Friday, January 12, 2007
Roar beat Melbourne 1-2
Confidence plus motivation have re-engaged the Roar's talent. Sometimes confidence and motivation can be enough. Almost always lack of confidence and, or lack motivation will sink a team. The A-league seats have witnessed this from the up and down form of both Queensland and New Zealand, as well as the Central Coast front of goal efforts.
Melbourne 1 Queensland 2
The early news was Spase's pinpoint pass to Dario who flicked for - Mori's fantastic turn and step into space for a bulging net and his first Roar goal (18th Minute). Mori then copped an elbow to the head from Steve Pantelidis and played the rest of his game (77 minutes) bandaged to look like he had tonsillitis. A little later Pantelidis got what I thought looked like a wack from the ball - but the ref called a foul by Mori. Anyway by the second half Pantelidis and Mori were fighting for every ball and wearing matching bandages. Great match up.
In the first half the Roar's midfield dominated. Their best performance of the season.
Into the second half, the Roar sat back behind the ball. Sinking lower and lower into their final third. They missed a chance to beat Sydney playing this game in round one (1-1). By the 70th minute their energy seemed drained. And Melbourne got closer and closer until Archie Thompson picked up a ball rebounding from Ben Griffin's knee and toed in from around the middle of the penalty box (80th minute). This awoke the Roar's attacking game. And after a few missed opportunities from both sides, Dario Vidosic ran onto a left side cross in 90 minutes plus three. And the Roar had won.
The man of the match was Perth training squad and Australian under 20 goalkeeper Tando Velaphi. Tando pulled off at least one world class, right sided punching, save and several brave stops. Frank said this was his opportunity, and expect to see him in the Perth line-up next year - unless the Roar can snaffle him. Seo also had a great game taking Muscat out of the game. Spase had moments of great passing and setting up opportunities as did Reinaldo. Of course Sasa was back and he made a difference.
There was some downside for the Roar. Josh McCloughan and Matty McKay both seem to have scored their 4th yellow cards for the season and will miss the final and critical game against Sydney at home next week. Ref Mark Shield seemed to lose control around the middle of the game handing out 7 yellow cards in total. Several for minor offences. Matty's for apparently wasting time at the end of the first half (thanks Jeccy - talking to Frankie). Matty may be off contract at the end of the season - so we keep our fingers crossed he will be retained (thanks Jeccy - commentators suggest he has signed for two more years).
This will mean Massimo, who played around 26 minutes at his speedy best, will be key. He narrowly missed a goal opportunity just after coming on.