The Week Down Under: A-League Week Four
And so it begins. After failing to score in their first three games, the Western Sydney Wanderers finally got their goal, one which was enough to earn them the three points at Suncorp Stadium. The result was made even more remarkable by the fact that it came at the home of the defending champions, who were outplayed for most of the game and should have lost by more. Mark Bridge will now go down in history as the first ever scorer for the Wanderers and there will be many more on the strength of that performance.
Big Emile sure knows how to put the boot in. The man just cannot stop scoring, continuously proving all of us doubters so horribly wrong. As if to emphasise the point, his second against the Victory was a bicycle kick (sort of). Heskey looks utterly thrilled with life in Newcastle and the Jets are performing beyond all expectations, sharing top spot with Adelaide.
The Reds are on top of the league after a 3-1 win over Wellington but that result has been overshadowed by yet another refereeing controversy. The furore concerns a pathetic dive by Adelaide’s Jeronimo Neumann, one which resulted in Ben Sigmund being sent off for being in the same area code as the Argentine. Needless to say, this did not go down well with the Nix, with captain Andrew Durante pulling no punches in his post match interview, branding Neumann a cheat.
If you thought Wellington were seething, then one fears for anyone in their immediate vicinity when they were given news of the FFA’s verdict on the incident. Sigmund’s red card was upheld but Neumann faced no sanctions for what was a blatant dive. With Durante and coach Ricki Herbert also likely to face action for their comments, the Nix could be excused for feeling harshly treated.
Trouble in Paradise?
On the field, it was another good day for Sydney FC as they earned a 2-1 win over Perth, with star players Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton getting the goals. The Italian was not happy with the performance however, and he made his feelings perfectly clear in a heated exchange with goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac after the game.
Never far from incidents of hilarity, Kalac (you might remember him spilling a regulation free-kick into his own net against Croatia in the 2006 World Cup) was at it again at training the next day, getting into a spat with Dimitri Petratos.
The former AC Milan keeper was taking part in a training exercise and failed to pass the ball to his young team-mate, which led to the following colourful exchange:
Petratos: Fuck me dead!
Kalac: Shut the fuck up and keep playing! If I hear from you again, I’ll break your jaw.
Lovely stuff. Needless to say, manager Ian Crook brought out the usual platitudes about “passion” and “heart”, but it is clear that Sydney’s playing style is still causing some frustration within the ranks.