To begin with, there was the youth team playing in the curtain raiser before the game. I really wanted to go, to see if the youth team were able to play to any decent standard. My reasoning was they didn't have Thompson to bomb it up to, thus forcing them to play with a bit of patience. However no one else wanted to go so I guess we'll never find out.
|You can't see it, but the banner on the far side says "No More Excuses".|
In the end, it was a good showing from Victory, a massive improvement from last week. More balls were played to feet and there seemed to be a bit more sense in the ball movement. Harry Kewell definitely helped this. Allsopp may have had his good years, but he is nowhere near Harry in terms of build up play. To date though, Harry's biggest contributions in the game still appears to be his flick ons from goal kicks. I counted five yesterday. It's kind of amazing how he continually wins the headers with such consistency.
It was a big disappointment when Vargas was sent off for a silly tackle. Down to ten men, it was only natural Victory would revert to the norm. But the surprising thing was they didn't. The ball still stayed on the ground for the most part, with the odd long ball at a well timed moment. It was a very encouraging performance from the boys, fingers crossed they can continue on.
Now the match itself. Victory went 2-0 quickly from two spot kicks (how else can we score?), however last week was enough to keep all of us on edge. And true to form, Gold Coast came back to level the scores, both coming after Rodrigo was given his marching orders. Substituions were made and just about everyone on the ground was amazed how Rojas was taken off while Carlos "Can't Run" Hernandez stayed on. He proved us all wrong though, netting the winner after a good break. He should have made it 4-2 in the dying stages but he held the ball when he clearly should have released Thompson.
Has coach Mehmet saved his job? It wasn't an easy match for him. They started off very well, but losing Vargas and then Fabio meant he had a very makeshift defence. Keeping Hernandez on seemed like a ridiculous move, but it paid off in the end. The only concern, and a massive concern it is, is we gave up a 2-0 lead against the bottom ranked side. But how much blame can you put on Mehmet for that?