Thursday, April 12, 2007

Asian Champions League: reality hits home

2-1 to Persik.

30 degrees. 90% humidity. Brisbane gets this weather but we had a cold summer. And I had been thinking how the A-League teams would have felt about Lang Park if they had faced it. Now we know. No so good.

Sydney dominated early and got the early goal. But soon the heat took over. The pitch was also very poor, Alex Brosque was either pulled down by the goalkeeper on 29 minutes or dived - either way the ref should have handed out a card. And on 83 minutes a Persik defender handballed in the box. And the ref was going wild with yellow cards in the first half.

The A-League site describes the pitch as dry. They couldn't have been watching - the ball was kicking up water and stopping in critical places.

But by the 80th Sydney had had it. Several had stopped walking and were just standing with their hands on their knees. Persik's Brazilians missed some sitters. The rained out transfer of the game from late afternoon to 10:30 am to 12:30 played right into Persik's hands. Keen to see the replay. I think it will be very different... but I don't know.


Cecilia said...

I only got home in time to see the final 20 minutes. It really looked like Sydney do too much transporting of the ball. i.e. too much running. Plus a ground that was surely still soaked and soft to run on (perhaps the rhizosphere was dry) makes it even more tiring.

john said...

Yep. Asia is just not going to be easy and I don't think Australians are watching. sigh.

Cecilia said...

I suspect even those who watch the matches don't pay attention to the play. Perhaps I'm out-dated with modern Australian viewers, but I think all they care about is goals. AFL mentality...