Holger Osieck may have saved his job for the time being. Despite an unimpressive 1-0 victory over Hong Kong and a horrid 1-1 draw with North Korea, his Socceroos ran it up on Guam and Chinese Taipei to qualify for the East Asian Cup Finals next year, where they face China PR, Japan, and hosts South Korea. Meanwhile, back in Australia, after news broke that their AFC Champions League placings have been reduced due to issues regarding league structure, the Hyundai A-League concluded the 10th week of action.
Adelaide United are at the top of this week’s A-League Power Rankings, while lowly Sydney FC escape the cellar for the first time in several weeks with a breakthrough effort across the Tasman.
1. Adelaide United
John Kosmina’s Adelaide United rise to the top spot in this week’s A-League Power Rankings after a dominating 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. Evan Kostopoulos led the way with the brace in the third and 32nd minutes of play. Also on goal for the Reds were Fabio Ferreira in the 21st minute and Marcelo Carrusca in the 25th minute of play. Adelaide United continue their season on Dec. 16 against Wellington Phoenix.
2. Central Coast Mariners
Red-hot scorer Daniel McBreen continued his torrid form for Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners with a brace in the 49th and 66th minutes, giving the visitors a 2-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets in the F3 Derby at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle. Up next for Central Coast is a match with Melbourne Heart on dec. 14 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.
3. Western Sydney Wanderers
Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers seem to be having the Brisbane Roar’s number all of a sudden. Ace import Shinji Ono delivered an 87th-minute penalty that sunk the Roar at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney, 1-0. The Wanderers continue their season on Dec. 15 against Sydney FC in the next installment of the Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
4. Melbourne Heart
John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart relied on the heroics of Gol-Gol Mebrahtu in the 89th minute to give Heart a 1-0 victory over Perth Glory at AAMI Park in Melbourne. Heart will look to continue their winning ways on Dec. 14 against the resurging Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium.
5. Melbourne Victory
No Archie Thompson equals a night of struggles for Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory, who were flattened by Adelaide United 4-2 at Hindmarsh Stadium. Andrew Nabbout equalized early in the fifth minute and Marco Rojas added a consolation goal in the 47th minute of play but a listless first half on defense proved to be Melbourne’s demise. The Victory will need to pick themselves up quick because up next is another match with the defending champions, Brisbane Roar, at AAMI Park.
6. Sydney FC
Finally! Sydney FC, who hired Frank Farina as their new manager, got off their recent schneid and defeated the Wellington Phoenix 2-1 at Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Depite Terry McFlynn earning his marching orders in the 85th minute, goals from Sebastian Ryall (45′ + 1′) and Ryan Grant (75′) were enough to give the Sky Blues an important victory that is sure to boost their confidence ahead on their Dec. 15 contest with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium.
7. Brisbane Roar
The woes against Western Sydney Continued for Rado Vidosic’s Brisbane Roar, who were shut out on the road, 1-0, at Parramatta Stadium. However, they have a chance to rectify their slump next week when they travel to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne Victory on Dec. 15.
8. Newcastle Jets
Gary van Egmond’s Newcastle Jets are also slumping, after getting shut out by the Central Coast Mariners 2-0 at Hunter Stadium. The Jets will need to clean up their act when they fly down to nib Stadium in Perth to take on the Glory on De. 14.
9. Perth Glory
Ian Ferguson can’t seem to get a break when it comes to managing Perth Glory, who suffered another 1-0 defeat, this time to Melbourne Heart, at AAMi Park. It will not get any easier for the Glory, who will host Newcastle Jets in a pillow fight at nib Stadium on Dec. 14.
10. Wellington Phoenix
Ricki Herbert’s Wellington Phoenix were not ready for the new-look Sydney FC and fell, 2-1, at Westpac Stadium. Jeremy Brockie scored a penalty in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, but by then, it was too little, too late. The Nix will need to get out of the cellar ASAP, but to do that, they have to take care of business against the best team in the A-League this year in Adelaide United, and that is no small task. Especially with the match on Dec. 16 at Hindmarsh Stadium. Good luck with that, En Zedders.