Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Victory and Roar in six-goal thriller
By Alan Clark

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 17
8pm, Friday 3 December, 2010
Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Victory FC 3
(Robbie Kruse 63' 77', Archie Thompson 70')
drew with
Brisbane Roar FC 3
(og Matthew Kemp 30', Solorzano 45'+1, McKay 90'+3)

(Linked from FFA site)

Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay netted a controversial added-time leveller after a stunning three-goal haul by Melbourne Victory in fifteen second-half minutes looked to be enough to give Victory a come-from-behind win against Brisbane Roar at the Melbourne Football Stadium on Friday evening.

Brisbane went two ahead before the break and looked comfortable until the crazy three-goal quarter-hour which gave Victory the advantage it held until deep into added time.

Matthew Kemp marked his return to A-League action after a year's absence though injury with an own goal giving Brisbane Roar the lead after half an hour. Jean Carlos Solorzano put Roar two ahead a minute into first-half added time.

Robbie Kruse got one back for Victory just after the hour with a marvellously-curled shot. Archie Thompson equalised with a header from a corner midway through the second-half.

Kruse got his second, and the goal which put Melbourne in front for the first time in the game, setting up an enthralling last quarter-hour.

But McKay brought the score back into balance with the match-levelling sixth goal of the game three minutes into added time, deservedly earning a point. It came in controversial circumstances as Theoklitos looked to have handled outside his penalty-area. Theoklitos quickly despatched the ball upfield and Reinaldo managed to get a head to it, continuing its path to meet McKay's run.

"We've played three games, where we've played very good football, and we haven't had a win," said Victory coach Ernie Merrick after the game. "It's pretty tough to take."

"It was always going to be a difficult part of the year for us," said Roar coach Ange Postecoglu, referring to the end of a densely packed fixture list his team faced over recent weeks.

"When you go through a series of games like we have, you're going to get tested in many different ways," he said.

"We'd look at today and see a result borne out of our spirit rather than our performance. What we've been about all year is performance. We want to play well between now and the end of the year and we'll see how far it takes us."

From the game's very beginnings, it was clear this would be a lively affair. If the title of best footballing team, was to be passed to Brisbane from Melbourne Victory, Roar would have to earn it, and Victory was unwilling to quietly hand it over.

There was expansive play on offer. This was not a cautious contest.

Just nine minutes had passed before Victory had incisively carved a path through to goal from midfield. Grant Brebner had cleverly found Thompson who laid off a first-time ball into space for Marvin Angulo to run onto. Angulo's driven shot flashed narrowly wide of Michael Theoklitos' near post.

Roar was limited to longer-range shots, one from Mitch Nichols, and another just after the first-half's midpoint from the energetic McKay. Nichols watched his shot sail over the bar, but McKay's shot looked to be on target before Kevin Muscat threw himself into the path of the ball to block.

But with Victory seemingly having the better of play, Victory was undone again from a set-piece. From a corner, the ball was played across the pitch to Thomas Broich who fed Kosta Barbarouses up the left wing. Barbarouses returned the pass to Broich who now had time to measure his cross into the area. It was swung in dangerously with Solorzano as its target. But it was Kemp, tightly marking the Costa Rican, who was first to make contact, sending the ball into his own net with a header.

To be fair, if Kemp had not made contact, Solorzano would have been left with an easy task, but such matters provided little consolation for Kemp.

It was Victory's third own goal in five games, with Kemp now joining fellow defender Rodrigo Vargas and goalkeeper Michael Petkovic in the club no-one wants to belong to.

The momentum was now strongly in Roar's favour. The Brisbane players seemed a metre faster and were more direct in their runs. Nichols and Barbarouses were tormenting Kemp down the right. Kemp as expected following such a long lay-off has still to get back the speed he had prior to his injury, and was at a considerable disadvantage against match-hardened opponents.

Seconds before the half-time whistle was due, Solorzano put Brisbane further ahead, converting from close-range. Again it was a corner which proved Victory's undoing. McKay sent in a high ball to the far post, reached by Matthew Smith whose header crashed off the underside of the cross-bar. Solorzano was best-placed to reach it, and despite the despairing lunge of Vargas got the decisive touch which comprehensively found the net.

It was a fair reward for Roar's approach to the game, and yet more evidence the coach Ange Postecoglu has developed yet another elite national league team. Like his South Melbourne a decade before, Brisbane is quick and adventurous, relying on its ability to outgun, rather than outlast, its opponents.

Perhaps in this game it continued its adventurism a little longer than a more risk-averse coach would have arranged.

Melbourne Victory is clearly unwilling to meekly hand over its status and kept fighting. Kruse netted with a shot which was bent around Roar goalkeeper Theoklitos, keeping Victory in touch. Muscat had found Brebner on the halfway line, and the Scotsman quickly played a forward ball to Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez instantly, and with the most delicate of touches, played a ball behind the Roar back-line up the inside-left channel for Kruse to run onto. From 20 metres, Kruse curled his shot around Theoklitos for the goal which gave Victory hope.

And when Thompson crashed home the equaliser seven minutes later, the Victory support willed a three-point haul when even one seemed a forlorn hope not long before. Hernandez played a short corner to Billy Celeski who quickly returned the ball to Hernandez. On the second occasion, Hernandez crossed towards the penalty-spot and Kruse was able to get a head to deflect it towards Thompson who leapt to head home.

Unbelievably, just fourteen minutes after being two goals down, Melbourne took the lead as the momentum swung heavily in Victory's favour. Kruse looped home a rebound off Theoklitos which the goalkeeper found overly hot to handle after Hernandez had sent in a thunderbolt free-kick. Theoklitos had managed to get a touch, but insufficiently to do other than aid the ball in its path across the line.

Nichols had an opportunity immediately after the first of the triple-hit to have put the game out of reach, but his shot was reached by Petkovic who was able to turn it outside the post. And Thompson had been set free by Hernandez only for the striker to strike the side-netting.

Substitute Reinaldo wasted an excellent chance to level with seven minutes to go when he just failed to reach a low cross from Ivan Franjic as Petkovic scrambled to cover.

But fittingly for Roar, which had continued to press rather then settle for an honourable loss, despite having concluded an onerous fixture schedule, McKay got the equaliser deep into added time. In Roar's last effort, after Theoklitos had caught the ball, be booted it straight up the middle to McKay, who fended off the defensive attentions of Vargas, shooting as Petkovic closed him down. The ball rebounded off Petkovic and onto Vargas, handily falling back into McKay's path. Now with no opposition, and six yards from goal, McKay gleefully burst the net to end a roller-coaster contest.

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 17
8pm, Friday 3 December, 2010
Melbourne Football Stadium

Brisbane Roar FC 2
(Mitch Nichols 26, Jean Carlo Solorzano 77')
Melbourne Victory FC 1
(Robbie Kruse 48)

    Crowd: 11,886


    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-1-2) 1. Michael Petkovic (gk), 6 Leigh Broxham (5 Surat Sukha +46'), 12 Rodrigo Vargas, 2 Kevin Muscat (c), 7 Matthew Kemp, 14 Billy Celeski, 8 Grant Brebner (13 Diogo Ferreira +80), 11 Marvin Angulo, 16 Carlos Hernandez, 21 Robbie Kruse (3 Mate Dugandzic +82'), 10 Archie Thompson.

    Substitutes not used: 20 Sebastian Mattei (rgk)

    Coach: Ernie Merrick

    Yellow Cards: Kevin Muscat 56', Roddy Vargas 74', Carlos Hernandez 81'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Brisbane Roar FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-5-1) 1. Michael Theoklitos (gk), 5 Ivan Franjic, 3 Luke Devere, 2 Matthew Smith, 23 Milan Susak (12 Matthew Mundy +63'), 7 Kosta Barbarouses, 17 Mitch Nichols (18 Luke Brattan +72'), 6 Erik Paartalu, 15 Matt McKay (c), 22 Thomas Broich, 9 Jean Carlos Solorzano (11 Reinaldo +74')

    Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter Green
    Assistant referees: Shaun Evans, James Nicolopoulos; Fourth official: Kevin Docherty

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Carlos Hernandez (Melbourne Victory)
    2. Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar)
    1. Robbie Kruse (Melbourne Victory)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    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. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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