Victory, Sydney, Adelaide unbeaten in A-League
SYDNEY (AP) — Sydney FC and Adelaide United played out a 0-0 draw to continue their unbeaten starts to Australian football’s A-League while the Melbourne Victory stayed atop the table on points differential.
The Victory, Sydney and Adelaide all have three wins and two draws through the weekend’s fifth round, but Melbourne has scored 14 goals and conceded six, Sydney has scored eight and let in three and Adelaide has scored seven and conceded three.
Wellington moved into fourth place after a 1-0 home win over the Western Sydney Wanderers who were still feeling the effects of the Asian Champions League final and Melbourne City posted its first win of the season, beating defending champion Brisbane 3-1.
Brisbane remains in last place in the 10-team league without a win from four games.
The Victory rallied from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Saturday. A 31st-minute goal from Kew Jaliens and Joel Griffiths’ 33rd-minute penalty gave Newcastle a surprise 2-0 lead, but Melbourne hit back with goals in the 36th from Fahid Ben Khalfallah and striker Besart Berisha immediately after halftime.
“I’m never happy to share anything,” Victory coach Kevin Muscat said. “But the realities are we’ve had to come from two down so from their perspective I assume they’d be disappointed.
“We had an opportunity in the first half to make it 2-2, a good chance when Besart hit the post, then I thought in the second half we dominated the game.”
Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins said the match was “another one that got away.”
“Covering the full 90 minutes, we played as well as we have done,” Stubbins said. “We got ourselves a 2-0 lead, a deserved lead and then Melbourne Victory are at the top of the league for a reason, and that’s if you give them a sniff, they can punish you.”
Sydney and Adelaide created opportunities, but neither was able to capitalize in their 0-0 draw at Adelaide. Acting captain Nikola Petkovic sent a 35-meter shot past Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic in the 68th, but the referee disallowed the goal, saying he had not signaled time on.
“We had our chances and we probably could have got one or two, but they could have got two or three,” Sydney coach Graham Arnold said. “It’s not our job to entertain when we’re away from home. And if you pick up a point every time you go away, you have got to be happy.”
Melbourne City wasn’t able to pick up a win in the four games in which it had the services of Spain striker David Villa, but found its goal-scoring touch Saturday to deepen Brisbane’s early season depression.
David Williams and Matt Dugandzic scored inside the first 10 minutes as City made an explosive beginning and Marc Marino closed out the match in the 83rd after Brandon Borello had pulled a goal back for Brisbane.
“We need to find some answers, we need a rethink,” Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey said. “This club is built on a tradition of playing a particular way and right now we are trying to emulate that.
“But it hasn’t translated to wins on the park so we need to have a look at everything from top to bottom.”