Melbourne Victory 2 Sydney FC 2
Melbourne Victory were held to two-all draw by Sydney FC in the strangest of games at AAMI Park on Australia Day.
With a minute to play in the first half which Sydney had dominated, the scores were level at nil-all.
By the time Strebre Delovski brought the half to and end, Victory was up by two goals.
In the 45th minute, Matthew Foschini found Carlos Hernandez who chipped the ball into the area. Archie Thompson flicked it back to Isaka Cernak who brought it down and then hammered it past Liam Reddy.
Into injury time Hernandez came down the right and was manhandled by Pascal Bosschaart, who was promptly booked by Strebre Delovski. Hernandez had a hold of the Sydney defender’s shirt too, but probably it was Bosschaart who initiated the incident.
Hernandez’s free kick to the far post found its way to Fabio who turned two defenders and drove the ball low and hard across goal where it hit the body of the diving Reddy and finished in the net.
No one who has watched Victory games this season would have been confident that it would hold on to the lead in the second half, since it has surrendered the advantage on so many occasions.
Within a minute of the restart Adrian Leijer released Archie Thompson with a long ball over the defence.
The Socceroo striker controlled the ball and was through on Reddy in an instant, but hit the diving keeper on his legs with the shot and the ball spun away for a fruitless corner.
The chance to bury the game with a third goal inside three minutes of play was gone
Earlier, in the first half, Victory had been under pressure from a skillful Sydney side, which lost Brett Emerton to a hamstring strain after 31 minutes.
Sydney made light of the change when Hiro Morayasu replaced him and continued to play in the Victory half, with Bruno Cazarine having two good openings and Nicky Carle and Karol Kisel testing Ante Covic from distance.
Sydney repeated the pattern in the second half and their pressure paid off eventually.
Nicky Carle cut in from the left and shot directly at Covic who spilled the ball and reacted too slowly to prevent Bruno Cazarine finishing with a short range effort in the 57the minute.
Now Victory was on the back foot and even more reliant on counter-attacks and interceptions to get back into the Sydney half.
Hernandez was replaced by Marco Rojas in 63 minutes and then Archie Thompson came off to give Jean Carlos Solorzano a run for the last ten minutes.
But it was always on the cards that Sydney would get something out of the game.
Former Victory defender Sebastian Ryall came on as substitute in the 88th minute and had a immediate impact.
Mark Milligan blocked a high ball with his arm giving away a free kick just outside the penalty area.
Scott Jamieson’s free kick caused an almighty scramble in the area and the ball fell into the path of Ryall who poked it over the line for his first goal in the A-League.
Vitezslav Lavicka was disappointed his team had not taken all three points from a game which it had dominated for long periods, but content to have retained the four point gap to Melbourne Victory on the ladder.
He felt his team had showed character and discipline and contrasted the result with what happened in Perth when Sydney lost a goal in the last minute.
Jim Magilton thought the Victory players had been naive in the way they had defended their lead and particularly wasteful in not putting away the chance to put the result out of Sydney’s reach with the second half chances.
He says a win will generate confidence and then Victory will go on a roll, but if it does not happen soon it will be too late to have any part in this year’s finals.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Melbourne Victory 2 (Isaka Cernak 45’, Fabio 45 + 2’) Sydney FC 2 (Bruno Cazarine 56’, Sebastian Ryall 90’)
Venue: AAMI Park
Local kick-off: 4:00pm
Referees: Strebre Delovski
Assistant referees: Hakan Anaz and Luke Brennan
Fourth official: Alex Azcurra
21 Ante Covic, 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 5.Mark Milligan, 8. Grant Brebner, 10. Archie Thompson (9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 80’), 13. Diogo Ferreira, 16.Carlos Hernandez (11. Marco Rojas 63’), 19. Isaka Cernak , 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c)
Unused substitutes: 20. Lawrence Thomas, 4. Petar Franjic
Yellow cards: Diogo Ferriera 59’
Red cards: Nil
1. Liam Reddy, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton (6. Hirofumi Moriyasu 31’), 8. Karol Kisel (11. Dimi Petratos 73’), 9. Bruno Cazarine, 10. Nick Carle, 15. Terry McFlynn, 19. Mark Bridge, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Rhyan Grant (2. Sebastian Ryall, 88’)
Unused substitutes: 20. Ivan Necevski
Yellow cards: Pascal Bosschaart 45 + 1’
Red cards: Nil