselves back into the game before combining with Diego Castro to set up Andy Keogh for the equaliser in the 82nd minute.
With the scores locked at 3-3, Andy Keogh was played the ball inside the box with his back to goal. The striker, using his experience in the penalty area, went to ground giving the impression he had been dragged down and was awarded a spot kick – much to the dismay Wanderers captain Brendan Hamill.
Juande stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, completing the comeback and the win for the Glory.