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Australian Football: Goals galore as City held again

It turned out to be an exciting week of action in the A-League with 25 goals scored and Melbourne City remain on course to win the minor premiership.

City are the hot fancies to finish top of the pile come the end of the regular season and they remain five points clear with a game in hand. This despite the fact they were held to a draw for the third week on the bounce.

Yet again the likes of Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers could not capitalise and City are sitting comfortably at the top. At the other end Melbourne Victory remain in deep trouble following another defeat that leaves them bottom of the ladder.

There is also some big news to come from the Socceroos camp while the weekend was tarnished by a shocking injury to an Adelaide United star.

Lets take a look at the big talking points from Matchday 14.

Pressure turns to Popovic

Thursday night’s Big Blue saw Sydney FC come out on top with a 2-1 victory at Melbourne Victory, much to the relief of Sky Blues boss Steve Corica. A defeat for Sydney FC could have resulted in Corica heading for the exit door following what has been a disappointing season so far.

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There had been talk that former player Dwight Yorke was being lined up to replace him following his recent departure from Macarthur. However Corica appears to be safe for now following what he hopes will be a season-changing victory over the old enemy.

Sydney moved up to eighth on the ladder, one point outside of the top six and are back in the mix to make the play-offs. However the victory piled more pressure on Victory coach Tony Popovic. In his first season in charge Victory finished in the top three and won the FFA Cup.

His second season sees Victory cut adrift by five points at the foot of the ladder. It would be harsh to axe Popovic just now but unless there is an up-turn in form between now and the end of the season, a decision may have to be made.

Victory have work to do to avoid the wooden spoon this season.

Goals and draws galore

 For once A-League supporters were treated to an absolute goal-fest in Matchday 14 with the ball hitting the back of the net on 25 occasions. Not only that, four of the games were high-scoring draws. Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory, Macarthur v Western United and Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers all finished 2-2.

The best was saved until last with Melbourne City and Adelaide United sharing the points in a 3-3 thriller. Even Newcastle Jets, who have struggled for goals this season, went goal crazy when smashing Brisbane Roar 4-0.

The goal frenzy could not have come at a better time following some of the criticism that has been aimed at the competition in recent weeks.

Juande suffers horror injury

It may have been an exciting weekend for goals but the whole of Matchday 14 was marred by a horror leg injury to Adelaide midfielder Juande Lopez. Juande had not been on the field long when he suffered the broken leg following an accidental collision with Melbourne City star Florin Berenguer. 

The match was delayed for 30 minutes while the player received treatment and waited for an ambulance. Players from both sides were visibly shaken by the incident and Spanish team-mate Javi Lopez was in tears.

Somehow players from both sides managed to see the game out with City snatching a last-minute equaliser to earn a 3-3 draw.

Arnold stays on with Socceroos

Moving away from the A-League but staying with Australian Football news and Graham Arnold has penned a new deal to stay on as coach of the Socceroos.

The new deal is a reward for Australia’s performance at the 2022 FIFA World Cup where they advanced to the last 16 beating Tunisia and Denmark on the way before being beaten by eventual winners Argentina.

Arnold will now lead the charge towards the next World Cup in 2026, penning a contract extension worth a reported $6million. It is a remarkable turnaround considering Arnold was under pressure before the Socceroos won a play-off clash with Peru to book their place in Qatar.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the 2026 World Cup which will take place in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

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