Soccer: Phoenix lacking attack

By Terry Maddaford

The Phoenix face a buoyant Adelaide United side on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images
The Phoenix face a buoyant Adelaide United side on Sunday. Photo / Getty Images

Looking to bounce back from the abject loss to Sydney FC, the Phoenix face a buoyant Adelaide United side on Sunday who are just one point off the lead following their 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory.

Adelaide beat the Phoenix 3-1 in their round four meeting at Hindmarsh Stadium and Herbert has promised changes, the need to convert scoring opportunities into goals high on his priority list.

In 10 outings, the Phoenix have scored 13 goals. Only Melbourne Heart (12), Perth Glory (9) and Western Sydney Wanderers (6) have found the opposition net fewer times.

Central Coast Mariners continue to set the pace. They avenged their only loss of the season - 2-1 in round three - beating Newcastle Jets, again at Hunter Stadium, 2-0 with a second half brace from golden boot front-runner Daniel McBreen.

McBreen is now only one shy of the 10 he needs to force coach Graham Arnold's hand after Arnold had promised his striker a contract extension if he reached double figures this season.

No celebration was greater than that at Parramatta Stadium where newcomers Western Sydney Wanderers scored their second home win of the season in edging Brisbane Roar 1-0. The decider came four minutes from time when marquee signing Shinji Ono booted home from the penalty spot.

It was Ono's first goal for the club and sealed a second win over the defending champions after Wanderers had won by the same score in Brisbane in round four.

The John Aloisi-coached Wanderers now await cross-town rivals Sydney FC in Saturday's late game. In the earlier clash, in round three, Sydney scored their first win of the season, beating Wanderers 1-0 at Parramatta Stadium. Until they beat the Phoenix, Sydney had only won once more.

Perhaps the most anticipated clash will be Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar in Saturday's early game with the Victory keen to put the memory of the first-up 5-0 thrashing, at Suncorp Stadium, behind them.

Newcastle face the long trip to play Perth - for the second time this season - keen to avenge their earlier 3-2 loss.

- NZ Herald

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