Australia Soccer

Round ball round up: Pressure off Victory coach Marco Kurz … for now

Round ball round up: Pressure off Victory coach Marco Kurz … for now

01/12/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29645698

Melbourne Victory’s 1-0 defeat of Perth Glory on Friday night presents an intriguing insight into the power that perceptions can hold over the A-League.

Despite being little better than Victory on a functional level, Glory outpossessed, outcrossed and outshot its foes but failed to find the back of the net at AAMI Park.

Thus, Robbie Kruse’s 33rd-minute goal served to secure Victory the win and, in doing so, shifted the tone of Victory’s season.

Sitting second bottom of the league entering Round 8, the win sees Victory only missing the top six on goal difference.

Coach Marco Kurz was recruited in part because he was seen as a safe pair of hands to guide Victory’s transition to a post-Kevin Muscat era.

With the pressure somewhat off him, now he can head towards next week’s clash against Western United with an opportunity to build rather than defend.

Victory is unlikely to be able to use Friday evening’s contest as a sustainable template to kickstart its season, with many questions still remaining.

Still, it could tip either way.

If Kruse can find some form, things are looking up.

If United gets a win at Geelong, it’s back to square one.

Wobbly Wanderers

The early-season honeymoon for Markus Babbel’s Western Sydney Wanderers ended against Newcastle Jets on Saturday after goals from Dimi Petratos and Angus Thurgate – the 19-year-old christened the ‘Pele of Port Macquarie’ by fans.

Angus Thurgate celebrates his goal for the Jets. Photo: AAP

The Wanderers, with their suavely dressed gaffer on the sidelines of a shiny new stadium, were top of the league after Round 4 but have now suffered three straight defeats.

Babbel will have to show off more than just a flash wardrobe to right the Red and Black ship in coming weeks.

In Queensland, Brisbane Roar secured its second win of the season after downing Central Coast 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium, thanks to goals from Roy O’Donovan and Scott Neville.

Western United’s lean run of form continued on Sunday, as it lost 2-0 to champions Sydney FC in Geelong, thanks to an Adam Le Fondre double.

Sydney wasn’t at its best in the contest – a fact coach Steve Corica admitted post-game – but United’s profligacy in front of goal stretched into a third straight defeat before next week’s derby.

Adelaide United’s four-game winning run ended at the hands of Wellington Phoenix in the final game of the round.

The ‘Nix recovering from going behind to a Nikola Mileusnic goal-of-the-season contender to win 2-1, thanks to David Ball and Ulises Davila.

Wanderer women are winners

Western Sydney’s W-League side continued its highly impressive start to the season, riding a Kristen Hamilton hat-trick and strong performances from Lynn Williams and Kyra Cooney-Cross to a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

Surrendering a 2-0 lead to two Tara Andrews penalties late in the first half, Canberra United bounced back and recorded its second win of the season.

Elise Thorsnes’ 81st-minute winner secured a 3-2 win against Newcastle Jets.

An eighth-minute goal from Kyah Simon was enough for Melbourne City on Saturday afternoon.

The three-time W-League champions continue to notch points despite not blowing sides out of the water in defeating Adelaide United 1-0 at Shepparton, while Sydney defeated Perth Glory 3-1 on Sunday.

Best of the rest – European dreaming

Set to kick off in June of next year, the draw for the 16th iteration of the European Championships is complete.

The tournament will open in Rome with Turkey facing Italy.

They were drawn in Group A alongside Wales and Switzerland.

World No.1-ranked Belgium was drawn in Group B alongside Denmark, Finland and Russia while the Dutch, Ukraine, Austria and a playoff winner were sorted into Group C.

In Group E, Spain, Poland, Sweden and a playoff winner will lock horns.

Group D and F, though, are where the fun begins.

Always hard at it England and Croatia will renew their burgeoning rivalry – which in recent times included a World Cup semi-final – in Group D alongside a playoff winner and Czech Republic.

An unfortunate playoff winner sorted into Group F will have to contend with a three-headed dragon of France, Portugal and Germany – the reigning world champions, European champions and 2014 World champions.

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History in the making as Pararoos take on Canada

History in the making as Pararoos take on Canada

28/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29639072

This Saturday, far away from the A-League and W-League, Australian football history will be made in Sydney’s north.

It won’t be a game that causes a flock of media to descend, hordes of fans to pack in or generate the social media buzz that follows the Matildas or Socceroos but it will still serve as an important celebration of what football is.

Because, at its core, football isn’t about the bright lights of packed out stadiums, an unending push for trophies, glamorous player branding or the machinations of a worldwide industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

No, when boiled down to its very essence, football is – despite what some overinflated egos would have you believe – a game.

It’s a game for men and for women, for girls and boys and for young and old.

It’s a game for forging friendships that last a lifetime, for uniting a community through a shared love, and for serving as a momentary distraction from the humdrum.

It’s also a game for everyone – regardless of their abilities.

And that’s what makes this weekend’s fixture so momentous.

On Saturday, the Pararoos – Australia’s national team for athletes with cerebral palsy, an acquired brain injury or symptoms acquired from stroke – will clash with Canada at Cromer Park and play their first game on home soil since the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The rules that adjudicate Pararoos games are quite similar to those that govern their able-bodied compatriots, with a few modifications made to ensure the athletes taking part are able to compete to the best of their ability.

Fielding seven players instead of the normal 11 on a smaller field, there is no offside rule governing attackers positioning and throw-ins can be made with one hand. Matches consist of two halves of 30 minutes each.

Those competing have Ataxia, Hypertonia or Athetosis; three types of impairment most commonly associated with those dealing with neurological impairment, with a motor control impairment of a cerebral nature or causing a permanent and verifiable activity limitation.

Ostensibly, Saturday’s fixture serves as a preparatory hit out for Head Coach Kai Lammert’s side ahead of next June’s IFCPF Nations Championships in Sant Cugat, Spain but, for the players, it means a lot more.

“You try to hold back tears in many ways,” Pararoos goalkeeper Chris Barty told pararoos.com.au.

The team is relies upon support from the public for much of its funding. Photo: Kenny Bowers/FFA

“What an opportunity to show other people with disabilities what they can achieve in their lives.”

Established in 1998 in order to compete at the Sydney Olympics, the Pararoos have been operating under the auspices of Football Federation Australia since 2005 and, after the Australian Sports Commission withdrew funding in 2015 in accordance with the Winning Edge strategy, has relied upon support from the public to generate significant amounts of its funding.

The side currently operates a tax-deductible fundraising arm, thanks to a partnership between the FFA and Australian Sports Foundation but a lack of consistent, dependable funds has meant that there has, until now, been no opportunity for the players to play an out-of-competition friendly on home soil.

The Cromer Park fixture, as well as a number of training camps, has been funded thanks to FIFA Forward 2.0 initiative, but the squad is constantly seeking new revenue in order to compete.

Donations to the Pararoos can be made here.

Playing in front of stands largely consisting of family and friends, the Pararoos recently finished in 11th place at the 2019 IFCPF World Cup; defeating Saturday’s opponents Canada 4-2 to seal their placing.

But with a crowd that is hoped will break into the hundreds on Saturday, the upcoming game will serve as a memorable occasion for a squad that only has two members – Chris Pyne and David Barber – that have previously had the chance to play in Australia.

Indeed, such is the gap between Australian hosted fixtures, the squad that will take on Canada will feature a number of players not yet born the last time it happened.

“It has been so long since we played on home soil, it is going to mean the world,” Barber – who will play his 100th game for the Pararoos against Canada – told footballqueensland.com.au

“For me personally, it is something that I have been dreaming about for a really long time

“If you are a fan of football, a fan of good football, then that is what this team is all about. Just because we have a disability doesn’t change the fact that we play amazing football.

“We are going to be playing against a world-class opponent in our own backyard, and if you are a fan of football and want to get out and support the green and gold then this is your chance to do it. It’s going to be a great day at a great venue, and I cannot wait to play.”

Plans are also in place to continue to grow opportunities for more athletes to compete in CP Football.

In October, the first-ever Asia/Oceania Regional Female CP Football Camp was held in Sydney with 12 players from Australia and four from Japan present; an opening step on the road to establishing a female Pararoos squad.

While there currently exist fledgling international sides and competitions for female CP football around the world, a lack of funding has hampered Australia’s attempts to join them.

Increased financing and public recognition will hopefully rise in the near future for both the Pararoos and any burgeoning female team – ensuring that football’s legacy of inclusion grows.

Pararoos v Canada
When: Saturday, 30 November
Venue: Cromer Park – South Creek Road, Cromer, NSW
Kick-Off: 5.30pm
Tickets can be purchased here.
100% of ticket sales will go directly back to the Pararoos program.

A-LEAGUE – ROUND 8
Friday: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory, AAMI Park, 7.30pm
Saturday: Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners, Suncorp Stadium, 5pm; Newcastle Jets v Newcastle Jets, McDonald Jones Stadium, 7.30pm
Sunday: Western United v Sydney FC, Kardinia Park, 4.00pm; Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix, Coopers Stadium, 6.00pm
Bye: Melbourne City

W-LEAGUE – ROUND 3
Thursday: Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers, Lions FC Stadium, 7.30pm
Saturday: Newcastle Jets v Canberra United, McDonald Jones Stadium, 4.30pm; Melbourne City v Adelaide United, John McEwan Reserve, 7.00pm
Sunday: Perth Glory v Sydney FC, Dorrien Gardens, 4.00pm
Bye: Melbourne Victory

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Football round up: Babbel lets loose in wake of Western Sydney loss

Football round up: Babbel lets loose in wake of Western Sydney loss

25/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29631500

The story of the A-League round came in Sydney’s west, as a controversial penalty swung the momentum as top-of-the-table Melbourne City downed Western Sydney Wanderers 3-2 at Bankwest Stadium.

Taking the lead after Bruce Kamau set up Kwame Yeboah in just the second minute, the Wanderers had initially looked like they were sitting pretty against a blunt City.

Yet, a disputed decision to award City a penalty in the 56th minute by referee Chris Beath after an apparent foul on City prodigy Denis Genreau allowed Jamie Maclaren to level things up.

Just under 20 minutes later, Maclaren turned provider with a cross that Josh Brilliante – still tormenting the Wanderers despite switching from Sydney FC – steered home from close-range.

Nonetheless, the Wanderers answered back in the 80th when Yeboah fired in from close range.

But in the 92nd minute Lachlan Wales – the subject of much controversy after his Olyroos suspension midweek – picked out Maclaren inside the penalty area to fire home for his 19th goal in 12 games for club and country in 2019/20.

Speaking to media post-game, Wanderers Head Coach Markus Babbel was unable to contain his fury when asked about the contentious penalty’s veracity, proclaiming; “is that a serious question? Serious question? F––––sake. No Comment.

Babbel will likely face a fine for his post-game antics but, judging from the reaction of the Wanderers faithful, he probably won himself an even greater admiration from the red and black faithful in return.

Roar fail to fire

Babbel’s former Liverpool teammate Robbie Fowler’s poor start to life as coach of Brisbane Roar continued in the first of Saturday’s three games.

Wellington Phoenix captain Steven Taylor put his club ahead after just ten minutes and Ulises Dávila made it two in the 49th.

Though Stefan Mauk got a late goal back, the result marked a depressing return to dour reality for the Roar after their breakthrough 4-3 win over City last week.

Melbourne Victory’s woes continued against Adelaide United

Riley McGree – playing in his first game since also receiving a ban from national team duty – made it 1-0 in the 23rd minute only for Ola Toivonen to even it up  in the 61st minute.

Riley McGree on the tear on the weekend. Photo: Getty

The Reds restored their lead just moments later through an own goal from Migjen Basha. The in-form McGree nailed a brace five minutes later to seal a comfortable win and send Victory second-bottom of the league.

There was also no Grand Final revenge for Perth Glory in Saturday’s final contest, as Tony Popovic’s side went down to defending champions Sydney FC in the west.

A 12th minute penalty from Adam le Fondre quickly had the Harboursiders ahead at HBF Park but Bruno Fornaroli sealed his place as the quickest player in A-League history to 50 goals with an equaliser in the 44th minute.

Alas for Glory, played onside by millimetres, Kosta Barbarouses restored the visitors lead in the 58th minute and Milos Ninkovic made it 3-1 in the 65th.

Popovic said after the game his backline needed “time” before they were to fire on all cylinders.

The round’s final contest in Gosford saw a little piece of history made as Central Coast Mariners consigned Western United to back-to-back defeats for the first time in their existence.

The W-League

Defending premiers Melbourne Victory recorded their first win of the season after a spectacularly well-taken goal from Natasha Dowie propelled them to a 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar.

They now travel to South Korea as Australia’s first-ever representatives in the AFC Women’s Club Championship.

On Friday evening, Western Sydney Wanderers recorded a deserved, lightning delayed, 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets after a second-half Amy Harrison penalty.

In South Australia, defending champions Sydney FC made it two wins from two and went top of ‘the Dub’ after a tight contest against Adelaide United.

Matildas’ attacker Caitlin Foord turned in a Chloe Logarzo cross in the 57th minute for the game’s only goal.

Leaving it incredibly late, Melbourne City was able to join their crosstown rivals in recording their first win of the season after coming back from a Katie Stengel-supplied deficit to defeat Canberra United 2-1 in the nation’s capital.

A 66th minute goal from Serb international Milicia Mijatović and a penalty from Matildas’ stalwart Emily van Egmond in the 94th minute did the damage.

The Best of the Rest

The eyes of the footballing world rested squarely upon one man over the weekend – and he probably wouldn’t have it any other way.

José Mourinho took up a position in the Tottenham Hotspur dugout for the first time on Saturday night and watched on as his new side recorded a 3-2 win over London-rivals West Ham.

The scoreline, though, flattered a shambolic Hammers side.

Unfairly maligned after his stint at a Manchester United, Mourinho’s appointment – made mid-week after Spurs sacked Mauricio Pochettino less than 12 months after he took them to the Champions League final – was a move that launched a thousand think-pieces.

However, regardless of the detractors, the 56-year-old remains one of the most successful managers in world football.

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‘Australian first’: Postecoglou on verge of claiming Japan League title

‘Australian first’: Postecoglou on verge of claiming Japan League title

24/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29630918

Ange Postecoglou is on the verge of becoming the first Australian coach to win the J-League title after steering his Yokohama F. Marinos team to the top of the standings with two games remaining.

Former Socceroos coach Postecoglou guided Yokohama to the summit with a 1-0 win at Matsumoto Yamuga on Saturday.

That result and FC Tokyo’s surprise 1-1 draw with lowly Shonan Bellmare saw the top two change positions.

Yokohama are on 64 points with Tokyo on 63. Kashima Antlers, the only other team in title contention, are on 60.

Postecoglou’s man could clinch the title as soon as next weekend if they beat fourth-placed Kawasaki Frontale away and Tokyo lose to 13th-placed Urawa Red Diamonds.

However, it is more likely it will come down to a final round home showdown with Tokyo on December 7.

Postecoglou’s side are unbeaten in the league since August 17, a span of nine games.

However, the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory boss – who recently signed a one-year contract extension with Yokohama that will take him through till the end of next season – was not getting carried away with the title up for grabs.

“Just keep playing our football, that’s what’s got us to here,” said Postecoglou.

“We look forward to a big game next week against Kawasaki. They’re a fantastic team and we look forward to that challenge.”

The 54-year-old Postecoglou is wildly popular in Yokohama for driving the five-time champions to within reach of a first success since 2004 with minimal spending, as well as establishing an exciting brand of attacking football.

It’s an impressive improvement for the club who finished 12th last season and narrowly avoided a relegation play-off in Postecoglou’s first campaign in Japan’s top flight.

 

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‘Australian first’: Ange Postecoglou on verge of claiming Japanese league title

‘Australian first’: Ange Postecoglou on verge of claiming Japanese league title

24/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29631235

Ange Postecoglou is on the verge of becoming the first Australian coach to win the J-League title after steering his Yokohama F. Marinos team to the top of the standings with two games remaining.

Former Socceroos coach Postecoglou guided Yokohama to the summit with a 1-0 win at Matsumoto Yamuga on Saturday.

That result and FC Tokyo’s surprise 1-1 draw with lowly Shonan Bellmare saw the top two change positions.

Yokohama is on 64 points, with Tokyo on 63.

Kashima Antlers, the only other team in title contention, are on 60.

Postecoglou’s men could clinch the title as soon as next weekend if they beat fourth-placed Kawasaki Frontale away and Tokyo loses to 13th-placed Urawa Red Diamonds.

However, it is more likely it will come down to a final-round home showdown with Tokyo on December 7.

Postecoglou’s side is unbeaten in the league since August 17, a span of nine games.

However, the former Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory boss, who recently signed a one-year contract extension with Yokohama that will take him through till the end of next season, was not getting carried away with the title up for grabs.

“Just keep playing our football, that’s what’s got us to here,” said Postecoglou.

“We look forward to a big game next week against Kawasaki. They’re a fantastic team and we look forward to that challenge.”

The 54-year-old Postecoglou is wildly popular in Yokohama for driving the five-time champions to within reach of a first success since 2004 with minimal spending, as well as establishing an exciting brand of attacking football.

It’s an impressive improvement for the club that finished 12th last season and narrowly avoided a relegation playoff in Postecoglou’s first campaign in Japan’s top flight.

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The grassroots hero finally getting a shot at the big time

The grassroots hero finally getting a shot at the big time

20/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29624441

A figure instantly recognisable across community grounds throughout Victoria, John Anastasiadis’ history in the Australian game is a long one.

Breaking into the first team of then-National Soccer League (NSL) side Heidelberg United as a teenager in 1987, he quickly won a call-up to the Young Socceroos – playing in the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championships – before earning a move to Greek Super League side PAOK.

Playing over 200 games during almost a decade in the Hellenic top flight, PAOK’s forays into Europe gave Anastasiadis priceless opportunities to play against the likes of Iván Zamorano, Toni Polster and Diego Maradona.

Returning to Australia in 1997, he won two NSL championships under Ange Postecoglou at South Melbourne and became the first, and only, Australian to score at the legendary Maracanã when he netted against Mexican side Necaxa at the 2000 FIFA World Club Championships.

Next came a short stint as player-coach of Yarraville Glory before his inauspicious start to a full-time career in coaching in 2005 at South Melbourne. Just three players – including his brother, Dean – turned up for his first session in charge of a club still reeling from its exclusion from the newly launched A-League.

Yet success soon arrived. The fledgling gaffer delivered a Victorian Premier League championship to Hellas in 2006, and helped foster the careers of players such as Dino Djulbic, Ivan Franjic, Nick Kalmar and Cameron Watson.

But it was a move to Bentleigh Greens in 2011 that truly cemented Anastasiadis as a star on the rise.

John Anastasiadis in his Bentleigh Green days. Photo: Getty

Arriving at a club previously devoid of major trophies, the new coach’s ability in the dugout and shrewd recruiting delivered to Kingston Heath the 2015 and 2017 Victorian Championship, 2016 Premiership, 2016 and 2018 Dockerty Cups and an appearance in the semi-finals of the FFA Cup in 2014 and 2018.

Indeed, the acceptance of the potential viability of a National Second Division amongst the Australian footballing public likely owes a not insignificant debt to the work of Anastasiadis and his Greens sides: their sustained success at a national and local level providing a compelling narrative of talent waiting to be tapped into beyond the A-League.

However, despite his playing pedigree, coaching aptitude and success at the grassroots level long earmarking him as a future A-League coach there was one problem: such an opportunity never arose.

As A-League clubs targeted “proven” coaches – be they from overseas or possessing previous A-League experience – Anastasiadis’ resume didn’t fit the bill.

Supplementing his coaching income with work outside football, he lacked high-profile media roles to keep him in the national spotlight and create momentum around him.

Furthermore, not possessing a Socceroos cap – Anastasiadis joining the likes of Louis Christodoulou, Jim Patikas and Chris Kalantzis in curiously failing to earn a call-up despite long and successful tenures in the Greek top-flight – his name lacked the brand power of a John Aloisi or Tony Popovic.

Regrettably, it appeared as though the risk-averse nature of A-League clubs, combined with pervasive insecurity that exists in the Australian game when it comes to trusting homegrown coaches, would conspire to stymie any hopes of progression beyond the NPL.

“It passes through your mind,” Anastasiadis told The New Daily when asked about disillusionment.

“There’s no doubt, you think ‘is it ever going to happen?’

“But you never know what’s around the corner so you’ve got to keep your hopes up, keep positive and hope things will fall into place and I was lucky enough for that to happen.”

Indeed, thanks to A-League expansion, it did happen.

While the development of new opportunities for Australian footballers is a key selling point when the growth of the A-League is mentioned, there is also a corresponding increase in opportunities for budding administrators, operational staff and coaches.

Thus, despite seemingly possessing closer ties to rival bidders South Melbourne and Team 11, Anastasiadis in January of 2019 became the first signing in Western United history when he came aboard as an assistant coach.

In May, Mark Rudan, who also had a successful stint in NPL NSW with Sydney United, was named head coach.

“It’s really exciting to see where the club was ten months ago, to where it is today,” Anastasiadis said.

“Once we started playing the games it really kicked in and really hit me hard, saying ‘well, you’re here in the A-League.’

“While you’re coaching you always have hope to be involved in the top echelon of the country.

“I was very happy about getting the opportunity and I’m grateful for that – that Western United have looked into the NPL to have a coach to be part of the staff.

“For me, it’s just a culmination of a lot of hard work of all these years in the NPL in the hope of getting an opportunity and I’m just grateful that United have taken a punt on me.”

A-LEAGUE – ROUND 7
Friday: Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City, Bankwest Stadium, 7.30pm
Saturday: Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar, Westpac Stadium, 5pm; Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory, Coopers Stadium, 7.30pm; Perth Glory v Sydney FC, HBF Park, 9.45pm
Sunday: Central Coast Mariners v Western United, Central Coast Stadium, 6.00pm
Bye: Newcastle Jets
W-LEAGUE – ROUND 2
Thursday: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory, Dolphin Stadium, 7.30pm
Friday: Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets, Bankwest Stadium, 5.00pm; Adelaide United v Sydney FC, Marden Sports Complex, 7.30pm
Sunday: Canberra United v Melbourne City, McKellar Park, 4.00pm
Bye: Perth Glory

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Olyroos trio to miss shot at Tokyo 2020 after Cambodia incident

Olyroos trio to miss shot at Tokyo 2020 after Cambodia incident

19/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29622205

Lachlan Wales, Nathaniel Atkinson and Brandon Wilson will not feature in a potential Olympics campaign next year while rising star Riley McGree will play no further part in the Olyroos’ qualifiers after they were suspended for “unprofessional conduct” involving a woman.

In April this year, a woman complained about the quartet, which was in Cambodia with the Olyroos for the AFC U-23 championship qualifying tournament, leading to a lengthy FFA investigation.

McGree has been banned from international duty until April 1, while Wales, Atkinson and Wilson were hit with longer bans through to August 10, meaning that trio cannot be selected for the Tokyo Olympics.

All four players will also be suspended for January’s AFC under-23 championships, the qualifying tournament for the Olympics.

The squad has continued to excel without the four in warm-up tournaments, winning against DPR Korea 4-0 on Monday and 5-1 against China last Friday.

McGree has had a stellar start to his return to Adelaide United, scoring four goals in his first five A-League games but will now be ineligible for Socceroos consideration, including for World Cup qualifiers against Nepal and Kuwait in March, until his ban expires.

McGree, Atkinson, Wales and Wilson did not travel with the Olyroos to China on November 9 as sanctions were pending.

The FFA said the four players would also participate in education courses and counselling as a result of the code of conduct breach.

“These sanctions are commensurate to the nature of the breaches of the National Code of Conduct which is in place to safeguard both the players and the reputation of Australian football,” FFA chairman Chris Nikou said in a statement.

“Upholding our commitment to respect and responsibility cannot be compromised. Our game is built on equality, inclusivity and respect and these are values that we will continue to uphold.

“The players have understood the gravity of their actions and have positively commenced respectful relationship programs that will ensure they appreciate these values in the future.”

The players can appeal against FFA’s ruling to the independent FFA disciplinary and ethics committee.

The players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia, said it would provide support to all four players.

“The PFA has, and continues to, represent the players throughout this process and will work closely with each of them on their options, including appealing the sanctions imposed,” the PFA said in a statement.

“From the outset the players have accepted responsibility, undertaken respectful relationships counselling and at all times acted co-operatively with the FFA during the investigation.”

-AAP

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A-League: Sydney edges Victory, as Robbie Fowler finds his Roar

A-League: Sydney edges Victory, as Robbie Fowler finds his Roar

17/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29618429

Two goals in seven minutes gave Sydney FC a 2-1 win over A-League rivals Melbourne Victory on Sunday night, as Brisbane Roar also broke through for Robbie Fowler.

Sydney’s ex-Victory striker Kosta Barbarouses scored the winning goal in Sunday evening’s tense encounter at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium and made good on his pre-game promise not to celebrate.

With the match tied at 1-1, Barbarouses netted in the 68th minute after Rhyan Grant’s shot bounced off the crossbar in heavy traffic.

The 16,116-strong Sydney crowd went wild, but Barbarouses was stoic as he made good on his word not to react if he scored against his former team.

Tight match: Migjen Basha of Melbourne Victory gains possession. Photo: AAP

However, the assist from Grant was just as important in his 200th match for the club.

For Victory, it was a hostile welcome to the scene of last season’s 6-1 loss in the finals to its Sydney counterparts.

Sydney had all the ball early but failed to create promising chances to score.

Prolific Victory striker Ola Toivonen opened the scoring in the 45th minute with his fourth goal of the season, heading the ball in at the far post off a brilliant cross from Josh Hope to take the 1-0 lead.

The Swede had another chance when he was fouled just after half-time by Grant, but his kick sailed over the crossbar.

Sydney responded in the 61st minute as Adam Le Fondre headed in a goal after a wealth of possession to level at 1-1, followed soon after by the winning Barbarouses goal.

International duty robbed Victory of Storm Roux, Kenny Athiu, Thomas Deng and Elvis Kamsoba.

German U20 international Tim Hoogland (quad) and Socceroo Andrew Naboout (hamstring) remain sidelined with injury.

At Dolphins Stadium, Brisbane’s wait for goals and a victory under Robbie Fowler came to a dramatic end with a thrilling 4-3 comeback A-League win over Melbourne City.

In front of a near-capacity 9387 home crowd, Roar came back from a 3-1 deficit to secure its first win of the season in a rip-roaring second-half display.

Roar coach Robbie Fowler during the tense match against Melbourne City. Photo: AAP

Irishman Roy O’Donovan scored a hat-trick, including two second-half penalties, while strike partner Aaron Amadi-Holloway marked his starting debut for Roar with the other goal.

The result means top-of-the-table City slip to its first loss of this campaign, despite Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren marking his return from a hamstring injury with a hat-trick of his own.

City took an early lead when Maclaren made the most of a missed clearance by Roar captain Tom Aldred to pounce in the sixth minute.

Roar was left livid when O’Donovan thought he’d been upended by City’s Harrison Delbridge on the quarter-hour in the penalty area but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

Fowler must have been cursing his luck when, in the 29th minute, Maclaren leapt over Roar defender Daniel Bowles to put the visitors 2-0 up.

A tactical switch meant Fowler removed Jake McGing before half-time and Bowles also came off at the break.

Roar switched to three at the back and made the most of a strong breeze to turn the match on its head.

O’Donovan’s 50th-minute strike ended a three-and-a-half-match goal drought for Roar, before Maclaren completed his hat-trick moments later to restore City’s two-goal lead.

Amadi-Holloway’s scrambled back-post effort in the 60th minute pulled Roar back to within one.

O’Donovan converted from the spot to put Roar level in the 63rd minute after Amadi-Holloway was tripped.

Brisbane must have felt it would have to settle for a point after a cross by Aldred drifted past City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis and hit the far post, seeming to cross the line before Bouzanis clawed it away.

The lack of goal line technology might have saved City on that occasion but, just minutes later, VAR official Craig Zetter called referee Alex King to have a look at a shot blocked by City substitute Denis Genreau.

King ruled the block to be a handball and O’Donovan slotted away the winner from the spot to secure his hat-trick.

“If you didn’t know that our team and our players have got character, I think we’ve shown it in abundance with that second-half performance,” Fowler said.

I thought we were quite incredible. To score four goals against the league leaders … it sure shows you that we’ve got a little bit about us.’’

Deflated City coach Erick Mombaerts said he had not seen the decisive penalty call but, regardless, believed his team should have done better to see out the match with a 3-1 lead.

“We need to be stronger … it is the first game we have to play like that – maybe it is also a good experience,” the Frenchman said.

“We have to understand and to find a solution in these kinds of games.”

Roar heads to Wellington next week to face the winless Phoenix, while City plays Western Sydney at Bankwest Stadium.

-AAP

The post A-League: Sydney edges Victory, as Robbie Fowler finds his Roar appeared first on The New Daily.



https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/football/2019/11/17/a-league-brisbane-roar-melbourne-city/
A-League: Brisbane Roar edges Melbourne City in 4-3 thriller

A-League: Brisbane Roar edges Melbourne City in 4-3 thriller

17/11/2019, Australia, Soccer, Hyundai A-League, Article # 29618280

A stirring second-half fightback has brought Brisbane its first A-League win under Robbie Fowler, defeating league leaders Melbourne City 4-3 in a thriller.

Roar trailed 3-1 on Sunday afternoon when Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren completed a hat-trick on his return from a hamstring injury, but Irishman Roy O’Donovan’s own hat-trick secured Brisbane’s first win of the campaign.

The loss is City’s first of the season but it remains top of the league on 13 points.

A win seemed unlikely when Maclaren’s first-half double in front of a near-capacity crowd of 9387 at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium gave City a 2-0 half-time lead.

Fowler switched Roar to three at the back during the break and the tactical switch paid dividends, with O’Donovan ending a 320-minute goal drought early in the second half before twice scoring from the penalty spot.

Aaron Amadi-Holloway scored the other goal for Roar, the big Welsh striker bundling home from close range in the 60th minute for his first A-League strike.

The victory was sealed after VAR official Craig Zetter spotted a handball by Denis Genreau and referee Alex King awarded the decision in the 82nd minute after consulting the pitchside monitor.

The second-half dramatics were a mile away when Maclaren opened the scoring against his old club in the sixth minute.

Roar captain Tom Aldred misjudged a drifted cross by Marcelo Cabrera and Maclaren pounced to slide the ball past Max Crocombe.

O’Donovan believed he had a penalty midway through the half when he appeared to be tripped by City defender Harrison Delbridge, but King and the VAR officials disagreed, much to Fowler’s fury.

That fury would have been incandescent in the 29th minute when Maclaren somehow rose above Roar defender Daniel Bowles to head home his second.

In response, Fowler made his first substitution in the 34th minute, taking off Jake McGing for Australian under-17 representative Jordan Courtney-Perkins, before making a second change at the break with Bowles making way for Jai Ingham.

The changes altered the game as O’Donovan ended Roar’s goal drought.

Maclaren headed home a third almost from the kickoff but, when Amadi-Holloway made it 3-2 moments later, the comeback was very much on.

O’Donovan coolly slotted his first penalty in the 63rd minute to level the scores, after Amadi-Holloway was tripped before scoring his controversial winner following the VAR intervention against Genreau.

Roar heads to Wellington next week to face the winless Phoenix, while City faces Western Sydney at Bankwest Stadium.

-AAP

The post A-League: Brisbane Roar edges Melbourne City in 4-3 thriller appeared first on The New Daily.



https://thenewdaily.com.au/sport/football/2019/11/17/a-league-brisbane-roar-melbourne-city/
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