Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - HAL 6 Preseason

Heart looking for love
By Alan Clark

Preseason Friendly
Wednesday 14 July, 2010
at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne

Melbourne Heart FC 0
lost to
Everton FC 2
(Jack Rodwell 35', Louis Saha 61')



(Linked from FFA site)

English Premier League club Everton defeated A-League newcomer Melbourne Heart two-nil at Docklands Stadium on a cold Melbourne Wednesday evening in the middle of the English club's three-game pre-season friendly series against Australian opposition.

Jack Rodwell netted from inside the six-yard box ten minutes before the break, and Louis Saha made it two just after the hour. Saha had earlier squandered a penalty after Seamus Coleman had been felled by Rutger Worm in the area just seconds after kick-off.

It was a game watched in near silence by the almost 20,000 in attendance - Heart has yet to play a competitive game since its creation, and so it is still to find its own support. This was Heart's first major outing in the city it seeks to win over, and so there was a fair proportion of the curious, but uncommitted, amongst those in attendance. For those hoping to adopt Heart, it had the sense of a rather awkward first date.

And the demand from exiled Everton supporters, predominantly part of the English diaspora which had migrated to Melbourne, has been sated by wall-to-wall live coverage of English football on pay television. In previous decades such a tour would have been the only way for the expatriate community to see its team. The hosts would have felt it was they who were the visitors so outnumbered would they be in the stands.

Large attendances were the norm in pre-pay days, despite the unfamiliar names the tourists would bring with them - players barely seen in the season just gone, and likely not to be seen in the season to follow. This Everton had its fair share of unfamiliar faces including debuts for youngster Shkodran Mustafi and just-signed pair Joao Silva and Jermaine Beckford who both came on from the bench late in the game. New blue Magaye Gueye would also have been unfamiliar to the tourist's Melbourne fans.

To be fair, some of those missing were absent for excellent football reasons, prime amongst them defender John Heitinga who had only concluded his World Cup obligations for the Netherlands a couple of days earlier, and first-choice goalkeeper Tim Howard who had tended goal for the USA in the same competition.

Everton coach David Moyes made seven changes during the match, perhaps as much to offer the Everton supporter a chance to appraise the full squad as to bring his team slowly to condition for the rigours of the English season ahead.

But this game also appealed to another spectrum of the football follower - Everton's hard-working midfield includes the talismanic Tim Cahill, a player held in high regard by all followers of Australia's national side, regardless of their affection for Everton, or interest in Heart.

Cahill had only just finished World Cup duties himself in South Africa in a campaign which began poorly but redeemed itself, even if without the success many had thought within reach. That campaign had only added to Cahill's stocks, his fighting back from the cruelty of a first-game dismissal to be part of a third-game victory over highly-regarded Serbia. Cahill's presence was the stimulus for a sizable portion of those who had braved the conditions.

He clearly recognised his key role in the tour and spent quite a time after the end of the game giving autographs and posing for pictures with a fortunate section of the Docklands' crowd before finally departing the arena well after all others had vanished down the tunnel.

Those there for Cahill needed to be patient however, as he was not introduced until the start of the second half, by which time Everton had already taken the lead. Rodwell had converted easily from close-range ten minutes before the break after a cross from the right by Coleman had been directed towards him with deadly accuracy, and no chance of intervention by a well-beaten defence.

Saha got Everton's second just after the hour when he was allowed too much time at the edge of the penalty-area by a hesitant Heart back-line, and turned to volley an unstoppable shot high into Clint Bolton's net.

Heart had created two good chances of its own by that stage. Gerald Sibon had put wide from a position a goal seemed the more likely outcome. He and Alex Terra had exchanged passes which carved through the Everton defence, but Sibon's shot was the wrong side of the post.

And Josip Skoko had a goal-bound effort clawed away at the last moment by the gloves of Everton goalkeeper Ian Turner. Turner was tested later in the game by substitute Eli Babalj who looked lively after his introduction just after the hour.

Bi-curious Victory fans in attendance will have seen little to win them across into red from Melbourne's blue, but there will be other serious attempts in the months to come.



Preseason Friendly
Wednesday 14 July, 2010
at Docklands Stadium, Melbourne


Melbourne Heart FC 0
lost to
Everton FC 2
(Jack Rodwell 35', Louis Saha 61')

    Crowd: 19,261

    MATCH STATS:

    Melbourne Heart FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-4-2) 1 Clint Bolton (gk), 3 Brendan Hamill (21 Kliment Taseki +77'), 5. Michael Beauchamp, 4 Simon Colosimo, 23 Dean Heffernan, 24 Aziz Behich (12 Adrian Zahra +69'), 2 Michael Morrone, 11 Alex Terra (14 Kamal Ibrahim +57'), 20 Josip Skoko (22 Nick Kalmar +46'), 7 Rutger Worm (19 Eli Babalj +62'), 9 Gerald Sibon

    Substitutes not used: 25 Peter Zois (rgk), 17 Jason Hoffman

    Coach: John Van't Schip

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Everton FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-5-1) 1 Ian Turner (gk), 2 Tony Hibbert (17 Tim Cahill +46'), 23 Seamus Coleman, 6 Phil Jagielka, 15 Sylvain Distin (25 Skodran Mustafi +86'), 19 Magaye Gueye (18 Phil Neville +46'), 28 Victor Anichebe (22 Lukas Jutkiewicz +74'), 21 Leon Osman (16 Jermaine Beckford +64'), 26 Jack Rodwell, 7 Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (9 Jose Baxter +74'), 8 Louis Saha (11 Joao Pereira Da Silva +64')

    Substitutes not used: 3 Leighton Baines, 14 James Vaughan

    Coach: David Moyes

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Matthew Breeze
    Assistants: AR1: Luke Brennan AR2: Shaun Evans; Fourth Official: Kevin Docherty

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Sylvain Distin (Everton)
    2. Simon Colosimo (Melbourne Heart)
    1. Tim Cahill (Everton)

    Pitch rating: tba/10

    Game rating: tba/10

    Match Report and ratings: Alan Clark



Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. FFA has not this season accredited any Photographers for BOTN, so any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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