You may have heard of Brazilian club Chapecoense spoken about a lot this past week. The tributes and emotions have been pouring out from every angle around the world. Chapecoense were awarded the Copa Americana this week as a tribute from their opponent Atletico Nacional. A truly noble and selfless act in world football.
This round, the A League clubs showed their support by having moments of silence before matches for those who tragically passed, and applause from the fans later on.
When football fans rally together, it's nothing short of incredible.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This week was a 1-1 draw that was my favourite game. And no, it wasn't Melbourne Victory and Perth. We'll get to that later.
No, this week it was Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar. The match was filled with spite well before the teams took to the field. We all know the deal with the managers, Aloisi replacing and being replaced by van't Schip at Heart. It's old news.
As if that wasn't spicy enough, Aloisi accusing City of being the most aggressive team in the league, while van't Schip fired back telling Aloisi he's a whinger. The result was going to cause a big ruffling of feathers, but as it were they cancelled each other out in an action packed affair. Then there was the Jade North dive/simulation, whatever you want to call it, which subsequently lead to a goal for City, drew lots of criticism, eventually an apology from North. Better than a soap opera.
Personally, I love emotionally charged matches, and as a neutral fan in this one I was happy enough that it finished all square. Cracking stuff, can't wait for next week's top of the table clash between City and Sydney.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
Round 9 produced some quality goals from every game. From well worked team goals, to individual brillance and long bombs. Truly quite an exquisite selection this week, made this choice quite hard.
I found it fitting to give this one to a returning Brazilian icon, Henrique. The Slippery Fish returned from injury to score two amazing goals against the Wellington Phoenix to give United their first win of this A League campaign. Off one step he generated a strike that rifles into the back of the net. Just watch and enjoy this long range stunner.
THE UNHERALDED HERO
Not quite A League, but this one is from the mid week FFA Cup Final at AAMI Park.
That's right. It's the beloved seagull. The poor bird suffered what looked to be a night ending injury during the clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne City. Luckily, the seagull made a swift recovery and was back out on the pitch before the end of the night.
Seb Ryall won't have made any fans with his ball that nearly broke that bird's neck. Absolutely reckless.
As I mentioned earlier, the goals from this round were truly spectacular. I only give one goal the top gong for the week, but I have to give a shout out to a few players for their excellent strikes. Click on the links to check out the goals.
- Andy Keogh scored a great strike to open the round against Melbourne Victory. Definitely one of the best imports the A League has seen
- Blake Powell clinically finished a well worked sweeping attack by Central Coast, despite losing 4-1 to the Wanderers
- Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC scored a brilliant goal, dribbling 4 defenders before putting it into the top corner beautifully. Close second to my goal of the week, I was in awe
- Jamie McClaren marked his 4th goal of the season with a beautiful turn off his first touch inside the box. Keep watching, Ange Postecoglou
The A League has had its first coaching casualty of the season.
Ernie Merrick dropped a bombshell and handed in his resignation this week, which left fans and football personalities stunned. Sure, Wellington aren't doing the best, but many thought he was the right man to turn it around. Unfortunately circumstances forced Merrick's hand, despite having a great squad on paper. I think he'll get another A League gig in future, but for now Wellington will regroup under caretaker coach Chris Greenacre.
The other bad thing from this weekend is Roy Krishna missing a second penalty in two weeks. He got a second bite at it last week, but when your main man up front is missing penalties you've gotta start asking who should be taking them. Should really be a simple conversion more often than not.
How. Many. Chances. Can. One. Miss?!
For the second week in a row, Melbourne Victory managed to register 20 shots on goal, but this week only had one goal to show. I sat pretty damn close to see chance after chance squandered. I really don't know what's going on, but Kevin Muscat really needs to come up with some tactical changes.
Passing isn't a huge issue, we're defending decently enough. For now. But sitting near the front row is not fun when your team is squandering chance after chance. After chance.... after chance. Fix the front third and we'll be right. But do it fast.