Condo’s Weekly Wrap

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Its been five straight days of A-League football stretching back to Wednesday last week when the resurgent Jets took on the mighty Roar at Energy Australia motor park. The Jets have hit a purple patch and over 7,000 fans to a midweek match is testament to how quickly new owner Nathan Tinkler has turned this football club around. Results are helping as well. The Jets took it to the ever impressive Roar and came away with a point that a few weeks ago would have looked like mission impossible.

In contrast, Melbourne Victory’s lowest ever crowd of 9,674 saw the Thursday night game against the flying Mariners at AAMI Park. I have narrowed the reasons down to three for this decline in crowds:

1. Victory fans have gone soft, Having been a custom to a stadium with a roof, a few rain drops have frightened the navy side of Melbourne.

2. Victory’s Jekyll and Hyde performances have finally tipped their fans over the edge. OR

3. The A-league fixturing is rubbish.

Football fans generally are creatures of habits. If fans know they are going to be playing every second Friday (or Saturday/Sunday) they can plan their lives around it and will turn up. As it stands games are played Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, constant fixture checks are essential.

Anyway, back to the football.

The Victory were horrible in patches and great in others. The Mariners are the Mariners. They are the Adam Sandler’s of the A-League; hardly what you call entertainers but they get the job done.
“Adelaide win in Melbourne” is not a headline that we’ve seen in a few years but the Reds did exactly that on Friday night with a clinical hit and run away display.

Adelaide scored early then parked the bus for 80 odd minutes before scoring again late on in the game to secure a well deserved three points. The highlight of the game for me was the wonderful step over skills shown by captain Lucas Pantelis before going down in a screaming heap after either tripping over his own feet or being shot by a sniper. Thankfully no bullets were found and Pantelis was able to continue with only his pride hurt.
The Jets were at it again at home against the Phoenix, This time 12,000 plus were at Energy Australia dirt track to see Marko Jesic score his third goal in three games to lift the Jets into striking distance of the top six.

The Jets welcome David Beckham’s L.A. Galaxy next Saturday and a crowd of over 20,000 is in reach.
The Fury flew south to Brisbane on Saturday night and nearly pulled off the upset of the season with the go-ahead goal coming after 9 minutes (I solemnly swear never to use the phrase ‘go-ahead goal’ ever again) David Williams the provider, Edds the goal scorer. Now bear with me for a minute because I might have mentioned this before, but Williams MUST be in Holger Osieks Asian Cup squad. He is a gem. In the end the Roar showed why they will finish the season looking down on the rest with the equalizer from Ivan Franjic with five minutes to go.
Sydney were at home at Parramatta Stadium to Perth Glory. The Killer B’s were back for the Sky Blues and made the world of difference with Perth unable to contain the runs of Brosque and Bridge, who comfortably lead Sydney to a 2-zip win. Brosque was at his uninjured best, scoring one and setting up another. Sydney are now only 4 points off sixth placed Victory.
Sundays game saved the best for last, a five goal cracker at Bluetongue Stadium between the Central Coast Mariners (playing their third game in eight days) and the Gold Coast. The Mariners probably could have had the game sewn up at half time but chances went begging and when you let Steve Pantelidis score you really don’t deserve the three points. In the end a dreadful mistake by the ever reliable Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson saw Gold Coast pinch the game 3-2.
Now by my reckoning that’s 18 goals over 7 games in 5 days.
Some quality football with some horrible defending thrown in – with more than a pinch of entertainment.
Hero Of The Week

Hard to pick one this week, with no real standout. Shannon Cole’s somersault deserved a mention, the Jets crowd are also of note, and the Roar’s ‘brand of football’ deserves a mention too.
Iain Ramsey’s audacious chip would have been the winner had it crossed the line.
Villain of the week

Defensive mistakes to Alex Wilkinson, Michael Petkovic weren’t a great look for the standard of the game, Wilkinson gets off with a reprimand, Petkovic now fits into the serial offender category.

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