The Northern Territory news Fri 23 Oct 2015
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36 SPORT FRIDAY OCTOBER 23 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Roar expect besieged Phoenix to rise to occasion BRISBANE Roar are bracing themselves for a Wellington backlash on Saturday after the Phoenixs place in the ALeague beyond this season was thrown into jeopardy. A report yesterday suggested a third Sydney team was being lined up to replace the Phoenix, whose five-year A-League licence expires at the end of this season. Small crowds, low membership numbers, a failure to lure big dollars for broadcast rights and the Asian Football Confederations dislike of a Kiwi team playing in an Australian competition are factors working against the Phoenixs licence being renewed. A 10-team competition remains Football Federation Australias preference, with a club from Sydneys Sutherland Shire reportedly the frontrunner to replace the Phoenix in the ALeague. A second Brisbane team remains an FFA goal, but next season is perhaps too soon considering the ongoing work to repair the Roar brand. Phoenix general manager David Dome came out on the front foot yesterday, telling New Zealand Radio Sport that A-League boss Damien de Bohun had assured him Wellington would again be in the ALeague next season. Roar coach John Aloisi was reluctant to comment on whether or not the Phoenix should be in the A-League. But he was full of praise for the Phoenixs contribution to the competition and expected an early onslaught tomorrow. All I can say is Wellington, while theyve been in (the A-League), football wise theyve been very good theyve come a long way, Aloisi said. MARCO MONTEVERDE John Aloisi Muscat angry at jinx talk A-LEAGUE DRAW ROUND 3 Today: Newcatsle Jets v Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium (6:10pm) Tomorrow: Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar at Westpac Stadium (3:45pm), Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium (6pm) Sunday: Melbourne City v Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park (3:30pm), Perth Glory v Adelaide United at NIB Stadium (5:30pm) the 3-2 win over Melbourne City, chiefly the need to eradicate the poor patches of play that let their cross-town rivals come back from two goals down in the second half. With just two wins out of 14 games in Newcastle in 10 seasons, Victorys win percentage at Hunter Stadium is lower than at any other regular ALeague ground. Their overall points haul against the Jets 37 from a possible 90 is also lower than against any of the other foundation A-League clubs and last year the eventual champions were shocked 1-0 at AAMI Park by the 2014-15 wooden spooners in Round 24. If thats what everyone wants to focus on then weve got to derail that, go there and get a result so that this topic we dont play well against Newcastle or we cant get points against Newcastle can stop, Muscat said. The key to getting three points is pretty simple you perform well ... Youve certainly lit a bit of a fire in my belly because its annoying me that you guys keep bringing it up. So maybe we go across there and bring the three points home and we can forget about it. Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who trained at Goschs Paddock yesterday, has overcome a minor neck complaint from earlier in the week and will play. It means Muscats main selection headache is between Deng and Broxham. Deng (pictured with Muscat) impressed in his starting debut last week, but Brox KEVIN Muscat says he is annoyed by questions surrounding Melbourne Victorys poor record in Newcastle and is determined to silence any doubters against the Jets tonight. Vice-captain Leigh Broxham is set to return to the starting line-up at Hunter Stadium, replacing Thomas Deng in the centre of defence after missing last Saturdays derby through suspension. Muscat said his charges learnt some valuable lessons in MATT WINDLEY hams availability could shunt him straight back to the bench. What weve got to understand as well is that Broxy was unavailable last week through no fault of his own, Muscat said. So he wont be punished from that perspective. (Deng) did very well last week and I suppose from the outside he exceeded expectations, but certainly from within we expected what he could do he had a great performance. Whether he stays in the team tomorrow night or not time will tell. Heavyweights PSG and Real Madrid draw a blank CRISTIANO Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic struggled as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid played to a lacklustre 0-0 draw in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Manchester City found a way to earn a late 2-1 victory in a thrilling finish against Sevilla. Atletico Madrid, Wolfsburg and Galatasaray all won, while Manchester United could not manage more than a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow and Juventus was held to a scoreless home draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach. There was a lot of talk about Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic ahead of the high-profile match at the Parc des Princes, but neither player made an impact and the teams left with a point each to remain comfortably ahead in Group A. Kevin De Bruyne scored an injury-time winner for Man chester City in a 2-1 victory over Sevilla. Playing as a lone striker in the final minutes, the Belgian drove a left-footed shot inside the far post in the first of four minutes of stoppage time. Clasico ref pressured A SPANISH assistant referee has formally complained to anticorruption authorities he was pressured into favouring Real Madrid in next months El Clasico against Barcelona by the leagues refereeing committee. In a court filing published by Spanish radio station COPE on Wednesday, the official claims pressure was put on a senior referee expected to take charge of the match to handle it in a manner that would prejudice the interests of one of the clubs involved, Barcelona. Perth want glory of final in city PERTH Glory feel theyve earned the right to host the FFA Cup final after qualifying for a second straight year. But the odds appear stacked against them. The Glory became the first team into the November 7 final when they beat Melbourne City 3-1 on Wednesday night and they will meet the winner of next Wednesdays second semi-final between A-League champions Melbourne Victory and lower-tier Hume City FC. Glory players feel it would be an injustice if they dont host the decider, given theyve made the final in both of the first two FFA Cup seasons and played last years final away when beaten by Adelaide United. I think it would be only fair to have the final at home to give something back to Perth and WA, captain Dino Djulbic said. Seeing that we are the only team thats made the final twice, to play two times away wouldnt be right, but its not up to us. We take it as it comes, but we want to have the final here. The FFA says the venue for the final will be decided after the second semi-final and will be determined by which venue will draw the biggest crowd and TV audience for the match. That seems to favour the Victory, who will be heavily favoured to beat Melbournebased NPL Victoria team Hume City. Their home ground, AAMI Park, holds about 30,000 to Glory home ground nib Stadiums about 20,000 they have a huge supporter base and theyre in the heavily populated eastern time zone. Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, right, will make a choice between Thomas Deng, left, and vice-captain Leigh Broxham as they travel to face Newcastle Jets in tonights A-League fixture. Picture: GEORGE SALPIGTIDIS
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