Five things we learned from A-League Round 16

There is always a first time for things and for Western Sydney Wanderers they come in threes - or at least they did against Newcastle Jets.

Sergi Guardiola

Sergi Guardiola has failed to impress consistently for Adelaide United this season Source: Getty Images

1. Western Sydney Wanderers are the competition's hoodoo gurus

The Wanderers brought several hoodoos for this season to an end in one hit with their 2-0 win over the Jets.

Lachlan Scott scored his first A-League goal for the club, in his 10th game, it was the first home win by the team and also the first time Western Sydney have led all the way in a game.


The Wanderers had come from behind in their two previous wins.

Scott and the team are showing a distinct liking for Campbelltown Stadium, one of several venues the Wanderers are using for home games this season.

The 19-year-old striker scored a double in a 3-2 win over Wellington Phoenix in a round of 32 FFA Cup game, before finally nailing his first A-League goal there.

2. Melbourne Victory couldn't keep up their end of the bargain

Had the Victory beaten both Perth Glory on Saturday and Wellington Phoenix in the catch-up game the previous Tuesday, they would have been playing for the competition lead against Sydney FC at Etihad Stadium on Australia Day.

But instead they lost both, failing to capitalise on a 1-0 lead against Perth before losing 2-1 to go with their 3-0 loss to Wellington.

The Victory are still in second place, but are eight points behind Sydney. The "Big Blue" will still be huge, but for Kevin Muscat's men it will be about trying to get back on track now, rather than shooting it out for top spot.

They can tell themselves otherwise, but they're suddenly in a bit of a funk.

3. Tim Cahill never runs out of big plays

The Australia legend's two goals for Melbourne City in their 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners were vintage Cahill.

His run to lose a defender and arrive right on time to connect with the ball with his right foot, off a low free kick from Luke Brattan which gave Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Paul Izzo no chance, was superb.

The Mariners didn't even pick up Cahill to start with, in the lead-up to his second goal, which was appalling marking, but he still had to put the ball away and did so sweetly, heading down and hard off another Brattan free-kick and again leaving Izzo helpless.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou rested Cahill the last time Australia played 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying games. The veteran had injury issues at the time.

Postecoglou can't afford to be without him when the next qualifiers come around.

4. Adelaide United are pathetic in front of goal

We know it's not the same line-up as last season and that Adelaide have suffered from losing several star players and having others out injured, but with just 12 goals in 16 games from the defending champions? Seriously?

The 2-0 loss to Sydney FC was the fourth time in their last five games Adelaide have gone scoreless. They scored one goal in each of their first seven games this season, but have netted just five in nine games since.

So far, at least, it's an embarrassing return that is comparable to the long-defunct New Zealand Knights, who scored 15 goals from 21 games in season 2005-2006 and 13 from 21 the season after.

5. Newcastle Jets can't afford to be without Hoole or Nabbout

The talent is spread a little bit too thin at the Jets for them to be able to do much if either Andrew Hoole or Andrew Nabbout are unavailable.

They had nine goals and four assists between them ahead of the game against Western Sydney Wanderers, so with Hoole out due to suspension it was always going to be difficult for Newcastle to make an impact.

The Jets tried hard, but they didn't execute well and managed just one shot on target in their 2-0 loss.

Their attack revolves around Hoole and Nabbout. Heaven help them if they have to do without both players in another game this season.

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4 min read
Published 23 January 2017 at 6:16am
By Greg Prichard