Hyundai A-League Season 6

Victory in cauldron
By Alan Clark

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - Round 25
5:00pm Sunday 30 January 2011 - at Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Victory FC 2
(Danny Allsopp 28', 56')
Gold Coast United FC 0

(Linked from FFA site)

Melbourne Victory kept its momentum going with a two-goal win against Gold Coast United on a scorching Melbourne Sunday afternoon. Three points added to its season tally, together with three mid-week, keeps Victory in the hunt for Finals action.

Allsopp scored a double, his first just before the half-hour after a storming run up the inside-right channel, letting loose a shot from outside the penalty-area which caught Gold Coast goalkeeper Glen Moss by surprise at the near post. That goal completed Allsopp's scoring collection as he has now netted against every A-League team except Victory.

Not satisfied with just a solitary goal, Allsopp made it two ten minutes after the re-start with a curling left-foot shot which found the top corner.

Despite the oppressive conditions, both teams opened with expansive football. Bruce Djite and Adama Traore posed significant problems for the Victory defence which was scrambling at times to deal with the danger. Djite was Gold Coast's most dangerous avenue to goal, and he continued his good work throughout the contest.

And Mate Dugandzic, his slight frame seemingly unaffected by the heat, danced his way though the yellow midfield several times without being able to produce the defining touch.

Grant Brebner had caused Sebastiaan van den Brink to depart early, a crunching tackle within the games first few minutes resulted in the Dutchman leaving with just eight minutes elapsed. Kristian Rees found himself introduced off the bench much earlier than he would have expected.

New Gold Coast signing Sungkil Kim became involved in some angry clashes, unused to the bite of the tackles in the Australian game, and at one point went nose to nose with usually mild-mannered Victory full-back Matthew Kemp. During the drinks break, ordered by referee Peter Green because of the hot conditions, Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg animatedly engaged in a one-way conversation with the Korean. It was not a surprise that Kim didn't appear after the interval, replaced by Joel Porter.

The best of the early chances was created by clever play by Dugandzic who continued a run from an on-side position as the Gold Coast defence propped, assuming a flag would be raised for Allsopp standing in an offside position. The flag correctly did not make an appearance as Allsopp stood still, clearly showing his lack of interest in the ball. Dugandzic sped up the right, completely in the clear and looked for central support. Tom Pondeljak provided it, but steered his shot into the side-netting from close-range.

After a lively start from both teams, it was Victory which scored first. Allsopp had received a through ball and allowed it to pass, following its direction in a direct line towards goal. The Gold Coast defence was distracted by the run of Dugandzic and melted away in the face of Allsopp's approach. Now near the forward edge of the penalty-area, Allsopp used his right foot to send a sharp on-target shot which arrowed in at Moss's near post.

Both coaches made changes at the break, Victory's Ernie Merrick withdrawing Carlos Hernandez - struggling in the heat - for the more energetic Marvin Angulo. Bleiberg took off the troublesome Kim, then shortly afterwards Steven Fitzsimmons for Golgol Mebrahtu.

But no sooner had Fitzsimmons entered the fray to wrest the game back for the visitors, Allsopp made it two. This one was set up inside the Victory half by a Costa-Rican double. Angulo and Diego Ferreira had escaped close Gold Coast attentions allowing Ferreira to send a forward ball to Allsopp.

Allsopp ran direct at goal then delayed slightly in the hope that Pondeljak would take the ball from him and change the direction of the attack. But the mind-reading didn't work, leaving the ball at Allsopp's feet. With options to his right exhausted, Allsopp pivoted inside, then shot on the turn, curling the ball high into the top left angle of the goal.

In an effort to help their team-mate to a hat-trick, Kemp and Dugandzic set him up but without success.

It had been a notable feature of the contest that the play had been confined to the areas of the pitch nearest the benches. As the afternoon wore on, and the shadows lengthened, a greater area of the pitch became utilised, even although the air temperature was still not conducive to physical exertion. This had obviously been anticipated by the much smaller than usual Victory attendance, preferring to remain inside air-conditioned homes, or by the pool, rather than brave the trek to the stadium, with the chance that the game would be temperature-delayed anyway.

Porter defied the conditions crafting an excellent late chance to obtain at least a consolation goal, if not make the final minutes nervous ones for Victory when he successfully broke through a Victory offside trap only for Michael Petkovic to pull off a wonderful save at the last.

And Grant Brebner made a goal-line clearance just as Porter was going to head in to an empty net deep into added time, ensuring the Gold Coast would leave both exhausted and empty-handed.

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - Round 25
5:00pm Sunday 30 January 2011 - at Melbourne Football Stadium

Melbourne Victory FC 2
(Danny Allsopp 28', 56')
Gold Coast United FC 0

    Crowd: 8,287


    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-3) 1. Michael Petkovic (gk), 4 Petar Franjic, 23 Adrian Leijer (c ), 12 Rodrigo Vargas, 7 Matthew Kemp (17 Matthew Foschini +73'), 13 Diogo Ferreira, 8 Grant Brebner, 16 Carlos Hernandez (11 Marvin Angulo +46'), 15 Tom Pondeljak, Daniel Allsopp, 3 Mate Dugandzic (9 Ricardinho +87')
    Substitutes not used: 20. Sebastian Mattei (rgk)

    Coach: Ernie Merrick

    Yellow Cards: Rodrigo Vargas 11', Tom Pondeljak 47'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Gold Coast United FC :
    Player listing:
    (4-3-3) 1. Glen Moss (gk), 24 John Curtis, 6 Dino Djulbic, 3 Michael Thwaite (c), 8 Anderson, 13 Sebastiaan van den Brink (16 Kristian Rees +8'), 34 Sungkil Kim (14 Joel Porter +46'), 33 Peter Perchtold, 21 Golgol Mebrahtu (23 Steven Fitsimmons +60'), 11 Bruce Djite, 22 Adama Traore
    Substitutes not used: 20 Scott Higgins (rgk)

    Coach: Miron Bleiberg

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter Green
    AR1: Luke Brennan, AR2: Shaun Evans; Fourth Official: Alex Azcurra

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Grant Brebner (Melbourne Victory)
    2. Mate Dugandzic (Melbourne Victory)
    1. Bruce Djite (Gold Coast United)

    Match Report by 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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