Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

A stalemate in the Battle for the Yarra
By Shane Derham

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 18
7:45pm, Saturday 4 February, 2012
at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

Melbourne Heart FC 0
drew with
Melbourne Victory FC 0

(Photo linked from FFA web site)

In possible the last derby for the year, both clubs would be disappointed with a result, which does not benefit either side in their season 7 title tilts.

The Heart had the bulk of the possession and chances but could not pull the trigger and put the game to bed. Genuine chances to Kristian Sarkies, Craig Goodwin and Jonatan Germano should have been put away could for different reasons of poor finishing, a brilliant save and the crossbar getting in the way. All excuses but not a real reason for the result.

The Victory on the other hand, played possibly the worse they have all season in the first half and improved in the second but did not look dangerous at all. Once, Grant Brebner was sent off for a poor tackle on Eli Babalj in the 74th minute, the Victory became like a tortoise and retreated, hoping for a point at least. The Heart defence was not really troubled all night.

The standout player for the match was debutant Craig Goodwin. In his first match, he looked extremely comfortable in the left back position, filling in for Olyroo Aziz Behich on international duties. He moved forward with easy, connecting well with Alex Terra. The Victory decided he was there target going forward through Marco Rojas, but Rojas didn't put a dint in his armour. His only mistake in the 25th minute nearly lead to a goal from Jean Carlos Solorzano but Solórzano's shot went well wide.

The first real chance came in the 13th minute. A pinpoint cross found two Heart heads before connecting with Jonatan Germano on the far post; those header hit the underside of the crossbar. It had been all Heart in the first 15 minutes.

The first half was very much dominated by the Heart. Where it was won was in the midfield; the Heart worked the Victory defence with easy. The Victory defence dropped back, cautious of leaking goals and the Heart passed the ball with fluency especially down the left hand side through that man Goodwin. The paranoia of making a mistake left the Victory stifled with the back four and the midfield not looking forward at all for fear of coping the blame.

The Victory came out in the second half a totally different team. The three cogs of a Football side started working together. The back four started passing to a moving midfield, which were offering multiple options, wingers moving down the sidelines and linking with the front three.

A red card was issued to Grant Brebner, who honestly did not have a game he would remember. A yellow card in the first half after a studs up tackle, followed by a rugby tackle which was played on and than an ugly tackle to Eli Babalj close the penalty box gave referee Jarred Gillett no option but to issue a straight red card.

The biggest chance of the match came after David Williams won the ball, he was approaching goal with a Victory defender approaching. Williams than crossed the ball to a free Kristian Sarkies, who lent back and fired the ball well over the cross bar.

The wonder kid, Craig Goodwin than nearly had a A-League start that you could only dream of. His shot had the perfect trajectory with a wonderful save from Ante Covic being the only reason the Heart didn't take the lead.

This leaves Heart on 27 points and hanging on to 5th spot on the ladder with the Sydney v Newcastle game deciding where they sit after the end of the round. They have had no luck since the 2011 ticked over; this game may finally change things.

The Victory still sits outside the Top six on 22 points, with the pressure building on the side and new coach Jim Magilton. This was the first clean sheet in thirteen games for the Victory, which is possibly the only positive they could take out of this game.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 18
7:45pm, Saturday 4 February, 2012
at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium

Melbourne Heart FC 0
drew with
Melbourne Victory FC 0

    Crowd: 26,395


    Melbourne Heart FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Clint Bolton (gk), 2. Michael Marrone, 4. Simon Colosimo, 7. Rutger Worm, 8. Kristian Sarkies, 10. Wayne Shroj (26. Paul Reid +79'), 11. Alex Terra (15. David Williams +70'), 13. Jonatan Germano, 18. Curtis Good, 19. Eli Babalj, 27. Craig Goodwin
    Substitutes not used: 30. Sebastian Mattei (rgk), 3. Brendan Hamill

    Coach: John van’t Schip

    Yellow Cards: Wayne Srhoj 30', Rutger Worm 70'
    Red Cards: NIl

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    21. Ante Covic (gk), 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 5. Mark Milligan, 6. Leigh Broxham, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano (9. Carlos Hernandez 71'), 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 22. Harry Kewell (18. Danny Allsop 61'), 23. Adrian Leijer (c)
    Substitutes not used: 1. Tando Velaphi (rgk), 12. Rodrigo Vargas

    Coach: Jim Magilton

    Yellow Cards: Grant Brebner 34'
    Red Cards: Grant Brebner 75'

    Referee: Jarred Gillett 8/10
    Assistant Referees: David Walsh and Nathan MacDonald; 4th Official: Alex Azcurra

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Craig Goodwin (MH)
    2. Ante Covic (MV)
    1. Jonatan Germano (MH)

    Pitch rating: 9/10

    Game rating: 7/10

    Match report and ratings: By Shane Derham

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 implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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