Weekend Sports Wrap

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We begin with the A-League, where Adelaide has shot from ninth to fifth on the ladder with a one-nil win over the West Sydney Wanderers.

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The Red’s have turned their season around with six games unbeaten – having gone eight previous matches without a win.

 

But Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic told Fox Sports that Adelaide’s goal should have been disallowed for crossing the goal line in the build up.

 

“It’s not nice losing two games in a row. We’ve had a tough little period, but I still think we gave it our all, you know we weren’t really out of that game. It just seems that the field’s a foot longer for Adelaide over here. You know it’s disappointing we copped a goal that should never have stood.”

 

Sydney FC’s rotten run has continued, as they lost – also by one goal to nil – to the Central Coast Mariners.

 

Not even Alessandro Del Piero could inspire the Sky Blues as they slumped to defeat in front of their home fans, after Mile Sterjovski’s deflected strike proved the difference.

 

Coach Frank Farina had no excuses for the lacklustre performance, and warned heads could roll.

 

“Some of the performances weren’t as good as I expected, without naming individuals. If we have to change, we’ll change. It’s about winning games of football, getting points. And I’m not happy with that tonight.”

 

The shock of the round came in Wellington, where a rejuvenated Phoenix dismantled the Melbourne Victory, winning five-nil.

 

A first-half hattrick of goals, made in Costa Rica by Carlos Hernandez and Kenny Cunningham, gave coach Ernie Merrick a satisfying win against his old club.

 

“It was a case of it was going to come, we’ve been playing good football. I don’t think at any stage we were under real pressure, we controlled the midfield; our backline got it right – they pushed up, they dropped off, they pushed up. And our strikers were just in the right positions – maybe could have scored a couple more actually.”

 

To Tennis, where the big news from the Australian Open was the shock loss of five-time champion Serena Williams.

 

Hampered by a niggling back injury, the American was no match for an impressive Ana Ivanovic who won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

 

The 2008 finalist was over the moon, telling Channel 7 it was some of the best tennis she’d ever played.

 

“Yeah, you know it was very consistent, I was very happy with that, it’s not easy playing such a champion and like you said I’ve never beaten her before, but you know she is also just a human and has lots of pressure on her, you know I just went out there to swing at the ball, and I did that really well.”

 

No such fairytale for Australia’s last remaining hope in the singles, Casey Dellacqua, as she lost to rising star, Eugenie Bouchard.

 

The Australian won the first set 7-6, but couldn’t match the Canadian teenager, who ran away with the next two sets 6-2, 6-love.

 

In the Men’s draw, there were no problems for World Number 2, Novak Djokovic as he breezed past Italian Fabio Fognini.

 

The four-time winner and reigning champion was in ruthless form as he won 6-3, 6-love, 6-2.

 

He told Channel 7, the only difficulty was keeping his emotions in check, playing against an opponent he considers a close friend.

 

“It is a bit different feeling when you have as opponent your long-time friend, someone you know over ten years. Obviously I wanted to laugh at his jokes, but on the other hand I didn’t want to have any loss of concentration, so it was very important to stay focused til the end.”

 

To cricket, and Australia have recored another emphatic win over England, to secure the One Day International series.

 

Powerful batting by David Warner and Sean Marsh saw the Australians comfortably chase down the English total of 243, with ten overs left to spare.

 

Warner continued his aggressive form from the Ashes series, hitting 71, with Marsh also finishing with 71 runs.

 

It’s the eighth consecutive win the Australians have recorded over a demoralised English side, who have two more one dayers and three T-twenty matches left on the tour.

 

In hockey, the Netherlands have won the inaugural Hockey World League Final, whalloping New Zealand 7-2, to win the gold medal.

 

World champions Australia who had lost to the Dutch in a tight semi-final, also succumbed to England in the bronze medal playoff match, 2-1.

 

And finally, some bad news for Socceroos fans, with reports coming from Germany that striker Robbie Kruse has torn his anterior cruciate ligament.

 

Australia’s international player of the year, looks set to spend a lengthy time on the sidelines, and is little chance to be fit again in time for the World Cup.

 

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