Isuzu UTE A-League Men's Wrap: Round 3

Only three sides remain unbeaten after the completion of a highly entertaining round in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s competition.

Macarthur FC are the new league leaders after they came away with all three points in their clash at Panthers Stadium while Sydney FC are stuck in 11th after they had to settle for a point against Newcastle Jets after leading 2-0.

Round 3 began under lights at WIN Stadium in Wollongong as Wellington Phoenix welcomed Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.

This match definitely lit the fuse for an exciting weekend to come with some refereeing decisions proving to have a pivotal outcome on the affair.

Tomer Hemed was front and centre for the controversy as the ex-Phoenix striker put Wanderers in the lead on 66 minutes when he bundled home from a free kick.

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 03: Tomer Hemed of the Wanderers celebrates with his team after scoring a goal during the A-League Mens match between Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney Wanderers at WIN Stadium, on December 03, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

However, it was not that simple with Wellington coach Ufuk Talay demonstrating for a foul with Hemed and Rhys Williams having allegedly pushed Callan Elliot into shot stopper Oli Sail. The Phoenix No. 1 ultimately fumbled the ball into the path of the Israeli forward.

The score remained that way until the dying moments of injury time after Johnny Koutroumbis ran the whole field to knock the ball into an empty net after Sail committed to going up for the corner.

The first of Saturday’s matches took us to Queensland as Brisbane Roar faced off against Adelaide United.

The visitors entered the fixture with two draws to their name while Roar had yet to get off the mark for the season.

Both sides had their chances to take all three points but were unable to land that killer blow. There was still plenty of action despite the score line with eight yellow cards being dished out.

One of those cautions eventually translated into a sending off as Spanish defender Javi Lopez received his marching orders deep into stoppage time to leave the Reds to finish the match with 10 men.

Heading down to AAMI Park where Western United toppled reigning champions Melbourne City by the one goal.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls’ second goal in as many weeks was enough to separate the two sides. His pinpoint finish in the 20th minute came off the back of an inch-perfect pass from Alessandro Diamanti which Wenzel-Halls controlled before slotting into the far bottom corner.

That is now back-to-back wins for United who jump to third on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s ladder.

The selected free-to-air fixture on Network 10 was the meeting between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Both sides had just a point to their name after the opening two rounds. It was the Sky Blues who began the brighter with an Adam Le Fondre penalty putting them ahead just before the 10 minute mark.

Match Wrap: Sydney FC vs Newcastle Jets

Some fine footwork from the Englishman soon saw them double their lead as his cross picked out Elvis Kamsoba after half an hour of play.

The second half turned out to be quite a tight affair until the Jets provided a much needed response through Valentino Yuel who slotted past Andrew Redmayne after being picked out by Daniel Penha’s defence splitting through ball.

The Jets striker was not done there as he soon came up with an equaliser just after the hour mark when he rifled home after getting the best of Sydney’s Rhyan Grant.

Making our way to Sydney’s west where Macarthur FC got the better of Central Coast Mariners at Panthers Stadium in the early kick off on Sunday.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Matheus Rodrigues of the Mariners shoots under pressure from Tomislav Uskok of the Bulls during the A-League Mens match between Macarthur FC and Central Coast Mariners at Campbelltown Stadium, on December 05, 2021, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

A deflected Ulises Davila strike on the stroke of halftime proved to be the deciding goal in this fixture as the Bulls maintained their unbeaten record and headed to the top of the ladder.

Sunday’s encounter marked a special occasion for 17-year-old shot stopper Lawrence Caruso who made his Mariners debut after replacing Yaren Sozer who pulled up with a suspected torn hamstring after 20 minutes or so.

Round three action wrapped up at AAMI Park as Melbourne Victory’s unbeaten record was put to the test against Perth Glory.

A Rai Marchan red card late in the first half paved the way for a challenging evening for Tony Popovic’s men.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Antonee Burke-Gilroy of the Glory celebrates after scoring a goal during the A-League Mens match between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory at AAMI Park, on December 05, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

A ruthless second half performance saw Glory score three without reply as Antonee Burke-Gilroy opened his account with a stunning pile-driver in the 66th minute.

The midfielder then turned provider for Ciaran Bramwell who headed home his teammate’s cross eight minutes later.

It was then up to the experienced Bruno Fornaroli to seal all three points with his 88th minute long- range effort.

Isuzu UTE A-League Mens Fixtures