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VIDEO: Goalkeeper comes out of net, conceded awful goal

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The game had already seen eight goals. Defense appeared optional at nib Stadium in Perth, Australia.

With the Perth Glory leading 5-3 over Melbourne City – a Manchester City feeder club – in stoppage time, the home fans were treated to a hilarious bit of madness from goalkeeper Liam Reddy with time winding down in the match.

Reddy, possibly frustrated by the lack of defensive ability throughout the match, decided he wanted to have a go out in the field. He charged down a long ball forward by Melbourne that brought him just out of his penalty area, but instead of booting it away to kill time and clear the danger, he decided he was going to treat the fans to his best Lionel Messi impression.

The Perth outfield players are left utterly bewildered, and hardly move as they stare baffled by their suddenly adventurous teammate. As you’d expect, because Reddy is, in fact, not Lionel Messi, the ball was eventually stolen by Melbourne City before the halfway line. Reddy would be made to pay for his mistake as the visitors took advantage of the empty net.

Perhaps the most embarrassing part for Reddy was that, after being dispossessed, he seemed consigned to his fate and dropped his head to slowly walk back to his goal. However, the Perth defense looked to bail out their shot-stopper, and momentarily kept Melbourne City from shooting. Reddy realized this too late, and by the time he’d begun to sprint back towards his position in front of net, the opposition had finally unleashed a shot on goal. Had he made his way back immediately after being dispossessed, he might have made it back in time to save face.

As the match commentator put it, “I think this is the maddest game I’ve seen in the A-League.” The game ended 5-4 as Perth held on through stoppage time to win the game and draw level with Melbourne City on points in the league table.

Sydney FC return to winning ways in A-League

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SYDNEY (AP) Bobo scored twice as Sydney FC rebounded from its first loss in the A-League to beat Melbourne City 3-1 and continue atop the table.

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Sydney’s ambitious attempt to become the first team to end the regular season unbeaten came unstuck last week when it was beaten by Western Sydney Wanderers in a fractious local derby, repercussions of which continued through the week. Wanderers were fined $20,000 by Football Federation Australia after its fans unfurled an obscene banner targeting Sydney coach Graham Arnold.

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Sydney raised itself above that controversy on Friday with a comprehensive win over Melbourne City which briefly took it 11 points clear in first place.

Melbourne Victory restored the gap to eight points when it beat defending champion Adelaide United 2-1, and Perth leapfrogged Melbourne City into third place when it dumped the Wanderers 2-0.

Bobo opened Sydney’s scoring with a penalty, but City canceled that out only a minute later.

Sydney went in front again after the break, and Bobo sealed the win, set up by a superb through ball by Milos Ninkovic which highlighted their developing combination.

Midfielder Brandon O’Neil said Sydney was determined to leave behind the contention of their derby loss.

“When it all came out, the FFA and Western Sydney had to deal with it and it did,” O’Neil said. “It brought us together and we spoke about a few things, and nothing changed for us. We want to be premier (champions).”

Melbourne Victory’s win over Adelaide kept it in touch with Sydney with seven regular season rounds remaining.

Wellington kept its faint playoff hopes alive, staying in seventh place with a 2-1 win over Brisbane.

Reports: Man City buys Venezuelan winger, loan to NYCFC

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Atletico Venezuela announced a late transfer deal on Tuesday, one which impacts the Premier League and perhaps Major League Soccer.

Yangel Herrera, 19, is a defensive midfielder who also plays center back, and some reports have Manchester City loaning the new boy to MLS partner New York City FC.

The Manchester Evening News first reported the possibility of a deal, claiming he’d be off to NYCFC or Melbourne City.

Herrera has been capped once by Venezuela.

VIDEO: Tim Cahill scores stunning long-range goal

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He’s still got it.

Former Everton and New York Red Bulls star Tim Cahill is now plying his trade in his homeland of Australia.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The veteran attacking midfielder, 36, is on the books of Melbourne City, part of the City Football Group, and on his A-League debut in the Melbourne derby he smashed in a goal for the ages.

Spotting the goalkeeper off his line, Cahill hammered home from over 40 yards out. Stunning.

Watch the video below to see the sensational goal.

Cahill has scored some superb strikes in World Cups, the Premier League and MLS, but this one has to be right up there.

Cahill’s homecoming fuels fan fervor in A-League

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SYDNEY (AP) Organizers hope the homecoming of local hero Tim Cahill will fuel enthusiasm for Australian football’s A-League which opens its 12th season on Friday.

Cahill has joined Melbourne City after playing overseas for the past 20 years – at Millwall, Everton, New York and for the past four years in China – while remaining one of Australian football’s favorite sons.

He is the highest-profile player associated this season with a league which has lacked star power since Italy’s Alessandro del Piero turned out for Sydney FC between 2012 and 2014.

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While the television audience for the league has grown by almost 50 percent since 2011, it is not yet as popular as other domestic football competitions including the Australian rules Australian Football League and the National Rugby League.

The A-League has in its favor a broadcasting agreement which allows matches to be shown on subscription and free-to-air formats. But viewership last season slipped on the previous year, even though recent surveys show soccer has overtaken swimming as the most popular sporting activity among Australian children.

The television rights deals enjoyed by the AFL and the NRL are vastly bigger than the $40 million agreement which covers the A-League this season.

But Cahill’s presence in the league this season and the closeness and unpredictability of the 10-team competition may swell TV and live audience numbers and ultimately lead to a significantly bigger broadcasting rights deal. Melbourne City received financial support from Football Federation Australia to swing a deal with Cahill, and the FFA also sought to help other clubs attract marquee signings.

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While the clubs haven’t managed to attract foreign players of Del Piero’s stature, they have managed to draw several Australian internationals back to the league, including Brett Holman at Brisbane, James Troisi with the Melbourne Victory and James Holland at Adelaide.

That seems an important turning point for the league as leading Australian players have often pursued their careers offshore.

Cahill said the return of players formerly based overseas to the A-League is a compliment to the caliber of the competition.

“To be finally home as international Australian players is good for us, good for our families and great for the game,” he said. “You’re talking about good quality players, national team players, who are not choosing something else. They’re looking at the A-League and saying `this is positive for my career.”‘

The league kicks off with a match between Brisbane and the Melbourne Victory and the first round features a derby clash between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers.