Sunday, 2 September 2007

Some guts but no glory

It was a largely uninspiring display last night from both teams at the Telstra Dome, but probably more so from the Victory team. In front of 31,545 expectant fans the defending champions created very few chances with the Glory keeper not being called into action to make a serious save. The Victory's performance was helped by the early exit of Joseph Keenan after ten minutes due to a hamstring strain, after making an early incisive run which almost brought the Glory undone. The Victory's much talked about depth will be tested next week against Adelaide in a Grand Final rematch as utility and ever reliable Steve Pantelidis copped what appeared to be corked thigh late in the match.

As a plus, the defence put in a much more committed effort than last week, and Perth themselves had few chances, although Theoklitos had to be called onto to make some good saves to deny them. The midfield was solid, but lacking a bit of creativity when it counted, with only glimpses of brilliance from Hernandez and Patafta (who replaced Hernandez at half time) with some lovely long balls. I think it may be time for coach Merrick to bite the bullet and play both Patafta and Hernandez on the field at the same time. At the moment, the midfield looks a little defensive minded with Muscat, Brebner and Broxham all similar styles of players. I was also concerned by the absence of Caceres on the bench. He has been in good form in the pre-season and has that ability to run at defences which was lacking at times last night. In the atacking third of the field, there was flashes of brilliance from both Thompson and Allsopp, but lacked that finishing touch and constant supply. The fans may have found themselves a new Brazilian favourite, with Leandro Love showing lots of spark when he came onto the field for the last twenty minutes putting in a good effort at both ends of the field. He looks to have a bit of class and hopefully he gets a bit more game time to get on the score sheet.

I am looking to forward to next week's match against Adelaide in Adelaide and hope the team puts in a much more inspiring performance than this week.


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