Hyundai A-League Season 6

Glory take Victory
By Alan Clark

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 2
7:30pm, Saturday 14 August, 2010
at Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Victory FC 0
lost to
Perth Glory FC 2
(Jamie Harnwell 23', Sterjovski 49')

(Photo linked from FFA site)

Perth Glory exposed Melbourne Victory's striking shortcomings with a two-nil win over Victory at Melbourne's new football stadium. Although Victory had much of the play, there was little cutting edge to its attacks. The Glory five-man midfield gave little away in a gritty competitive display, and netted twice itself.

Jamie Harnwell got Perth's opener from close-range when Melbourne Victory failed to deal with a corner midway through the first-half. Mile Sterjovski made the margin two with a sweet volley four minutes after the break.

It was a poor debut in the state of the art arena as Victory returned to its spiritual home on the north bank of the Yarra.

As would be expected with the teams' captains being the growlingly belligerent pair of Jacob Burns for the visitors and Kevin Muscat for the hosts, there was bite in the tackles and fierceness in the challenges. After unsuccessfully seeking the players' cooperation to tone down the heat, referee Gerard Parsons finally reached for yellow after a clash involving Victory ball-winner Grant Brebner just before the break, which sat several levels of malice below some which had preceded it.

There was no doubt Glory merited the win, such was its constancy of efforts across all areas of the park. Its defence kept goalkeeper Tando Velaphi mostly underemployed, and when called into action as he sporadically was, the youngster adequately dealt with events. A midfield, marshalled by the energetic Burns, gave little away, and harried when without the ball in order to regain it.

In contrast, Victory conceded possession at times in areas of the pitch which then exposed it to danger, one such leading to the goal which gave Glory the breathing margin it sought, allowing it to cease striving further, preferring to hold what it had gained. With a make-do attack, Victory barely looked likely to launch a come-back from such a deficit, despite holding the greater share of possession.

Perth Glory opened the scoring at the first-half's midpoint when Robbie Fowler's corner was inadequately dealt with by Victory goalkeeper Michael Petkovic. Petkovic came, but did not claim, failing even to get a meaningful touch. The ball fell to Steven McGarry unattended at the far-post who knocked a gift ball into the six-yard area directly in front of goal. Harnwell happily accepted.

Melbourne's best first-half efforts came from good combination play down the right involving Thai international Surat Sukha and Tom Pondeljak with Carlos Hernandez and Brebner.

The most promising arose six minutes before the break when a clever through-ball from Pondeljak found Surat who had ghosted behind a square Glory back-line and hared infield towards goal, electing to shoot rather than square the ball. Velaphi had to be at his most alert to beat the ball away at the near-post for a corner.

The combination was working as early as the fifth minute when Leijer fed Surat down the right, who - in turn - sent a low ball into the face of goal which Mate Dugandzic failed to reach by centimetres.

Surat was withdrawn for Billy Celeski at the interval but before he could get into meaningful action, Glory went two ahead. Brebner had given away possession midway into his own half and Todd Howarth took quick advantage, playing quickly to Fowler. Fowler was instantly closed down before he could loose a telling shot, but the ball rebounded to Sterjovski in the clear and just outside of the penalty-area. Sterjovski's left-foot shot sped into the net with Petkovic grasping air.

Glory naturally retreated, happy to concede possession, massing players behind the ball to close the game up.

Victory's endeavours produced few chances to concern Velaphi, and when tested, the young goalkeeper was in fine form. He had to be with fifteen minutes remaining as Hernandez stood over a free-kick 20 metres from goal, diving to his right to touch a low goal-bound shot around the post for a corner.

Velaphi again had to be on his toes with a surprise shot from fully 35 metres out by substitute Diogo Ferreira four minutes from time.

But Victory needing to rely on those long-range efforts was eloquent testimony to its lack of striking firepower, a deficiency requiring urgent remedial attention.

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 2
7:30pm, Saturday 14 August, 2010
at new Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Victory FC 0
lost to
Perth Glory FC 2
(Jamie Harnwell 23', Sterjovski 49')

    Crowd: 20,385


    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-3) 1 Michael Petkovic (gk), 23 Adrian Leijer, 2 Kevin Muscat (c), 12 Rodrigo Vargas, 19 Evan Berger, 5 Surat Sukha (14 Billy Celeski [46]), 8 Grant Brebner, 6 Leigh Broxham (13 Diogo Ferreira [76]), 16 Carlos Hernandez, 3 Mate Dugandzic, 15 Tom Pondeljak (11 Marvin Angulo [63]).
    Substitutes not used: 20 Sebastian Mattei (rgk)

    Coach: Ernie Merrick

    Yellow Cards: Grant Brebner 37
    Red Cards: Nil

    Perth Glory FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-5-1) 1 Tando Velaphi (gk), 12 Scott Neville, 5 Jamie Harnwell, 3 Jamie Coyne, 19 Naum Sekulovski, 21 Mile Sterjovski (15 Howard Fondyke [84]), 16 Adriano Pellegrino, 7 Jacob Burns (c), 14 Steven McGarry, 17 Todd Howarth, 9 Robbie Fowler (11 Branko Jelic [82]) Substitutes not used: 23 Andrija Jukic, 20 Aleks Vrteski (rgk)

    Coach: David Mitchell

    Yellow Cards: Scott Neville 43'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Gerard Parsons
    Assistants: AR1: Luke Brennan, AR2: James Nicolopoulos; 4th official: Alex Azcurra

    Pitch rating: 9/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Jacob Burns (Perth Glory)
    2. Jamie Harnwell (Perth Glory)
    1. Grant Brebner (Melbourne Victory)

    by Alan Clark

Picture Gallery (nil)

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