Sunday, November 11, 2007
Roar 3 - Wellington 0
At last a home shut out.
While the first half was quite, Reinaldo showed us that he wanted to shoot. The main event was the send off of Wellington's Ahmad Elrich in only the 34th. If you are going to put your elbow into someone's nose (Seo), FFA has made it clear - you are going to get a red. This was going to be a big game for Elrich and he wasn't ready to go. Wellington needed to win to start to threaten a top 4 finish by the end of the season.
As Frank said after the game, it isn't always easy against 10. And it is a bit of a fashion to just play out the first half with no mistakes, holding the ball, building from the back and hoping to wear out your opponents. Then you throw everything at the 2nd half.
Wellington's approach was to foul Robbie Kruse every time he got the ball, and I think his ankles earned most of the Wellies yellow cards.
Nothing really happened until the 58th when Stuart McLaren succumbed to a rib injury and on came Marcinho. He was electric. Every time he got the ball something was happening, running at defenders, great passes...
... then in the 64th a Pele style bicycle kick in the penalty box, stopped by the hands of Karl Dodd. Reinaldo had to kick it in twice, but he too was on fire. And the summersult, backflip and tuck was back. And tomorrow he is going to be a Dad.
For a while the Roar lost rhythm. Wellington looked like they could break back. But they couldn't get through.
In the 79th, Reinaldo go a ball right in front, back heel and in off a defender - so much for Frank saying he would break his drought with a goal off his back.
There were a few welcome backs as McLaren got a good run. Murdocca saw out the game. And Milicic had a cameo (Lynch got a kick yesterday).
Things have changed. The Roar are earning their share of fair penalties, and other teams are getting sendoffs, while the Roar stay at 11. And now we are clear 2nd.
In the 82nd, Zullo is released on the left. He has been waiting all night. We all think he will shoot, like so many others have done tonight. But no he finds Marcinho in space on the right, loads of time and he uses it. Bam Boom. 3 nil.