Narrow win for Melbourne Victory over Perth Glory
In a good quality game, Melbourne Victory did just enough to take all three points with a one-nil win over Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Friday night. Both teams were short of some key players. Jacob Burns, Glory’s skipper, and Sam Gallagher of Victory were suspended, while Scott Jamieson and Michael Thwaite for Perth and Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan for Victory were on international duty.
Liam Miller was injured in warm up and replaced by Adrian Zahra with Jesse Makarounas coming on to the bench. It was good to see Zahra back in action and he lasted a full hour before being replaced, making some good runs down the flank and carrying out his defensive duties effectively.
Victory created the best openings in the first half but squandered them, while Glory’s aerial attack was the main threat to the home defence, particularly from free kicks, of which there were many in the early part of the half. Victory keeper Nathan Coe was outjumped by Nick Ward and was reluctant to leave his line on a couple of occasions. Perth’s passing was crisp and they cut through the Victory midfield regularly. Andrew Nabbout after an enterprising opening spell, found a couple of lung bursting runs left him gasping for breath and slow to recover.
The match ebbed and flowed, though both sides made mistakes with the final pass and so the first half ended goalless. Probably Perth had just had the best of it till then, but Victory came out firing in the second half.
The only goal came in the 58th minute and it was worthy of winning this close game. Billy Celeski in a forward position slotted the ball through to Gui Finkler. The Brazilian cleverly released Marco Rojas and the young winger lifted his shot over Daniel Vukovic’s despairing fingers and into the far corner.
Nathan Coe, who had been hesitant in the first half, had to be at his absolute best to save a scorching header by Shane Smeltz after 76 minues. That probably saved the points for Victory, though substitute Theo Markelis had an awful miss from almost under the bar after a cross from Rojas set him up a minute later. Markelis made a good break in the 89th minute but his cross was too close to Vukovic who saved comfortably.
Ange Postecoglou was not happy with the first half, feeling that the Victory players were easing themselves into the game, rather than taking it by the scruff of the neck from the start. The second half, he admitted, was much better and the goal was deserved. ‘We played half an hour of good football and got our reward for it,’ was how he summed up the match. Once again he felt that the supporters were great and that the Victory players should have used the energy they created more than they did.
Ian Ferguson said that the Glory played well in patches and no one could be faulted for the effort they put in. It took a first class save to deny Smeltz, but that Perth was scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of regular first team players, so the absence of Miller, Burns, Jamieson and Thwaite was significant. However, the young substitutes, especially Chris Harold, showed real promise in their late spells on the field.
Friday, 30 November 2012
Melbourne Victory 1 (Marco Rojas 58’) Perth Glory
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick off: 7:30 PM
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant referees: George Lakrindis and Jonathan Barreiro
Fourth official: Shaun Evans
39. Nathan Coe, 3. Adama Traore, 4. Petar Franjic, 7. Gui Finkler (17. Jimmy Jeggo 90 + 1’), 8. Jonathan Bru (6. Leigh Broxham 74’), 9. Marcos Flores, 11. Marco Rojas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 14. Billy Celeski, 23. Adrian Leijer, 26. Andrew Nabbout (16. Theo Markelis 74’)
Unused substitutes: 1. Tando Velaphi
Yellow cards: Jonathan Bru 22’
Red cards: Nil
1.Danny Vukovic, 3. Bas van den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 6.Nick Ward (15.Brandon O’Neill 66’), 8.Dean Heffernan 9.Shane Smeltz, 11.Adrian Zahra (17.Chris Harold 61’), 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry, 19.Joshua Risdon
Unused substitutes: 30 Lewis Italiano, 18.Jesse Makarounas
Yellow cards: Nick Ward 17’, Joshua Risdon 19’, Dean Heffernan 59’
Red cards: Nil