Friday, August 24, 2007

Rainy Opener: Sydney 0 Central Coast 1

Central Coast are going to be an even tougher team this year - without Brazilians (who take the place of Australians according to coach Lawrie McKinna). They have their traditional defensive blood and guts and, now, a devastating attack force in Sasho Petrovski and Nic Mrdja.

The plus for Sydney is that they will play better in the dry. Juninho, by his admission, was short of game time. Yet he still had flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately for Sydney, Popovic did not. Popovic's game was uneventful at best, at worst he was missing at key times. Alex Brosque got himself in the right place a few times but squibbed his opportunities (ah just like old times).

Central Coast did dominate in the first half. And Sasho got his revenge goal early.

But it was Peter Green's greeness that led to a refereeing blunder that let Central Coast off the hook. Heffernan clearly and with malice took Milligan out in the penalty box with a deliberate elbow to the head. Penalty! Send off! No. Free kick to Central Coast. Eh? Ref inexperience and mistakes could turn out to be a problem for the FFA. Particularly when trying to attract crowds to watch superstars like Juninho (who was repeatedly fouled in the first half).

Sydney dominated the second half but didn't look like scoring till the final 5 minutes. Then it seemed incredible that they didn't, particularly when jet-lagged under 23 star keeper Danny Vukovic decided to play up field and left his goal for the no hands men to defend (you probably had to see it to believe how Chancey that was).


wayne said...

Yeah John, it was hearts in mouths for a good part of the second half down here on the coast, but that was Culina's tactical nous after being shown up in the first. People have complained about the quality of football on offer in the game, but it was teeming FFS! Notice all the long ball from Sydney in the last quarter? Good crowd considering the weather really. Anyway, an away win in Sydney - how sweet it is!

Jeccy - for the Roar said...

I was yelling at the TV screen for the whole time I was watching it (about the last 20 mins). Too many lost opportunities.