Sunday, November 7, 2010

Melbourne Victory 0-1 Gold Coast United: Return of Archie Thompson welcomed by home fans

Photo: Melbourne Victory's Rodrigo Vargas headed an own-goal to give Gold Coast victory [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory 0-1 Gold Coast United


An own-goal by defender Roddy Vargas 10 minutes into the second half sank Melbourne Victory, who are now in 6th place on the A-League ladder, four points adrift of their 4th-placed opponents Gold Coast United.

Melbourne probably had slightly the better of the first half, with chances falling to Robbie Kruse, Tom Pondeljac and Mate Dugandzic.

Kruse’s curling shot had Gold Coast keeper Glenn Moss, a former Victory player, diving frantically to his left to keep the ball out.

Gold Coast’s best chance fell to captain Jason Culina, whose toe-poke just cleared the bar.

Archie Thompson came on for Dugandzic at the interval after 8 months recuperating from a knee ligament injury. He marked his return by wearing a pair of pink boots with the words “I’m back” emblazoned on them, but that was about the brightest aspect of his performance.

In the 55th minute, a nice piece of interplay in defence by Bas van den Brink and Joel Porter saw the latter pass wide to Culina on the left. The Gold Coast skipper released Adama Traore down the left wing and his low cross into the box was headed into his own net by Vargas, who was under pressure from Porter, who had done well to advance into the box.

It was an inviting cross from Traore, who for much of the match seemed to favour his right foot. He repeatedly refused to beat his full-back down the line and preferred to stop and play the ball back with his right foot to a supporting player. It just showed what can happen when a winger is willing to take on his man down the left and deliver a left-footed cross into the box.

United were well organised, played a fine counter-attacking game and deserved their win against a Victory outfit that was well-served at the back by Kevin Muscat.


Melbourne Victory: Petkovic - Leijer (Angulo 60), Muscat, Vargas - Pondeljac, Celeski, Brebner, Sukha (Broxham 70) - Dungandzic Thompson 46), Hernandez, Kruse [Substitute not used: Mattei]

Gold Coast United: Moss - Pantelidis, Djulbic, Thwaite, Anderson (Rees 81) - Caravella, Culina, Van Den Brink - Halloran (Robson 63), Porter (Harold 59), Traore [Substitute not used: Tyson]

Booked: Traore 78, Moss 81

Goals: Vargas 55 og

Att: 15,534

Ref: P Green

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was impressed by the standard in this game. It was pleasing to see GCU play a half press, manifesting in a compact shape when Victory had the ball. This is the way Asian teams often play in away fixtures in the ACL. A League teams have frequently struggled to break down compact defences and then been caught in the defensive transitions.

Victory had a lot of possession. They looked good on the ball, particularly in the first half. GCU conceded them a little space in the middle of the pitch. GCU played mainly on the counter and kept a more compact shape with a lone forward.

Pim Verbeek would have liked what was in show in this match. Too often Australian teams play away from home with a full press, or squeeze, hence, too much distance between the lines.

Another pleasing phenomenon were the rhythm changes both teams displayed. In the past we have too frequently had two teams going flat out in open end to end games with too much distance between the lines. This is poor practice for international football.