Isuzu UTE A-League Round 15 Headlines

Massive transfer news, a lone league leader, and a Western rivalry. Here are all the headlines ahead of Round 15 of the Isuzu UTE A-League.

A Familiar Face Returns To The A-League

Marco Rojas speaks with the media after winning the Johnny Warren Medal as the Hyundai A-League Player of the Year Award during the 2013 FFA A-League and W-League Awards. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Throughout the week, A-League fans were treated to the return of a familiar face, the former Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix marquee man, Marco Rojas, is making a return to the A-League. But this time in orange.

The Kiwi Messi has signed with the Brisbane Roar for the remainder of the 23/24 A-League season. Rojas has stated that the Roar project was the one that resonated with him most thatled to his decision to settle in Brisbane (via The forward, who has made 140 appearances in the A-League, has joined Ben Cahn’s Brisbane Roar. A side that has lost 7 of their last 8 games. Most recently, they fell short in the Central Coast, where they were beaten 2-0 by a strong Mariners performance.

Watch the highlights from Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar here. 

This week, they will take on top-of-the-table Wellington Phoenix and will look to cause a great upset in front of the Brisbane crowd. Rojas will be available for selection on Friday night against his former club, and home fans will be eagerly waiting to see if Rojas can be the one to send Brisbane’s recent spell of bad form.

As for their opponents, Wellington Phoenix went two points clear in 1st place after a win against Newcastle Jets, thanks to a late goal from the returning Oskar Zawada.

Zawada has been sidelined since Round 7 with a groin injury. But after an anticipated return, he gifted the Wellington fans with an 87th minute goal to put his side ahead 2-1 against a resistant Newcastle Jets side.

Watch the highlights from Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix here. 

The last time these two sides met, Oskar bagged a hattrick to complete Wellington’s 5-2 victory over the Roar. He will definitely be one to watch this weekend as the ‘Nix fight to stay at the top of the table.

Watch Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix live on Paramount+ at 7:15pm Friday night (AEDT). 

Still Undefeated...

Zinedine Machach of Melbourne Victory celebrates a goal with teammates during the A-League Men round 14 match between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC at AAMI Park, on January 26, 2024(Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

Melbourne Victory are still undefeated after 14 games in the 2023/24 A-League season. However, of those 14 games, 8 have resulted in a draw. Now, they sit 2 points behind league leaders, Wellington Phoenix.

This comes after a stalemate 1-1 draw in the Big Blue last weekend, where Sydney FC went down to 10 men in the 36th minute after Patrick Wood was controversially shown a red card for a dangerous challenge on Adama Traore. The early red card marked a changing point in the game. It seemed to extinguish the spectacle that viewers beheld in the first 30 minutes of the game, with end-to-end action and goals coming from both sides.

By the end, Melbourne Victory couldn’t find a way through despite the man advantage for two-thirds of the game leading to their third consecutive 1-1 draw, keeping them still undefeated.

Watch the highlights from Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC here.

Changing the focus to this week, MVFC will travel to Newcastle for a Saturday evening fixture against the Jets.

Memories will still echo inside the minds of Victory supporters of their 5-3 victory over the Jets in October, where their star man Bruno Fornaroli scored 4 first-half goals.

Watch the highlights from Round 3 Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

Unfortunately for the Victory, they will have to do it this time without Fornaroli as he’s still away with the Socceroos in Qatar. The Vuck will be waiting for another player to fill Bruno’s boots as they attempt to make up lost ground in the race for the premier title.

Watch Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory  live on Paramount+ at 5:50pm Saturday night (AEDT). 

Mariners At Full Steam Ahead

Miguel Di Pizio of the Mariners celebrates scoring a goal with team mates during the A-League Men round 14 match between Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar at Industree Group Stadium, on January 27, 2024, in Gosford, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Mariners continue to make headlines as we approach Round 15 after their 10th consecutive game unbeaten in the A-League brings them up to 3rd spot on the ladder. Last Saturday night, the Mariners beat Brisbane Roar 2-0 with a goal from Miguel Di Pizio in the first half and one from Angel Torres in the 90th minute to solidify the win. While there were exceptional performances all across the pitch, Josh Nisbet stood out in the midfield and grabbed another assist bringing his tally up to 6 assists in 7 games.

Watch mini-match from Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar here. 

As the Mariners attempt to create a strong title defense, they have reinforced their attack with 22-year-old striker Ryan Edmonson. The ex-Leeds United forward will now join Mark Jackson’s side for the trip down to Adelaide to take on United this Saturday night.

Adelaide United hasn’t been in the best form recently. They have only won once from their last 5 games and now sit outside the top 6 with 18 points. In Round 14, they fell short to Melbourne City 1-0 after a stunning early goal from Terry Antonis.

Both sides had many chances to put goals on the board in this fixture. But the best chance came to the soon-to-be Bayern Munich youngster, Nestory Irankunda, who came toe-to-toe with Jamie Young in a golden chance to level the terms. But unfortunately for Adelaide fans, the veteran goalkeeper prevailed, and the final score ended in Melbourne City’s favour.

Watch the highlights from Adelaide United v Melbourne City here.

In more transfer news, Premier League side Brighton Hove & Albion have signed 19-year-old Adelaide United goalkeeper Steven Hall. This will be the second Adelaide United player to put ink to paper for a top European side this season.

Further on that point, Adelaide’s starting goalkeeper Joe Gauci, who is currently away with the Socceroos in Qatar, is rumoured to be in talks with a transfer to Premier League club Aston Villa. One to keep an eye on in future weeks… But for this week, we will be keeping both eyes on this big Saturday night clash.

Catch all the action from the Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United live and free on 10 Bold, 10 Play, and Paramount+ from 7pm Saturday night (AEDT).

The Wild Wild West

Wanderers fans let off a flare during the A-League Mens match between Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, on March 12, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

To cap off the action for Round 15, Macarthur FC will host their Western Sydney counterpart, the Western Sydney Wanderers, in a fixture where a spot in the top 4 is up for grabs.

Macarthur FC come into the fixture after a disappointing draw to Perth Glory. The Bulls led for almost the entirety of the game only to let in an impressive solo-effort goal from David Williams in the dying minutes to lock the scores at 2-2.

Watch the highlights from Macarthur FC v Perth Glory here. 

Following that, Macarthur has now dropped 7 points due to goals conceded in stoppage time this season. A frustrating statistic for the Bulls. After a promising start to the season, the Bulls have dropped down to 5th place but will have an opportunity to re-enter the top 4 if they can pull off a good result this weekend.

The Wanderers sit in 4th after beating Western United 1-0 with a first-half goal from Lachlan Brook.

With a red card shown to Aidan Simmons in the 66th minute, the 10-men Red & Black were able to hold onto the lead at North Hobart Oval despite strong pressure from John Aloisi’s Western United. A special mention must be made to the heroics of second-choice goalkeeper Daniel Margush, who made some special saves which kept the clean sheet for the Wanderers and in turn, the three points.

Watch the highlights from Western United v Western Sydney Wanderers here.

In other headlines, A-League legend Milos Ninkovic has announced his retirement from football after the 23/24 season.

The ex-Sydney FC star will have one last dance with the Western Sydney Wanderers this season with hopes of lifting the A-League trophy as a player for a final time. But he and the rest of the Wanderers will have to take it one game at a time, starting with a short trip to Campbelltown this Sunday evening.

Catch all the action from the Macarthur FC v Western Sydney Wanderers live and free on 10 Bold, 10 Play, and Paramount+ from 4:30pm Sunday afternoon (AEDT).