Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Photo: Some pitches for jets leave a lot to be desired [PlessPix]

Newcastle Jets 1-1 Central Coast Mariners

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A goal in the dying seconds by substitute Sasha Petrovski salvaged a 1-1 draw for the Newcastle Jets in the derby match against Central Coast Mariners at EnergyAustralia Stadium last night.

The re-laid pitch was again terrible and I can hardly wait to see what David Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy side make of it on Saturday.

The pitch was to blame for Sean Rooney’s knee injury last weekend and he will undergo knee ligament surgery soon.

Last night, it was captain Ljubo Milicevic’s turn as he twisted an ankle and had to be substituted at half-time. Francis Jeffers lasted only half an hour before going off because of a groin strain. Whether the pitch can also be blamed for that is uncertain, but neither player is likely to be able to face the Galaxy.

Jeffers had a good chance after just 9 minutes from Marko Jesic’s pass, but the former England international fired wide.

The Mariners went close to scoring in the 31st minute through Bozanic, but Ben Kennedy, who had earlier denied Matt Simon, smothered the shot.

In the 39th minute, Milicevic had a header following a corner saved on the line by Josh Rose.

A minute later, a dangerous shot from range by Ali Abbas was saved at full stretch by Matt Ryan.

The Mariners went ahead in the 49th minute when Mustafa Amini’s attempted pass ricocheted off Ben Kantarovski’s shin and the ball fell for Simon, who netted from an acute angle from the right.

Ryan was having a marvellous match for the Mariners and, in the 76th minute, he produced fabulous double saves from substitute Jobe Wheelhouse.

The Mariners should have scored in the 79th minute, but Bozanic and Kwasnik were both off target from close range.

With seconds remaining, a long thrown-in from the left was flicked on by Kantarovski and Petrovski fired home to earn the home side a share of the points.

The result left the Mariners in 4th spot, a point behind third-ranked Gold Coast United, while the Jets reduced their altitude and dropped from 7th to 8th on the A-League standings.

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Newcastle Jets: Kennedy - Elrich, Milicevic (Wheelhouse 46), Topor-Stanley, D-Apuzzo - Zadkovich, Wehrman, Kantarovski - Jesic, Jeffers (Haliti 30), Abbas (Petrovski 70) (Sub not used: Nash)

Booked: Wheelhouse, Petrovski

Goals: Petrovski 90+2

Central Coast Mariners: Ryan - Sainsbury, Wilkinson, Zwaanswijk, Rose - McGlinchey, Hutchinson, Bozanic (Doig 90+1) - McBreen (Kwasnik 62), Amini (Lewis 87), Simon

Goals: Simon 49

Att: 7,730

Ref: M Breeze

Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Melbourne Heart

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Wellington Phoenix moved up a place to 7th on the A-League ladder with this 2-0 win over 5th-placed Melbourne Heart at Westpac Stadium in Wellington this evening.

Phoenix are now level on 18 points with 6th-ranked Melbourne Victory, but Victory have a better goal-difference.

Heart captain Matt Thompson had a nightmare game. He almost gave away two goals and was sent off 20 minutes from the end after collecting a second yellow card.

In the 18th minute, Thompson inexplicably pushed the ball straight into the path of Paul Ifill, who would have scored but for an excellent save by Clint Bolton.

In the 33rd minute, indecision between Thompson and Bolton almost cost Heart a goal when Ben Sigmund’s right-wing cross was missed by Aziz Behich, but Daniel blazed wide.

Vince Lia had almost opened the scoring for the home side as early as the 7th minute, but his shot just cleared the bar.

Heart hit back three minutes later when a cross from Josip Skoko was punched by Mark Paston straight to Wayne Srhoj, whose shot was high and wide.

There are Brazilians and there are Brazilians. Alex Terra did not conform to the usual image one has of his skilful and goalscoring countrymen. In the 37th minute, he was put through be a precise pass from Adrian Zahra, only to shoot over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

Paston improved after the break and, in the 56th minute, he produced a magnificent save to deny Terra, who should have scored when played through the middle by Gerald Sibon.

Three minutes later, Sibon should have scored when put clear by Skoko, but his attempted volley was deflected by Paston. The ball fell wide to Terra, whose tame header was cleared on the line.

Paul Ifill netted his fifth goal of the season to put Wellington ahead in the 62nd minute after good approach work by Sigmund, Lia and Bertos.

Ifill was proving a handful for the visitors’ defence and Thompson was given his marching orders after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on the Wellington striker.

Ifill grabbed his second goal of the game in the 73rd minute after the Heart gave the ball away in midfield. Wellington immediately attacked and Ifill collected a pass from Tim Brown and cut in from the right before beating Bolton with a shot from 16 metres that went through a defender’s legs.

Eleven minutes from the end, Ifill was denied a hat-trick when he beat Michael Marrone, only to see his shot saved by Bolton.

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Wellington Phoenix: Paston - North, Sigmund, Durante, Hearfield - Brown, Muscat, Lia - Bertos (Rojas 90+2), Ifill (Greenacre 90+2), Daniel (Ward 72) (Sub not used: Vukovic)

Booked: Daniel, Sigmund

Goals: Ifill 62, 73

Melbourne Heart: Bolton - Marrone, Thompson, Beauchamp, Behich - Skoko (Kalmar 75), Sibon (Taseski 76), Srhoj - Zahra, Terra (Hamill 76), Hoffman (Sub not used: Zois)

Booked: Thompson

Send-off: Thompson

Att: 4,700

Ref: G Gillette


Photo: Newcastle Jets land last-minute equaliser against Mariners [PlessPix]

Wellington Phoenix 2 (Ifill 62, 73) beat Melbourne Heart 0

Att: 4,700 (Westpac Stadium)

Ref: G Gillette

Newcastle Jets 1 (Petrovski 90+2) drew with Central Coast Mariners 1 (Simon 49)

Att: 7,730 (EnergyAustralia Stadium)

Ref: M Breeze

Brisbane Roar 3 (Solorzano 41, 76 pen, Smith 57) beat Perth Glory 2 (Fowler 65 pen, Pellegrino 83)

Ref: M Gillett

AS Roma 3-2 Bayern Munich

Ajax 0-4 Real Madrid

FC Basel 1-0 CFR 1907 Cluj

Spartak Moscow 0-3 Marseille

Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina

Auxerre 0-2 Milan

Sporting Braga 2-0 Arsenal

Partizan 0-3 Shakhtar Donetsk