Happy New Year from the View from Avalon! As we begin 2013, we continue our Power Rankings of the teams competing in the 2012-13 Hyundai A-League. This week, the Western Sydney Wanderers remain the league’s best team, after going through the turnaround unbeaten. Also making their move is Brisbane Roar, who rose up to second after a solid winning streak. Let’s take a look.
1. Western Sydney Wanderers
Here’s to a wonderful new year to Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers, who ended the weekend without a single loss. On Dec. 27, the Wanderers drew 1-1 with Perth Glory. Labinot Haliti opened the scoring in the 38th minute but Western Sydney were unable to hang on at Patersons Stadium in Perth.
Meanwhile, Shinji Ono was the hero on New Year’s Day against the Melbourne Victory. Goals in the 42nd and 79th minute propelled the Wanderers to a 2-1 victory at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney. Western Sydney continue their season on Jan. 6 hosting the Central Coast Mariners.
2. Brisbane Roar
Mike Mulvey’s Brisbane Roar got a goal from Henrique in the 65th minute to shut out Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Boxing Day. On New Year’s Day, goals from Besart Berisha in the 14th minute and Ben Halloran in the 57uth minute gave the Roar a 2-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Up next for the Roar is a match on Jan. 6 against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
3. Adelaide United
Despite getting shut out 1-0 by Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, John Kosmina’s Adelaide United powered their way to a 3-0 shutout of Sydney FC at home. Dario Vidosic scored a brace in the 18th and 28th minutes of play while Iain Ramsay added an insurance goal in the 61st minute. Adelaide United travel to Hunter Stadiun in Newcastle on Jan. 5 to take on the Newcastle Jets.
4. Melbourne Victory
Marco Rojas scored a brace in the 33rd and 74th minute and Archie Thompson added another to give Ange Postcoglou’s Melbourne Victory a 3-2 win over the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Dec. 28. Spase Dilevski was on goal for Melbourne in their 2-1 defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium. The Victory continue their season on Jan. 5 against Wellington Phoenix at home.
5. Central Coast Mariners
After getting shut out 1-0 by Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners rode on the heroics of Bernie Ibini-Isei in the 67th minute to prevail 1-0 over Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford. Up next for Central Coast is a match with Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium on Jan. 6.
6. Melbourne Heart
John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart opened up the weekend with a wild 3-2 defeat to Wellingtonm Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. Gol-Gol Mebrahtu opened up the scoring in the 14th minute and Wellington’s Andrew Durante added an own goal in the 16th minute of play. Poor defending would doom Heart in the second half.
However, Melbourne Heart bounced back with a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park. Mebrahtu was once again on goal in the sixth minute of play and Josip Tadic delivered the game-winner 25 minutes into the contest. Heart continue their season on Jan. 6 at AAMI against Brisbane Roar.
7. Wellington Phoenix
A brace from Jeremy Brockie in the 66th and 70th minutes and Louis Fenton in the 21st minute helped Ricki Herbert’s Wellington Phoenix to a 3-2 victory over Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium. Brockie was also on goal in the 35th minute against Brisbane Roar, but the Nix fell 2-1 on New Year’s Day at Suncorp Stadium. Up next for Wellington is a Jan. 5 contest with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.
8. Perth Glory
Ian Ferguson’s Perth Glory drew 1-1 with Western Sydney Wanderers on Dec. 27 at Patersons Stadium. Nick Ward spared Glory blushes in the 87th minute of play. Perth were not as lucky on Dec. 31 against Central Coast Mariners, getting shut out 1-0 at Bluetongue Stadium. A return to nib Stadium might help the fortunes of the Glory, who host Sydney FC in a Jan. 5 pillow fight.
9. Sydney FC
Frank Farina’s Sydney FC raised a few eyebrows when a goal from Brett Emerton in the 89th minute gave Sydney FC a 1-0 victory over a Central Coast Mariner side that played down to 10 men by the end of the match at Allianz Stadium. However, they could not build on the momentum and were blown out of the water 3-0 by Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium. Sydney will look to get back to winning ways on Jan. 5 against Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
10. Newcastle Jets
Gary van Egmond’s Newcastle Jets hold up the rear this week after a couple of defeats. Despite goals from Ruben Zadkovic in the 63rd minute and Emile Heskey in the 72nd minute of play, the Jets fell 3-2 at AAMI Park on Dec. 28. Ryan Griffiths scored in the 18th minute against Melbourne Heart, but they were upended on New Year’s Day, 2-1. It will not get any easier for the Jets who will have to host Adelaide United on Jan. 5 at Hunter Stadium.