Mon, Oct 22, 10:54am by Staff Writer
The A-League season got underway on the weekend as every team got themselves on the scoreboard.
There were plenty of upsets in round one, starting on Friday night when Sydney FC was held to a 1-1 draw against Adelaide at Coopers Stadium.
The Sky Blues are $4.50 favourites to win the 2018-19 A-League season and have recruited strongly in the off-season.
Scott Galloway scored in the 48th minute to give the hosts the lead and it wasn’t until late in the game that Sydney FC responded.
One of their new recruits Adam Le Fondre scored the equaliser in the 78th minute.
The teams were closely matched in the stats, with Sydney having 53 per cent of possession.
The visitors had nine shots, but only three on target. Both teams gave away little ahead of their FFA Cup Final in less than a fortnight’s time that will take place at the same venue.
A huge crowd packed into Marvel Stadium in Melbourne to catch a glimpse of the talk of the town Keisuke Honda.
The Japanese international debuted for Melbourne Victory and scored a headed goal just before the half hour to give the hosts the lead.
City’s new recruit Ritchie de Laet didn’t wait long to find the scoreboard as he fired in Florin Berenguer’s missed penalty past Lawrence Thomas.
The free kick was controversial as the referee used the much-publicised video assistant referee (VAR) to adjudge that a foul occurred inside the penalty box.
Commentators and fans alike were left stunned as a penalty award for what appeared to be minimal contact, if any.
City capitalised on their good fortune as Riley McGree hit the game winner in the 70th minute.
The former Newcastle Jet is one from one with his new club as Victory had the lion’s share of possession with 55 per cent of the ball and 17 shots to 9.
It wasn’t enough for the home side who host Perth next week.
City travels to Gosford to play the Mariners on Saturday afternoon.
Melbourne Victory is $5 to win back-to-back titles, while City is priced at $6.
New Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan could not have asked for a better result from his charges as they upset the odds to beat Newcastle 2-1 in Wellington.
The Phoenix’s first goal was fortunate as Alex Georgievski turned the ball into his own net.
Roy Krishna scored the sealer in the 89th minute before Dimitri Petratos scored a 95th minute consolation goal for the visitors.
Newcastle is $9 to win the A-League this season after making the 2017-18 Grand Final.
They had 60 per cent possession and 16 shots to 11 against the Phoenix but were unable to break down their opponents.
Wellington is the longest price of any team to win the A-League title at $31.
The shock results continued in Brisbane as the Roar was held to a one-all draw by the Central Coast Mariners.
Brisbane was the shortest priced favourite of the round but fell behind in the fourth minute as Connor Pain scored for the visitors.
It wasn’t until the 65th minute when Adam Taggart responded that they drew level, but they couldn’t find a match winner.
They had a staggering 20 shots to seven as the dominated the Mariners for most of the game.
Central Coast is $26 to win the A-League this season, with the Roar priced at $15.
The final game of the round produced another drawn game, this time between Perth and Western Sydney.
Captain Andy Keogh struck truly for Glory in the 26th minute as Rory Bonevacia equalised in the 65th minute.
Perth had 57 per cent possession for the game and nearly double the number of shots to the Wanderers (17 to 9) but couldn’t find the game winner.
They have a tough task ahead of them in round two, travelling to Melbourne to play the Victory.
Perth is yet to taste A-League success, but is $8 to win their first title this season.
The Wanderers are looking to put a number of poor seasons behind them and are also $9 title shots.
A-League Championship Odds
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