5 Things We Learned in the A-League in Round Four

With the Wanderers spreading the gospel of the RBB across Asia and the world, the A-League kicked further into gear for round 4

Race Eve football great scheduling

Melbourne Victory have backed a winner with their annual fixture hosting Wellington on Cup eve. Monday football opens up clear space for sports viewers on television, and it gives tourists a chance to taste what the A-League has to offer. Better than that, Gui Finkler is in career best form at the moment, pulling the strings for a heavyweight who are easy on the eye. Bigger tests are in store for Victory, but as long as the Phoenix are in existence and enough Kiwi-expats are in town, this is a far more festive occasion to spend early November than watching horses run around.

Terry Antonis – Socceroos bolter?

Working in cohorts with Dimitrijevic, Terry Antonis is lifting his game to a new level. With multiple attacking options forward and either side of him, Antonis has that canny ability to find his way out of trouble. His opening goal gave an insight into the man’s confidence at the moment, something Ange needs in spades. Whether he achieves higher honours in the coming months is probably premature, but the signs are looking good.

It’s ok to say “I don’t know”

Bruce Kamau picks up the ball, Andrew Redmayne runs out his 6 yard box, Kamau goes down, penalty given. Sounds fairly straight forward, but Adelaide’s 2-1 win over Melbourne City on Friday night was far more controversial than the scoreline would indicate. Replay after replay attempted to dissect any hint of contact. The reality of the situation is thus – Redmayne was clumsy in coming out for the ball, and in doing so needed to collect it and escape the scene. Kamau rightly anticipated being clattered for his troubles and dived over the keeper. Without wanting to search through the FIFA rulebook encyclopedia, taking evasive action can be enough in some referees eyes to award a spot kick. After all the hot air is exhausted over these incidents, its ok to accept that some parts of the beautiful game will forever be shaded in grey, despite our desire for black and white.

Maclaren gives Lowe a headache

Andy Keogh has been the taste of the town on the West Coast this season. His goals have lifted the Glory into the FFA Cup semi final, as well as propping them up into a healthy position in the league. But perhaps the early season exerts were taking a toll on the striker, with his replacement Maclaren saving the Glory’s blushes at home to Newcastle. His two late goals to sink the Jets and complete a 2-1 comeback demonstrated that he is not the kind of character to accept second best. Both goals were clinically dispatched, giving Kenny Lowe some food for thought. One thing this column would love to see is Keogh and Maclaren up front.

Wanderers talk of the town

Even with the Sky Blues locking horns against the Mariners on a wonderful late Sunday afternoon in the Cove, the Wanderers win in Saudi Arabia was on the tip of the tongues of supporters around Moore Park. I may be talking out of school, but it was impossible not to be swept up in the historic achievement for Australian football. Especially when you consider a healthy contingent of Western Sydney’s squad and coaching staff were recent Sky Blue rejects, the victory should be felt by everyone associated with the game. Making waves in Asia is a crucial step in turning football into a powerhouse here at home. The Wanderers have done us proud.