Friday, 7 September 2007

Hero to Zero

Last year, we got off to a flyer winning our first six games of the season. This season, we might match the streak, but this time with draws after coming away with our third consecutive draw against Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight. In about sixty seconds our ever reliable defender, Roddy Vargas turned went from hero to zero after scoring the opening goal with a nicely taken header from a Caceres freekick, he promptly handled in the area when a Diego cross struck his outstretched arm and gave away a penalty. Adelaide was probably unlucky to come away with the draw after a late Nathan Burns header struck the crossbar, but considering the injury problems that have hit the Victory squad it was a decent performance in front of a hostile Adelaide crowd.

The game saw the debut of Sebastian Ryall in the blue and white of the Victory and the 18 year old put in a solid effort at right back, keeping Spagnuolo quiet for most of the game although he didn't offer that much in attack his defensive efforts were good. A bright future is in store for the captain of the Young Socceroos, but he might struggle for game time when a fully fit squad is available. Adrian Caceres also started the game and was probably the best Victory player on the park and the most dangerous in attack. It makes you wonder why he wasn't in the squad last week as he has been in good form throughout the pre-season and now the regular season.

The undermanned defence looked solid giving Adelaide very few clear cut chances, it was only at the end when Adelaide were pressing did they look a little stretched. The midfield looked a bit slow tonight and when Adelaide were dominating the game early in the second half, they barely got a touch and when they did it was given away cheaply. The non-appearance of Patafta was also a bit baffling as his pace and guile would have useful in the tight midfield battles. Leandro Love, made his starting XI debut and made himself useful around the pitch, but too often gave the ball away too easily and his first touch was lacking a bit. He must given time to get used to the style of Australian football but should be a useful acquisition for the Victory. Allsopp put in a pretty poor performance in such an important game and was easily held.

Both teams will need to improve and Melbourne's title defence won't get any easier as they host the inform, although slightly lucky Central Coast next week at the Telstra Dome. Here's hoping for the three points to go our way and end this streak of sorts.


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