Moresche was influential as Central Coast Mariners raced into an early 2-0 lead against struggling Sydney FC on Sunday and protected that advantage to return to winning ways.

The Mariners had lost their previous two A-League matches – last losing more in succession in a miserable 11-game stretch in 2020 – but Moresche made sure that short run came to an end.

The Brazilian did not get on the scoresheet himself but laid on the opener for Marco Urena after 13 minutes.

No player in the league has aimed more shots on target this season than Urena's nine, with his latest steered past Andrew Redmayne from Moresche's measured pass.

Three minutes later, it was two. Fine work from Lewis Miller on the right was followed by a low cross that sought out Moresche, only for Anthony Caceres to turn into his own net under pressure in front of the goal line.

Winless Sydney could not recover and extended their worst start to a season since 2010-11, when they had to wait 11 matches for their first victory.

Nishan Velupillay came off the bench to score the winner as Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United 2-1 in a thrilling A-League encounter.

One of the fiercest rivalries in the A-League served up a treat on Saturday, as Victory came away with Original Rivalry spoils.

There was no shortage of action – the match seeing 35 goal attempts in total and an 88th-minute red card for Victory full-back Jason Davidson.

His dismissal for a second yellow-card offence came 10 minutes after Velupillay was teed up by fellow substitute Robbie Kruse to tap in from close range and decisively restore Victory's lead.

Francesco Margiotta put the visitors ahead in the 59th minute, but Adelaide had responded through Jacob Tratt 11 minutes later.

Melbourne's win ended a run of three A-League defeats to Adelaide and brought up their first win at the home of their rivals since January 2017.

While Adelaide are still winless, Victory's success sees them move onto nine points in second place, behind Macarthur FC, who made it three wins on the bounce with a 2-0 triumph at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Tomislav Uskok and Jake Hollman got on the scoresheet for the league leaders, who are the only unbeaten team so far in 2021-22.

Bottom side Brisbane Roar's dismal start to the campaign continued in the early game, with Connor Pain's goal delivering a 1-0 win for Western United.

Beka Mikeltadze scored twice and set up another goal as Newcastle Jets ended a long home winless streak in the A-League with a 4-0 thrashing of Wellington Phoenix.

Newcastle had not won a home league game since beating Melbourne City 1-0 in February, a run of 10 matches.

However, that poor streak was ended in emphatic fashion as they claimed their first win of the 2021-22 season in style.

A wonderfully crafted team move was finished off by Mikeltadze in the 32nd minute, with the forward doubling his tally with another close-range effort following the restart.

Left-back Dylan Murnane drove into Wellington's area to prod home the Jets' third, before Mikeltadze teed up Daniel Penha to round things off.

Penha and Mikeltadze had the visiting defence on the back foot throughout – the former leading the way with five attempts and the latter playing a game-high six key passes.

Newcastle's win takes them onto five points and into fifth, while Wellington sit eighth.

Nathaniel Atkinson's late strike gave Melbourne City a 1-0 victory over Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Wednesday.

Defending champions City, smarting from a first defeat of the A-League season at the hands of Western United, dominated the game but Glory goalkeeper Cameron Cook denied them time and again.

Atkinson finally broke the deadlock in the 88th minute, nodding home from close range after Connor Metcalfe timed his run to perfection and headed into the substitute's path.

Melbourne had 23 attempts and thought they had opened the scoring in the first half, but Andrew Nabbout's deflected strike was ruled out for offside.

While Melbourne will point to their domination of the game, Atkinson's winner was a cruel blow for Cook, who made six saves.

Victory for Patrick Kisnorbo's side moved them up to second place, with Perth sitting into sixth spot after four matches.

Antonee Burke-Gilroy scored his first A-League goal and created another as Perth Glory beat 10-man Melbourne Victory 3-0 to leave Macarthur top of the table.

Victory went into Sunday's clash at AAMI Park on a high from winning their opening two games of the season, but they were brought back down to earth by Perth.

Rai Marchan was shown a straight red card for catching Bruno Fornaroli with a high boot following a VAR check and Glory capitalised to claim their first win of the campaign.

New signing Burke-Gilroy opened the scoring with a sweet left-foot strike from outside the penalty area after 66 minutes, before whipping in a cross for Ciaran Bramwell to nod beyond Ivan Kelava.

Captain Fornaroli rifled in a third with his right foot from 20 yards out in the closing stages as Perth ended a run of six matches without an A-League win.

Macarthur rose to the summit courtesy of an own goal from Central Coast Mariners captain Oliver Bozanic on the stroke of half-time.

Ulises Davila's strike deflected off Bozanic and in for the only goal of the game to give Macarthur a first regular-season win over the Mariners at Panthers Stadium, where Central Coast goalkeeper Yaren Sozer was forced off with a suspected torn hamstring.

Sydney FC surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Newcastle Jets on Saturday and prolong their winless start to the season.

The 2020 champions looked in control against a side they had beaten nine times in 12 previous home games, Adam Le Fondre opening the scoring from the penalty spot before cleverly setting up Elvis Kamsoba for a 2-0 half-time lead.

However, Valentino Yuel puled a goal back before the hour mark and struck again seven minutes later, firing high into the net after a strong run into the box.

Le Fondre thought he had scored a winner 13 minutes from time only for VAR to intervene due to an offside in the build-up.

While Sydney remain without a win in three games, reigning champions Melbourne City have fared little better, losing 1-0 at home to Western United on matchday three.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls followed up his winner over Perth Glory on November 26 with the only goal of the game at AAMI Park, firing home after being played in by Alessandro Diamanti.

Adelaide United drew for the third game in a row as Brisbane Roar claimed their first point of the season, with six saves from visiting goalkeeper James Delianov ensuring a goalless draw at Moreton Daily Stadium.

Tomer Hemed and John Koutroumbis were on target as Western Sydney Wanderers ended Wellington Phoenix's unbeaten start to the new A-League season with a 2-0 away win.

The hosts took four points from their opening two games of 2021-22, stretching their unbeaten league run to a club-record 13 matches before the visit of the winless Wanderers.

Former Phoenix striker Hemed scored his eighth goal in as many games as he netted 66 minutes into his first appearance against his old club, while Koutroumbis sealed the victory in stoppage time on Friday.

Reno Piscopo dominated the first half for Phoenix as he arrowed wide and saw a second effort saved by Tomas Mejias either side of Josh Laws having a goal ruled out for offside at WIN Stadium.

Mejias was required again after the interval, producing an excellent stop to deny James McGarry's dipping left-footed volley before Hemed scrambled over the line at the other end, with goal-line technology confirming the opener.

Wanderers controlled proceedings from then, with Oliver Sail thwarting Terry Antonis' long-range effort as the visitors looked to wrap up their first win of the season.

Koutroumbis sealed the visitors' first away win in the league since March as he tapped into an empty net following Thomas Aquilina's bursting run, Sail nowhere to be seen after the Wellington goalkeeper went in search of a late equaliser from a corner.

Jamaica international Adrian Mariappa has secured a surprise move to Australia Super League club Macarthur FC.

The 35-year-old defender had been without a club since May of this year, after being released by English Championship club Bristol City.  The player had, however, continued to show strong form with his country’s national team, playing in 6 games.

Mariappa was linked with a move back to England with Sheffield Wednesday, who are coached by another former Jamaica international Darren Moore.  The club reportedly offered the out-of-contract player a deal, but he opted for the Super League move instead.

For his part, Mariappa insists he is excited and looking forward to the new challenge.

“I want to thank the owners and the football staff for having faith in me and making this happen,” Mariappa said.

“When the opportunity to join the Bulls arrived, it was one I couldn’t turn down. It’s an exciting new challenge for me in my career and that for me is what I thrive off,” he added.

“I’m hungry to achieve great things with the club and create new memories with the team and the fans.”

Macarthur have won one and drawn one of their two games so far in the 2021/22 season.

Melbourne Victory made it two A-League wins from two under Tony Popovic thanks to a resounding 3-0 triumph over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Popovic's tenure as Victory boss started with a 1-0 win at Western United last week and an own goal from Kai Trewin under pressure from Brendan Hamill had the home side up and running after 27 minutes on this occasion.

Just four minutes later that advantage was doubled with Nick D'Agostino finishing a fine team move from close range.

It was game over shortly after the restart with Ben Folami heading in Marco Rojas' delivery, meaning Victory went top of the infant A-League table and left Roar propping up the division.

Sunday's other fixture saw Western Sydney Wanderers play out a back-and-forth 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle Jets.

The visitors took the lead through Beka Mikeltadze's 19th-minute penalty but were trailing thanks to goals either side of half-time from Bernie Ibini-Isei and Tomer Hemed.

Wanderers were pegged back by Olivier Boumal in the 52nd minute, though, leaving both teams winless through two games.

A-League champions Melbourne City threw a two-goal lead away to draw 2-2 away at Adelaide United in their second game of the season.

City kicked their title defence off with a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in their opening match and looked set to make it two wins from two after goals from Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout gave them a 2-0 advantage after 61 minutes.

However, Adelaide struck twice in the closing stages, with Stefan Mauk halving the deficit before Ben Halloran grabbed a dramatic 90th-minute equaliser to stun City.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Sydney, who finished just two points behind City in second last season, slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Macarthur at home after an early Lachlan Rose strike.

Macarthur are now level on points with table-topping City and Wellington Phoenix, who beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1, but are behind the pair on goals scored and sit third.

Gary Hooper scored for the second game running for the Phoenix in their home clash with the Mariners, who pulled one back through Marco Urena before Jaushua Sotirio fired in the winner.

The Nix are now unbeaten in 13 matches stretching back into last season and face Western Sydney Wanderers in their next game.

Western United got their first win of the new A-League season as they edged out Perth Glory 1-0 in Friday's game at AAMI Park.

Dylan Wenzel-Halls came off the bench to score 12 minutes from time to give John Aloisi's side all three points.

Having opened the campaign with a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory, United came into this match on a nine-game losing streak, the third-worst such run in A-League history.

Perth, who left striker Daniel Sturridge out of the matchday squad, had gone nine consecutive away matches without a win and lost in a 5-4 thriller in this same fixture last season.

Chances were scarce in the first half, although Brad Jones had to scramble to keep out an audacious effort from Alessandro Diamanti from inside his own half.

Jamie Young made a good save to deny Bruno Fornaroli and Pacifique Niyongabire also missed a good chance, and the visitors were punished for their profligacy.

Connor Pain's run to the byline and cross saw the ball come back off the inside of the far post, giving former Brisbane Roar forward Wenzel-Halls the simplest of finishes for his first United goal.

Daniel Sturridge made a brief cameo off the bench and Bruno Fornaroli scored a stunning equaliser as Perth Glory began their A-League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Adelaide United on Saturday.

The signing of former Liverpool and England striker Sturridge has piqued the interest in Australian football, with the 32-year-old back in the professional game after departing Trabzonspor in March 2020.

However, fans were only treated to a short glimpse of Sturridge at HFB Park, where the hosts were forced to come from behind to clinch a point.

Kusini Yengi coolly side-footed home the opener for Adelaide, only for Fornaroli to level five minutes before half-time with a ferocious 30-yard effort.

Antonee Burke-Gilroy later thought he had a first A-League goal but he and Perth were denied for offside by a VAR check.

Last season's beaten finalists Sydney FC played out a goalless draw in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers, for whom former Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell made his debut off the bench.

Indeed, Rodwell almost made a swift impact with a 30-yard rocket that Andrew Redmayne saved, as a boisterous crowd at CommBank Stadium witnessed a stalemate.

Tony Popovich made a winning start to his Melbourne Victory tenure, with stand-in captain Roderick Miranda heading in the only goal of the game in a 1-0 triumph over Western United.

Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe were on target as Melbourne City started the defence of their A-League title with a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar.

City were crowned champions for the first time in June and Patrick Kisnorbo started the 2021-22 campaign by securing all three points at AAMI Park on Friday.

Good set them on their way to victory when he was on hand to apply the finish after Jamie Maclaren's strike was saved by Macklin Freke.

Metcalfe doubled their lead only three minutes later, beating Freke with a deflected left-foot drive from just inside the penalty area when he was afforded too much time to let fly.

Brisbane had to regroup at the break and they pulled a goal back when Luke Ivanovic opened his account for the club by with a powerful close-range header after captain Jay O'Shea picked him out.

The Roar were unable to salvage a point as they suffered a sense of deja vu, having also lost to City in their first match of the 2020-21 campaign.

Former England international Jack Rodwell has joined A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2021-22 season.

The 30-year-old ex-Everton and Manchester City midfielder had been without a club since being released by Sheffield United in June.

Rodwell, who only made two appearances in his 18 months with the Blades, spent a fortnight training with Wanderers and on Thursday signed a one-season deal.

"This move is really exciting for me, I've been looking at the opportunity to play in Australia for a couple of months and with my wife being from Western Sydney, the Wanderers was the perfect destination," said Rodwell.

"Australia is like a second home to me, it's my favourite country on Earth, it's where my wife and her family are from; we love the place.

"I honestly can't wait to play. With the opening match being the Sydney Derby, everyone in my family will be there watching so it is a huge opportunity and something I am really looking forward to.

"I'd like to thank the club for this opportunity, and hope I can repay the faith they have shown in me."

Big things were expected of Rodwell after he made his Everton debut aged only 16, but he lost his way following a move to City in 2012.

Ange Postecoglou is in the midst of the biggest job an Australian coach has held in men's club football.

Postecoglou changed the landscape of the game in Australia and left a legacy in Japan, where he conquered the J1 League with Yokohama F.Marinos before he was lured to Glasgow by a wounded Scottish powerhouse Celtic, dethroned by bitter rivals Rangers.

After some initial backlash, Postecoglou has Celtic fans dreaming of glory through an emphasis on a high-octane style of attacking football and unrelenting belief in his philosophy.

But to get a clear picture of Postecoglou – the most decorated coach in Australian football – and his journey to Parkhead, you have to go back to his days at boyhood club South Melbourne.

Most know about Postecoglou's love for South Melbourne, where his passion for the sport grew alongside his father after immigrating from Greece.

Postecoglou went from juniors to seniors, winning two titles as a player before delivering back-to-back NSL titles as a coach and an unprecedented spot alongside Manchester United at the 2000 Club World Cup in Brazil.

Michael Petersen saw the making of Postecoglou unfold before his eyes. The former South Melbourne and Australia midfielder had been involved with the Australian great since around the age of 10 – the pair initially clashing in a junior rivalry between South and Port Melbourne.

Petersen eventually joined Postecoglou at South Melbourne in the late 1980s.

"He was a natural leader," Petersen told Stats Perform. "In a lot of ways, probably needed to get up to speed personally, but it was an invisible leadership. But he was always serious about his football. He loved the club. So his loyalty was unquestioned."

A trail-blazing coach, Postecoglou's career in the dugout is well-documented but he was also successful on the pitch – the former defender is considered to be one of South Melbourne's greatest players, having won eight pieces of silverware, while earning four international caps for Australia.

However, Postecoglou's career was cut short due to a knee injury.

"He was underestimated [as a player] but obviously he got wiped out pretty young at 27," Petersen said. "I think you're just coming into your professional career [at that age]. At the time, South Melbourne had a lot of good players in all the lines so he probably went a little bit unnoticed but not in our changing room. He was very well respected. You obviously don't make someone captain if you're not first on the teamsheet, so he was always first picked on the teamsheet."

 

Postecoglou's success has been shaped by his father, Dimitris, and legendary Hungarian Ferenc Puskas.

The 56-year-old played under Puskas from 1989 to 1992, forming a close bond, before launching his own coaching career at South Melbourne.

Postecoglou was appointed in 1996 and former general manager Peter Filopoulos was instrumental in the ex-captain's rise from skipper to coach.

"Every time I spoke to Ange, I felt like I was educated about football. Because I was an administrator. I never played at the high level. I was a little bit more educated about South Melbourne's history and he was very proud of South Melbourne history, the club and he always had these really big aspirations for the club, but also big aspirations for football in Australia as he still does," Filopoulos said.

Postecoglou's transition from player to senior coach at South Melbourne almost did not happen following the sacking of former Socceroos boss Frank Arok.

After a 3-0 loss away to Marconi in March 1996, Arok was relieved of his duties and Postecoglou put in charge on an interim basis for the remaining three games of the season.

"I remember getting the long bus trip to the airport from Fairfield and Frank had slumped in his chair and was just sulking a little bit. The players started to misbehave and were bantering. It was as if they had won 3-0, not lost 3-0. I could see Ange to the right of me was just not amused at all right, I'm sitting at the front of the bus as the official. And it got to the stage that it was out of control on the bus," Filopoulos recalled. "He went up to the front of the bus and picked up the microphone. He said, 'You listen to me, you blokes'. It was silent and he said to them, 'I've played for this club from under eights, right through to every level of South Melbourne, I've worn this jersey for every team age group, to the seniors, I captained this club and won championships. If you want to muck around, no problem, we lost 3-0 but I just want to tell you my perspective, today was the worst performance I've seen of any, any South Melbourne team of any age group in my entire career. So if you guys are happy with yourselves, and you want muck around on the bus, why don't you just reflect on the disgraceful performance and how you disgraced the team jersey today and the club'.

"That was it. There was silence for the rest of the bus trip. And then we got to the airport. And there was all these shuffling of the boarding passes. No one wanted to sit next to Ange. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, right? But I remember thinking to myself back then this guy has something special."

However, Postecoglou – who was working in a bank at the time to supplement his salary of being an assistant coach – was not even in the equation to make the step up permanently after winning all three games as South Melbourne's hierarchy eyed bigger and more established names.

"I'd be in the board meetings as a general manager, and they'd be speaking about Zoran Matic and [former Australia coach] Raul Blanco, all those big names of the time. Ange came into the office and he wasn't really mentioned around the table. They all thought he'd automatically be an assistant," Filopoulos said.

"He goes to me what's going on with the coaching gig? And me naively, I said we had a meeting last night and we're talking about Matic and Blanco. And Ange goes, 'What about me big fella?' I said, 'Are you interested?' He said 'Yes I am, I am interested'. I said, 'Well Ange, if you're interested, you need to make it known'. I thought, I wonder what the young fellas thought. We had the younger committee members and older ones. I remember ringing up some committee members and I threw Ange's name in the mix and over a few conversations, you have to give him a chance to present.

"So what I did back then, we were a very close-knit social group, the younger guys and I set up a barbecue at my place. The coaching conversation came up. And everyone's talking about those big names again. And then Ange said, 'You know I'm interested right?' And someone said, 'What? Are you really interested?' Ange started talking about his philosophy and ideas. It went for like 30 minutes. It was like a full-on pitch without knowing it was a pitch. He finished and it was dead silence. The vice-president at the time said 'Ange you're our f****** coach mate'. That was it. We lobbied hard and got him through. It was tough to get it through. There were some really older guys who weren't convinced.

"Ange got the job. And a lot of people would say that was a foresight. I would say, sometimes it was instinctive that it was the right decision. He changed everything. So there's me as general manager, it was actually quite good, because there was all these expectations and all these different things he wanted in place, which meant I worked pretty hard for him to deliver it."

 

But it was not all smooth sailing after fighting tooth and nail to appoint Postecoglou – a run of just one win from seven games to open the 1996-97 season had some South Melbourne committee members calling for Ange's head.

Filopoulos said: "There were a few phone calls from committee members and I remember one guy, he said 'you need to get rid of him at midnight tonight so no one sees him leave the club because you've made a mistake, and because you orchestrated all of this, you can follow him behind'.

"It came down to the eighth game at Marconi for a coach's career, really, because the pressure was on. We won after a scrappy 87th-minute goal. Had we not won that game, it would have been a different future for Ange. The rest is history. After that, he improved our football club. He took it to another level. We became a true destination club."

"So a similar story to Celtic, it takes some time, right? Because he does, on my experience, he turned our program upside down. He has meticulous detail and thought process, even to the point of dressing room access," he added.

Petersen, who also served as Postecoglou's assistant during his tenure as head coach of the Young Socceroos, experienced the "seamless" transition from player to coach up close and personal.

"There's layers to having a good football IQ. There's layers to it," said Petersen, who was told his playing career was ending by Postecoglou. "Ange has always had it. No, not even an issue. Very, very astute. I can rubber stamp that from, from way, way back. And that's to a point is if you love something, you really go deep into it. He goes deep into, you know, picking a football team for any matchday is a bit of a puzzle. You've just got to put the whole thing together, you've got to get the right balance of energy, skill sets. Who's going to actually perform on the day for that given day?

"He doesn't get it wrong a lot. And I can say that, but I think his history shows it. He's managed to get it right on the big days. It's by design, it's not coincidence. He gets it right. You can read all the books in the world. And you either got that gift, or you don't have that gift."

"At the time [after coaching South Melbourne to NSL glory] I thought Ange was Australia’s modern-day version of Alex Ferguson," he continued. "To this day I haven't changed my mind as I have watched him evolve and succeed and continually challenge himself and the type of football his team produces. Ange wins and wins well with style and grace."

 

From South Melbourne to Australia and Japan, Postecoglou has won it all – a pair of National Soccer League championships, back-to-back A-League titles, a record 36-match unbeaten streak at Brisbane Roar, plus a ground-breaking 2015 Asian Cup triumph with the Socceroos and a J1 League crown with F.Marinos – while silencing his doubters.

Postecoglou, like Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and former Juventus and Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri, pushes the boundaries. Firmly set in his belief of how football should be played, Postecoglou's approach never wavers and success follows in his pursuit of excellence.

That has always been the case for Postecoglou.

Recalling Postecoglou's first steps in senior coaching and his pitch-side antics, Petersen – who also worked alongside Ange at South Melbourne after retirement – said: "We almost had a rule, no one was allowed to talk on the bench. If you're gonna say something, it's gotta mean something, otherwise chitter chatter and joking around, none of that. So there's none of this micro-coaching, if you like. Ange was almost locked in tune with the game. He was actually very, very still, quiet and measured."

Postecoglou is known for not getting too close to his players and Petersen added: "I think that's a maturity beyond his years in a sense that he always, because he probably had to start coaching young and he kind of realised early that you do have to draw a line from mateship because players are insecure creatures, and they'll look for any way to get a way in and if you can be pals, you might jag a spot because he likes you.

"Ange never did that. He made decisions that were based on what was best for the club, not necessarily on the individual. Even as a captain, looking back, he was galvanising the hierarchy, the directors of the football club, everything was all about what was best for the football club. I think that's rare to see players who do that. And then already when they transition into assistant coach and then senior coach, you knew there was a line. And that was all right. I think, in the wash-up, once you know the rules of a gaffer, you love it, you go, 'Okay, well, I know where I stand, I've got to perform'. And it's not just performing in games, it's performing at training. We have to perform, every training session means something.

"We joke around in the changing rooms and then we had fun. We had ghetto blasters, telling jokes. I think the moment we hit the football pitch, for that block of time, for an hour and a half, it was business. There's no laughing, football is serious. Because you laugh and joke, you lose football games. So you train how you play. So the intensity should always be at training. I think Ange knew that already at a young age – perform at training, transition that into games, and then whatever happens after hours, yeah, let's have some fun as well."

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