The 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season kicked off on the weekend with five of the ten teams recording victories. Overall, 17 goals were scored in the five matches and no matches ended in a draw which made matches entertaining for the fans.
It was the perfect start for Lawrie McKinna's men with critics around the country expecting a completely different result.
Melbourne Victory: 0 Central Coast Mariners: 2 (Matt SIMON 10', Michael MCGLINCHEY 15') Thursday, 6 August 2009 Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Local kick-off 8.00pm Referee: Matthew Breeze Assistant referees: Hakan Anaz, Shaun Evans Fourth official: Kevin Docherty Crowd: 18,855 Yellow cards:Melb - Evan BERGER 40', Nick WARD 90' +3 CCM - Nigel BOOGAARD 17', Alex WILKINSON 39', Brad PORTER 63', John HUTCHINSON 67', Michael McGLINCHEY 78', Nicky TRAVIS 90'
A 31st minute Travis Dodd penalty separated the two teams giving Aurelio Vidmar's men a handy three points in a contest that could have gone either way.
Dave Mitchell's new team will surely improve further with more games under their belt together.
Adelaide United: 1 (Travis DODD 31' (pen)) Perth Glory: 0 Friday, 7 August 2009 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Local Kick-off 7.30pm Referee: Craig Zetter Assistant referees: Matthew Cream, Daniel Goodwin Fourth official: Regis Queffelec Crowd: 13,847 Yellow cards:Adel - CASSIO 65', Travis DODD 83' Per - Tando VELAPHI 29', Jacob BURNS 29', Victor SIKORA 83'
The Sky Blues went ahead early through John Aloisi before young gun Kofi Danning doubled the advantage prior to the half-hour mark.
Just before half-time, Rostyn Griffiths scored a landmark goal for the Fury to give the new team some hope and when marquee signing Robbie Fowler levelled with a spot-kick in the 60th minute it looked like the match could go either way.
But Aloisi came to the rescue with a penalty of his own 17 minutes from time to give Sydney FC all three points.
North Queensland Fury: 2 (Rostyn GRIFFITHS 41', Robbie FOWLER 60' (pen)) Sydney FC: 3 (John ALOISI 4', 73' (pen), Kofi DANNING 28') Saturday, 8 August 2009 Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville Local kick-off 5.30pm Referee: Stebre Delovski Assistant referee: Jason Power, Graham Buzzi Fourth official: Matthew Gillett Crowd: 8,897 Yellow cards:NQF - nil Syd - nil
Then it was the other brand new franchise, Gold Coast United, to make their debut on the pitch.
It was a different outcome for the star-studded United, who managed a superb 3-1 win over last year's preliminary finalist Brisbane Roar.
It was fitting that last season's A-League Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner Shane Smeltz scored Gold Coast's first ever goal before Socceroos star Jason Culina added a second just after half-time.
Roar striker Sergio van Dijk was able to provide a consolation goal from the spot for Frank Farina's men in injury time but it was to no avail as Brazilian import Milson netted a third for United.
Brisbane Roar: 1 (Sergio VAN DIJK 90' +1 (pen)) Gold Coast United: 3 (Shane SMELTZ 18', Jason CULINA 58', MILSON 90' +3) Saturday, 8 August 2009 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Local kick-off 7.30pm Referee: Peter Green Assistant referee: Brad Hobson, David Walsh Fourth official: Alan Milliner Crowd: 19,902 Yellow cards:Bris - Mitch NICHOLS 4', Robbie KRUSE 26', Danny TIATTO 41', Craig MOORE 45' +1, Charlie MILLER 61' GCU - ROBSON 63', Steve PANTELIDIS 66', Shane SMELTZ 81', Jason CULINA 84', Scott HIGGINS 90'
20-year old striker Jason Hoffman got the Jets off to the perfect start with two goals in the first 20 minutes before the Phoenix hit back through Ben Sigmund and English recruit Chris Greenacre prior to half-time.
The match was headed for a draw until Jets substitutes Sean Rooney and Jason Naidovski combined for an 84th minute winner to give Branko Culina a 100% strike rate as Newcastle coach.
Newcastle Jets: 3 (Jason HOFFMAN 12', 20', Jason NAIDOVSKI 84') Wellington Phoenix: 2 (Ben SIGMUND 26', Chris GREENACRE 43') Sunday, 9 August 2009 EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Local kick-off 3.00pm Referee: Chris Beath Assistant referee: Rodney Allen, Ryan Gallagher Fourth official: Kurt Ams Crowd: 6,655 Yellow cards:New - Adam D'APUZZO 20', Ljubo MILICEVIC 73' Well - Jon McKAIN 48', Tony LOCHHEAD 59'