Sunday, 11 November 2007

Birthday wish granted . . . almost

Last night it was off to the Telstra Dome to see the Victory play arch rivals Sydney FC. It also happened to be my birthday as well so I managed to drag a few more bodies along to the game, many of whom had never watched a football match live. Most left suitably impressed but would have liked to seen some goals, although weren't too phased by this fact. It was bit disappointing that there was only just 32,000 people there to see the game. The timing of the game probably didn't help as the game came at the end of the spring racing carnival. Maybe the form of the Victory hasn't helped either.

Almost was probably the word of the game, with both teams almost scoring as the both managing to hit the upright in reasonably close succession. In terms, of the keepers, Bolton had the more outstanding night making a number of crucial saves as the Victory were pushing for a winner.

Positives for the night were the performance of our makeshift backline which kept the Sydney attacking third in check for most of the game until basically Juninho came on and started to have an impact. Another impressive performance was given by Steven Pace who was ably supported by Muscat. The Victory are starting to look like the team of last year with the midfield starting to really impress although I am yet to fathom why Merrick continues to persist with Caceres on the bench and starting with Love. I think these roles have to be reversed as Caceres is wasted in thirty minute bursts. The crowd also really lifts when he is on the field. We also need to start taking our chances in front of goal as teams will start to punish us for our misses as the Mariners did last week. Vasilevski has also been a revelation the last two weeks and along with the fact that we are only playing with two defensive midfielders is the reason for the improvement. Hear that Ernie, two defensive midfielders only - that means Broxham or Brebner on the bench when Muscat is playing in midfield. Please Ernie, please listen to the fans.

Speaking of the crowd, the supporters on level three continued their silent protest of the past two weeks. As with the last home game they came to life for the last thirty minutes of the match (maybe that's why Ernie hasn't been starting Caceres as he is just waiting for the level three guys to start their chanting) and probably continued chanting well past the completion of the game although I wasn't there to hear or see it as I was off to continue my birthday celebrations. It made for quite an eerie atmosphere at times with the Sydney fans often making more noise than the home supporters. Eamonn also makes comment on the crowd involvement in his post on the game.

Looking forward to next week, a tough task looms against the Roar as they are looking in good form and sitting clear in second place. Hamish, finally thinks that Frank Farina is starting to weave some magic up there in Queensland so it will be a good test of a somewhat resurgent Victory team. On a plus, we do have a rather good record up north as we are yet to lose a game at Suncorp Stadium. We need to win to keep in touch with the top four.


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