Isuzu UTE A-League Round 16 Headlines

From manager outbursts to new league contenders. Here are all the headlines surrounding the Isuzu UTE A-League before Round 16.

The Bulls Charge On

Valere Germain of the Bulls celebrates during the A-League Men round 15 match between Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The scores have been locked at 3-3 since the half-time whistle. Western Sydney Wanderers have been down to 10 men for the majority of the second half. Tensions are peaking, and we are now only minutes away from full time. Valere Germain, the Macarthur FC striker hunting for his hat-trick, rises above the Wanderers defence and directs a header goalwards. Lawrence Thomas produces a good save, but it seems as though the ball may have crossed the line. Goal given. 4-3. Macarthur win the game.

Such were the events when Macarthur FC got the edge over the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday night in a memorable A-League thriller.

Watch the highlights from Macarthur FC v Western Sydney Wanderers here.

Despite the controversy within the game and the drama that followed (more on that later), Macarthur FC proved once again to be title contenders for the 23-24 A-League campaign. The French striker, Germain, now sits on 10 goals after his hat-trick against the Wanderers and will be a pivotal figure for the Bulls as they look to continue their 6 games unbeaten streak next weekend.

The Bulls now sit in 4th place awaiting their next challenge in Melbourne this Saturday evening at AAMI Park, where they will face off against 3rd place Melbourne Victory.

Tony Popovic’s Melbourne Victory are slowly descending from the top of the A-League ladder despite being undefeated this season. Last week’s 1-1 draw against Newcastle Jets marks their fourth consecutive draw and their ninth of the season. The result against Newcastle Jets was a frustrating one for Vuck fans as their side led for the majority of the match and fought hard to hold onto that lead. Credit to Paul Izzo, who saved Stamatelopoulos’ two consecutive penalties in the first half to maintain Victory’s lead.

But their efforts weren’t enough after Stamatelopoulos scored the equaliser for the Jets in the 88th minute to secure a share of the points.

Watch the highlights from Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory here.

Melbourne Victory have a difficult task ahead of them this week and will need to bring a fierce performance to tame the red-hot Bulls this Saturday and maintain their spot in the top 3.

Watch Melbourne Victory v Macarthur FC  live on Paramount+ at 5:20pm Saturday night (AEDT). 

A New Brisbane Head Coach

Coach Ruben Zadkovich of the Roar calls out to his players during the A-League Men round 15 match between Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Headlines surfaced before the commencement of Round 15 regarding Ben Cahn’s difficult decision to step down from Brisbane Roar’s head coach. The club informed the public that the 35-year-old English coach would be going on leave for medical reasons and would be replaced with ex-Perth Glory coach Ruben Zadkovich. This will be Brisbane Roar’s 4th head coach in the space of 6 weeks, starting with the departure of Ross Aloisi on Christmas Eve.

Ruben Zadkovich joined Brisbane Roar’s staff only a few weeks ago but was placed in the deep end immediately for the Roar’s home tie against the league leaders, Wellington Phoenix.

The Roar had lost 7 games from their last 8 before this match, and circumstances became even more difficult when Brisbane captain, Tom Aldred, picked up an injury during the warm-up before Friday night’s game. But somehow, the Roar held firm against a strong Wellington side and did enough to come away with a 1-1 draw after substitute Corey Brown equalised in the 94th minute.

Watch the highlights from Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix here.

This week, Zadkovich’s Brisbane Roar will host Melbourne City. The last time these two sides met, City ran away with a record 8-1 victory over the Roar, which saw Jamie McLaren score a hattrick. There is no doubt that the Roar will be hunting for redemption this Saturday evening.

Melbourne City's recent form has been inconsistent. Most recently, suffering a 4-2 defeat to Perth Glory last Saturday. City held leads on two different occasions of the match, but Glory were tenacious in their comebacks, scoring two goals in two minutes to take the lead 3-2.

In injury time, youngster Joel Anasmo scored on his debut for Perth Glory, 4-2. One he won't forget anytime soon.

Watch the highlights from Perth Glory v Melbourne City here.

Melbourne City will have to go without Tolgay Arslan in the Saturday night fixture vs Brisbane Roar after his post-full-time red card for alleged verbal abuse of the referee. Arslan, who has been such a pivotal player for City this season with 10 G/A, is set to be suspended for the next 4 weeks after the incident.

Watch Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City live on Paramount+ at 5:45pm Saturday night (AEDT). 

Blue Skies In Gosford

Central Coast Mariners enter the field to warm up before the A-League Men round 12 match between Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/Getty Images)

This weekend marks the first meeting between Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC in the 23/24 A-League campaign. It comes at a moment when the Coasties are on a 12-game unbeaten streak in the league and have shot all the way up to 2nd place after a win on the weekend against Adelaide United. While the Sky Blues sit outside the top 6 in 7th place.

On Tuesday, the Mariners travelled to Wellington to take on Phoenix in a midweek top-of-the-table tie. If Central Coast were to get all three points, they would’ve moved into 1st place before Round 16.

It would prove to be a mammoth task for the Mariners as the match attendance soared over 12,000, with New Zealanders coming from all around to Sky Stadium on Waitangi Day to support their ‘Nix.

Despite the end-to-end action throughout the game, the final score ended 0-0, and the two sides had to share the points, leaving Wellington Phoenix in the top spot for another week.

Watch the highlights from Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners here.

Another clean sheet for Central Coast shows the true grit and talent of Danny Vukovic and the Mariner’s defence, who have only conceded 2 goals in 6 games during 2024.

Central Coast’s strong defence will be a great matchup against Ufuk Talay’s fluid attacking football that has featured on multiple occasions this season. Unfortunately for Sydney FC fans, their side’s attacking football wasn’t enough to get the three points in Tasmania on Saturday afternoon against John Aloisi’s Western United. Fabio gave the Sky Blues the lead after he converted a penalty controversially awarded by VAR.

Not long after, Jake Girwood-Reich extended the lead to 2-0 when he grabbed his first-ever A-League goal. But Ufuk Talay’s side weren’t leading for long as Western United levelled the terms before the hour mark, thanks to an inspiring performance from Noah Botic. The 22-year-old scored United’s first, then brought the ball around the keeper to assist Ben Garuccio making the score 2-2.

After back-and-forth action for the remainder of the second half, the scores ended level, and Sydney FC travelled back to New South Wales with only one point.

Watch the highlights from Western United v Sydney FC here.

The Sky Blues will need to adjust their game plan before making the road trip to Gosford on Saturday, when these two highly attacking sides go head-to-head at Industree Group Stadium.

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

Rudan's No Holds Barred

Wanderers head coach Marko Rudan protests to the referee after full time during the A-League Men round 15 match between Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Western Sydney Wanderers now sit in 5th place after their 4-3 loss against Macarthur on Sunday night. There were many positives and good individual performances to take away from the narrow loss including Lachlan Brook’s brace and Marcus Antonsson’s two assists. Unfortunately, this week’s headlines are dominated by Marko Rudan’s post-match blowup at the match officials.

Tempers began right after the full-time whistle when Rudan confronted the referees on the pitch with some words to say and was met with a yellow card. But the height of the drama came at the post-match interview when the Western Sydney Wanderers coach went on a 6-minute uninterrupted rant on the officiating of the match.

Rudan spoke out his opinions on Valere Germain’s alleged studs-up-kick-out in the first half, Tom Beadling’s red card in the 52nd minute, and Germain’s last-minute winner to snatch the win. He later goes on to say that there is an "absolute stigma attached" to the Western Sydney Wanderers.

It is currently unknown whether Marko Rudan will face any sanctions and whether he will be on the bench this weekend. Regardless, the Western Sydney coach will have to put last week’s loss behind him and focus on this week's fixture where the Wanderers will host Newcastle Jets. A side coming off the back of a good 1-1 result against Melbourne Victory.

Watch the highlights from Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory here.

One to watch this weekend will be Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, who scored the 88th minute equaliser against Victory last week. Now Stamatelopoulos (11) only sits two goals behind Bruno Fornaroli (13) in the race for the Golden Boot as the Melbourne Victory star returns from the Asian Cup and will be in action this week against Macarthur.

Expect Stamatelopoulos to be on his top game this weekend, as when these two teams met in Round 3, the striker bagged a brace within the first 40 minutes guiding the Jets to a 2-2 draw.

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