A-League wrap: McBreen fires Mariners to first win

14 October 2012 10:29

Daniel McBreen scored the winner as Central Coast secured their first victory of the A-League season, defeating Perth Glory 1-0 on Sunday.

The crowd of 9,192 was brought to its feet in the 70th minute when former Glory striker McBreen scored after only being on the ground for seven minutes.

Patrick Zwaanswijk and Trent Sainsbury had the best of the chances in the first half, with the former forcing Danny Vukovic into a low save with his free-kick.

Sainsbury, who impressed, should have done better with a free header he put over the bar from a Mile Sterjovski set-piece.

McBreen’s game-winner in the 70th minute was set up by Sainsbury, who nailed a pin-point ball from inside his own half.

McBreen controlled the ball with his left foot before slotting home with his right to give the Mariners their first win of the campaign.

A depleted Wellington Phoenix side came from behind to claim a point in a 1-1 draw against a 10-man Melbourne Heart outfit at AAMI Park.

In front of a good crowd of 10,907, the Heart dominated the first half and took the lead when a brilliant 60-yard run from Aziz Behich down the left flank ended in a Matt Thompson goal.

John Aloisi’s side failed to capitalise on a series of chances to double their lead though, and they were made to pay when – after Simon Colosimo was sent off for a deliberate handball just two minutes into the second half – Paul Ifill levelled from the penalty spot.

The Phoenix were missing six players who started last week’s 2-0 win over Sydney FC, with Mark Paston, Tony Lochhead, Ben Sigmund, Leo Bertos, Jeremy Brockie and Benjamin Totori all on international duty while Wellington and New Zealand coach, Ricki Herbert, was absent for the same reason.

Triesman: Terry tarnishes Chelsea

14 October 2012 10:14

John Terry has been accused of tarnishing Chelsea’s international reputation after the Englishman was found guilty of racism by the FA.

The defender has also been fined 220,000 British pounds and is yet to be disciplined by Chelsea following the outcome of the FA charge after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Lord Triesman, the former FA chairman, has lashed out at Chelsea and is far from impressed by their handling of the situation.

He told The Mirror: “Large numbers of ­people around the world, especially black people, will read about what has happened. And they will wonder how on earth did Chelsea allow that?

“The club’s international reputation has suffered. Its brand has been damaged.

“They should be saying it isn’t acceptable as a standard of behaviour.

“If I was a Chelsea fan I wouldn’t be happy that my club was getting this kind of negative coverage.

“If it happened with any other business corporation, like Coca-Cola say, an employee would have been in serious trouble with that organisation.”

Triesman was in charge of the FA between 2008 and 2010 but is now urging clubs to introduce their own policies to discipline behaviour such as racial abuse by using harsher punishments to send out a message to their young fans.

“Footballers are role models,” he declared.

“When I was a referee in the 1970s the kids would copy the actions of their heroes they’d seen on television the night before.

“So it’s not true to say that what stars do on the pitch won’t influence youngsters. I think clubs like Chelsea – and Liverpool during the Luis Suarez saga – have responsibilities to the next generation.

“Clubs should tell their very highly-paid employees what standards are expected of them.

“I think Terry should apologise and accept it’s not a good standard. I just don’t believe in this day and age that anybody can think that it’s OK, and that you don’t owe an apology for something like that.”

Xavi: Vilanova, Guardiola ´almost equal´

14 October 2012 09:59

Barcelona star Xavi has spoken positively about his boss Tito Vilanova, insisting there is a comparison to former coach Pep Guardiola.

The 32-year-old also praised team-mate Lionel Messi, hailing the Argentine superstar as ‘the best ever’, while saying his game is better than that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Pep and Tito, aside from a few differences in tactical issues, are almost equal. Guardiola was closer in practice, and Vilanova is more distant,” the Spain international told Radio Catalunya.

“Tito has surprised me, because he looks very prepared, with clear ideas and (keeping) the philosophy of the club intact.

“Without detracting from Tito, (I) miss Pep. For me, he was a reference as a player and a coach. (He) helped me, and has been a leader in the locker room, and he also gave very strong leadership.”

Xavi also gave his opinion on Messi, saying the 25-year-old is the best player in history.

“In the dressing room, Leo Messi is perhaps (one of) the quiet people – an extraordinary person, the number one,” Xavi said.

“For me, he is the best ever, and has surpassed them all. He is the best by far, and his game is much more important than Cristiano.”

The midfielder also took the opportunity to take a swipe at arch-rivals Real Madrid, insisting that Jose Mourinho speculates too much.

“I fit into the game of Barca. I have affection (for Mourinho), as he has been here three years, but their football is not what we want,” Xavi said.

“His (Mourinho’s) is more (to do with) speculating, of doing the opposite, so I think that will not go down in history.”

Hodgson: Rooney is next England captain

14 October 2012 09:42

England manager Roy Hodgson believes Wayne Rooney will take the captaincy from Steven Gerrard when the Liverpool midfielder retires.

With Gerrard suspended, the 26-year-old striker captained Hodgson’s side for the first time during the 5-0 victory over San Marino in a World Cup qualifying match at Wembley on Friday, scoring twice in the process.

And national boss Hodgson said it was always his plan for Rooney to captain the side once Gerrard steps down, despite the return of experienced Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard to the squad.

Asked by reporters whether Rooney would be the future captain, Hodgson replied: “Yes.

“It’s something he’s very proud of and something he wants to do. He does take playing for England unbelievably seriously and that’s a good thing for us.

“Wayne was my vice-captain in the Euros (2012) – at least he was from the moment he could start playing again.

“Steve was given the captain’s armband and I made it clear Wayne would be the vice-captain.

“Frank has come back in and captained the team, but I always had it in my mind that Wayne would be vice-captain.”

Gerrard will return to the fold to captain England against Poland on Tuesday, but Rooney cannot wait to take on the role full-time after getting a taste of the responsibility of leading his country.

“Of course I dream of captaining England to glory one day,” he said.

“As a young player, your dream is to play for England and, once you play, the next step is to captain your country.

“I’ve done it now. It was a great honour and hopefully one day it can be full-time.”

Del Piero wanted to play with Ronaldo

14 October 2012 09:30

Sydney FC star Alessandro Del Piero says he would have loved to have played with Brazilian legend Ronaldo at some point during his career.

The 37-year-old, who brought a glittering 19-year stay at Juventus to an end last season, also revealed his minor regret at missing out on the 1996 Ballon d’Or.

Asked whether he had any regrets during his career, the former Italy international was typically open in his answer.

“Not at all. I have no regrets,” Del Piero told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Whenever I lose, however, (such as) Champions League finals (that) went wrong, or the 2000 European Championship. I hoped for (the Ballon D’Or) in 1996 after winning the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup.

“I (played against) the best in 20 years of football. (It) would’ve been fun to see what would happen, playing with Ronaldo.”

Del Piero scored in the first half of his home debut for Sydney, despite going down 3-2 to Newcastle Jets on Saturday, but vowed to improve on his performance.

“It’s clear that I am very happy for the goal, but I am not happy with the fact that it (did not) bring the team to victory. I hope it will be the first of a long series,” he said to reporters after the match.

“During the game we woke up too late and in the end we managed to recover. We will need to approach the games in a different way from the very beginning.

“For now we will try to do better. We have to understand what are the things that (we) are not already (doing), and come back to win the next game.”