Newcastle were blown away.
Pohang's Brazilian Denilson was the best player on the park by a factor of two. Going for and winning everything including an early penalty. His running step overs were the best and most dangerous we have seen by or against A-League teams. Could Brisbane Roar get this guy for a guest stint?
Newcastle were just too slow. The five weeks without a professional game were obvious. The change to the ACL structure has worked against the A-League (Adelaide played its stage 2 games mid-season). The FFA need to work on a package to help Melbourne and Adelaide retain their edge in the off-season. Although it is likely the 2010 World Cup will force further scheduling changes.
Egmond's inability to get his best team on the park also told. If you want to play the physical game you need the master Ljubo Milicevic (I am not sure he even plays for them any more). And Jobe Wheelhouse was just a weeks back from an appendix operation, and he paid for it clumsily losing a safe ball near the half way line for the second goal.
Sasho Petrovsksi had a great game and could have scored twice. Jason Hoffman missed two great opportunities. Jin-Hyung Song tried to match Denilson's step overs. Fabio Vignaroli had his worst performance and tried some thuggish tackles and was lucky to stay on the park - ripping a stock in missing breaking a leg. Angelo Costanzo was too slow.
All 6 goals had elements of brilliance and demonstrated the limits of the A-League salary cap when up against teams prepared to buy honours.