In a stretched out, bizarre week in the A-League, not a single home team won. Brilliant goals, controversial calls and the return of John van 't Schip defined the midway point of the 2013/14 season.
Wednesday January 1: Western Sydney Wanderers 1 - Wellington Phoenix 3
Friday January 3: Adelaide United 2 - Sydney FC 2
Saturday January 4: Newcastle Jets 0 - Perth Glory 1
Perth Glory snatched three road points at the Hunter Stadium on Saturday against Newcastle Jets, giving Kenny Lowe his first victory at the club. Chris Harold's goal late in the first half was eventually enough for the visiting Glory, though it took Newcastle's profligacy and a goal line clearance controversy to keep the Jets from scoring. Perth were severely undermanned due to U22 national team call ups on top of the myriad injuries that have plagued the club of late. But resolute, and at times desperate defending kept the Jets at bay. Newcastle's best chance for an equalizer came when Kew Jaliens headed on frame after Emile Heskey headed a corner into the mouth of the goal. Danny Vukovic dove to stop the ball but the Jets claimed it had crossed the line. Gary van Egmond admonished the referees but obviously to no avail as Vukovic was credited with a save and the Glory escaped with full points. Both sides turn around quickly with Friday night games against Melbourne sides. The Jets will host the Victory at the Hunter Stadium while the Glory host the Heart at the nib Stadium.
Saturday January 4: Melbourne Victory 0 - Brisbane Roar 3
Brisbane Roar routed Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night, reestablishing themselves as the A-League's top side. Now seven points clear of even Western Sydney Wanderers, the Roar took apart a Victory side who entered the evening in third place. The build-up to Liam Miller's first half opener included twenty passes and is being hailed as one of the great team goals ever scored in the competition. Matt McKay and last week's hat trick hero Dimitri Petratos scored in the second half before Adrian Leijer was sent off with his second yellow card. Mike Mulvey's side has now scored eight and allowed two following the surprising 2-0 loss to Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium just before Christmas. For the Victory, this is a bad loss that keeps Kevin Muscat and his charges nearer to ninth place than first at the halfway mark of the season. Melbourne will try to rebound in a trip to Newcastle Jets on Friday night. Brisbane get the full week's rest and host Adelaide United at Suncorp on Saturday.
Sunday January 5: Central Coast Mariners 0 - Melbourne Heart 0
John van 't Schip returned to the sideline for Melbourne Heart after the sacking of John Aloisi and picked up an away draw at Central Coast Mariners on Sunday. In a game mostly bereft of quality chances, Michael Mifsud and Josh Rose missed some of the best looks for their respective sides, leading to a scoreless result. The Mariners lost Michael McGlinchey for what was supposed to be his final game at the club due to a virus, and were without Marcos Flores, whose ACL injury midweek will keep him out the rest of the season. Heart were led by Harry Kewell, who set up Mifsud before the Maltese striker hit the post. van 't Schip won't be too upset with a point at the Mariners, even if it is only a shell of the team that won last season's championship. Heart travel west to Perth for a Friday night game before van 't Schip can get a game at home. The Mariners go to Wellington to face the suddenly hot Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.