Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sweet Sweet: At last Roar make music: Perth 1 Roar 2

The A-league is small. The A-league is beautiful. The A-league is fragile.

Frank Farina explained the game to fans and the press this week. He sounded good and strong. The Roar must stick with him. There is no one else.

But as the Roar went a goal down in the 14th after the Roar had already had a barrage of chances - well you could see it was going to get harder to explain. And a big crowd must be attracted for the Sydney game next week.

With a win, at least now the team has given the marketing team something solid to work with.

I was impressed with Moore's performance this week. Still the Roar rely heavily on Matty and Danny. Marcinho has been unable to live up to his promise, he talks a lot, misses a lot of set pieces. Reinaldo, is the fittest player in the A-League, and can be seen in every position on the park and played a lot of time in defence today. 18 year olds Mitch Nichols and Michael Zullo rewarded Frank's risk with great cameos.

There were 21 official shots. Great goals from a McKay corner - at last someone was there to take the goalkeepers deflection (Josh McCloughan) and from Milicic's bustling forcing run into the box to set the ball free for McKay to do his 'best practice' volley. Tiatto looks like he is going to score some goals - 2 or 3 for keeper saves and 1 into the post.

Perth could have equalised (hit the post in extra time) or run away with it. But at last things went the Roar's way and they got over the Ben Williams refing ho-do without a send off.

The Roar are by far the most exciting A-league team. And we knew they could win away. But now they must win at home. And against Sydney who just must win or risk writing of the season (and their home crowd).


Hamish said...

Ah sweet relief.

Reinaldo was frustrating once again, though there's no question that he works very hard. I thought it was ominous that Frank subbed him. How long will it take Frank to get impatient with him, as Miron did?

When you think about it the goal drought isn't over. The Roar pays several strikers to train and play as strikers. They get quite a bit of ball, through the middle and from the wings, from a very skilled, energetic midfield. They don't score goals.

The first of Roar's goals tonight was from the most unlikely source, McCloughan, a defender, who was as you say in the proverbial right place. Honestly the goal looked like it could have been an accident, bouncing fast off his leg from mere feet away. No complaints, but you can hardly say, "Oh great, the Roar have finally got it together up front."

The second goal was a classic Matty strike, and the look on his face was odd. It wasn't pure celebration. It looked a bit like I felt for him. "Do I have to do everything?"

And as you say, the other likely looking scorer was Tiatto, who is fast revealing himself as the most exiting thing on the park in Australian football. Also not a striker, though he was playing brilliantly in midfield which I think should become a theme. We've got a good defence line now and Tiatto's talents seem wasted there.

And Perth played pretty badly. In short, the drought's not over.

Hamish said...

I've been gradually warming to Farina and I think he's got me. As you know I was a Miron loyalist but I don't think Farina is some kind of long-ball oaf, but has built on a basic structure Miron had in place with some intelligent recruitment and, presumably, good coaching. From what I hear Farina is more systematic and professional than Miron was, and the Roar have needed that attention to detail.

I dearly hope his family has realised that Brisbane, while not as exotic and fashionable as the Southern cities, is in fact the nicest city in the world to actually live and bring up kids in. Because I hope Farina's in it for a long haul. I reckon he'll take the Roar to the top later if not sooner.

But then again, the morning after you know... I'm in an optimistic mood.

Not to mention the Matildas.