In this week’s A-League Power Rankings, the Western Sydney Wanderers are at the top after a big victory over Melbourne Victory. Meanwhile, Central Coast are starting to slide just a little bit, and Newcastle and Brisbane start to gain some ground. All this and more on this week’s A-League Power Rankings.
1. Western Sydney Wanderers
These days, Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers aren’t looking that much like a new club. On the contrary, they are looking like a title contender from the start. Their 2-1 victory over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park in Melbourne is testament to that truth. Goals from Iacopo La Rocca in the 11th minute and Shinji Ono in the 72nd minute of play paced the Wanderers who continue their season on Feb. 23 against Perth Glory at Parramatta Stadium in Sydney.
2. Sydney FC
Also catching fire are Frank Farina’s Sydney FC, who secured a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Allianz Stadium in Sydney. Terry Antonis (49′) and Blake Powell (67′) were in on goal for the Sky Blues, who face Melbourne Heart on Feb. 24 at AAMi Park.
3. Central Coast Mariners
Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners got on the board early thanks to Bernie Ibini-Isei in the 13th minute of play but fell to a revitalized Perth Glory, 2-1, at nib Stadium in Perth. The Mariners will need to rebound quickly, with Melbourne Victory coming to Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Feb. 23.
4. Brisbane Roar
Mike Mulvey’s Brisbane Roart were firing on all cylinders in their 2-0 shutout win over Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Steven Lustica opened up the scoring in the 33rd minute and Besart Berisha slammed the door shut in the 49th minute of play. Brisbane’s next opponents are the Newcastle Jets on Feb. 22 at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.
5. Newcastle Jets
Gary van Egmond’s Newcastle Jets shut out Melbourne Heart, 2-0 at Hunter Stadium. Emile Heskey opened up the scoring 10 minutes in and Ryan Griffiths put the game out of reach in the 81st minute of play. The objective now for Newcastle is to remain in the top six when the Brisbane Roar come to town on Feb. 22 at Hunter.
6. Adelaide United
Tomi Juric got Michael Valkanis’s Adelaide United on the score sheet in the 78th minute but it was not enough as they fell to Sydney FC, 2-1, at Allianz Stadium. The Reds cross the Tasman on Feb. 24 to face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
7. Perth Glory
In Alistair Edwards’s first game at the helm of Perth Glory, they were able to put it all together and upset the Central Coast Mariners, 2-1, at nib Stadium. Travis Dodd equalized in the 27th minute and Shane Smeltz delivered the game-winner in the 65th minute of play. Perth continue their season on Feb. 23 against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium.
8. Melbourne Victory
Ange Postcoglou’s Melbourne Victory are slumping after a 2-1 defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park. Connor Pain got on the score sheet in the 75th minute of play but Melbourne could not muster anything else. It won’t get any easier for the Victory, who have Central Coast to ming on Feb. 23 at Bluetongue Stadium.
9. Melbourne Heart
Both Melbourne teams were struggling this past weekend, and John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart were no exception, getting shut out 2-0 at Hunter Stadium. Up next for the Heart is a match against Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Feb. 24.
10. Wellington Phoenix
It is amazing how Ricki Herbert is still managing Wellington Phoenix after they were shut out by the Brisbane Roar, 2-0, at Suncorp Stadium. One would think that, quite frankly, the clock is ticking. The Nix have Adelaide United coming to their house on Feb. 24.