The first half was 60% Roar. In the first 30 seconds, Murdocca got an early break and took the ball forward and to the right of goal. Wellington showed its hand by getting two onto the man with the ball. However, Murdocca's neat cut back and shot forced the bast save of the match from Paston.
For most of the rest of the match the Roar couldn't get near the goal. The exceptions came towards the end of the half when Miller took a free kick that forced Pasten to palm the ball to his left and McCloughan's get headed goal.
There was also McKay's great run from the left in towards goal deep into the penalty with a great cross for Van Dijk who over-ran the tap in. And deep into the second half, after he had come on for Smits, Reinaldo somehow was able to run the ball through the Wellington defence, run in from the right and cut back for Murdocca - who failed to use the time on his side - blasted wide.
In a mirror of Aloisi starting on the bench for Sydney, the big news was that Reinaldo was to start on the bench. By the time he did come on the Roar were in this business of closing out the match. And while his touch looked good, there was little forward momentum. And he was unable to copy Aloisi. But the 3 points were the same.
It is interesting that Herbert keeps players of the capability of Bertos and Daniel on his bench regularly. Only when they came on did Wellington look like scoring.
For the Roar both Smits and Van Dijk lacked the strength to force a goal. Charlie Miller was not able to really leave his mark on the game, although he looks better in midfield than up front. And the Roar were better for McKay getting more of the game as a result. Packer played well and made runs up the left. Mundy also impressed with his second game, this time we saw him run with the ball and shoot. Tiatto doesn't have anywhere near the impact he did last year and he limped off with a hamstring injury early in the first half. Van Dijk was stretchered off late in the game and could be out next week.