Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Exceptional everywhere
except in front of goal
By Stephen Webb

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 23
7:45pm, Sunday 10 June, 2012
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 1
(Karol Kisel 33' pen)
Melbourne Victory FC 0

(Photo by Stephen Webb for BOTN)

It was billed as Kewell versus Emerton but Kewell was hardly seen and Emerton could barely stand out from a Sydney team that performed exceptionally everywhere except in front of goal.

Melbourne were depleted: no Hernandez, no Leijer, no Kemp. Sydney had a full squad available. But still. Victory were woeful.

Sydney had most of the play for most of the game and, shamefully, should have scored at least four more goals. Same old refrain. But at least they secured three more points towards scraping into the finals.

Skipper Terry McFlynn was on the mark after the match saying we’d seen everyone putting their hand up, standing up and being counted. There were no failures. No embarrassments. Apart from those players who purported to be shooting at the Melbourne goal. You could feel the breeze in the stands as 18,000 fans shook their heads in disbelief.

From Sydney’s kick off the pace was hectic, end to end.

James Jeggo showed some fancy footwork in the middle of the park, Archie Thompson had a run, Sydney’s fleet-footer Joel Chianese chased a long ball, Mark Milligan fouled McFlynn, Brett Emerton’s free kick was cleared, Scott Jamieson hit a cracker of a shot, Sydney had two corners and the ball went into the side netting of Melbourne’s goal.

Thompson chased another through ball but was covered by Michael Beauchamp. Melbourne had a corner and every Sydney player was back to defend. Petar Franjic’s header was saved by Ivan Necevski, who was soon into action again, stopping Thompson.

Rhyan Grant down the right got the ball inside for Nicky Carle to shoot. Too late and too soft into Matthew Foschini.

Thompson got away down the right and Beauchamp actually caught him. Thompson fell pathetically under the challenge and there was no free kick.

In the tenth minute Chianese won a free kick to the right of the Melbourne goal. Jamieson hit it straight to Ante Covic. Chianese caused more trouble for Melbourne down the right and another cross somehow escaped everyone in front of goal.

Harry Kewell — remember him? — skied a shot and was rewarded with derisory cheers from the stands.

Thompson — to this point still looking the main danger for Sydney — played some give-and-go and hit a good cross.

In the 17th minute Sydney got the ball in the Melbourne net but Emerton was belatedly called offside.

A beautiful ball from Pascal Bosschaart found Chianese, who did perfectly beating Franjic and Ubay Luzardo but his poor shot was snuffed out by Covic.

Then Carle brilliantly swung the ball into the penalty area for Chianese, whose touch let him down ... and he was offside.

Karol Kisel got his yellow for a foul on Milligan (who some might say was asking for it).

Kewell was classy with a first time turn and punching the ball through for Marco Rojas, who became Sydney’s main problem.

Chianese had his own good turn and shot to Covic at the left post. Sydney won another corner.

“We’ve got to score soon!”

In the 26th minute Sydney had chances left, right and centre before bloody Milligan cleared off the line.

Emerton played to Carle who found Bruno Cazarine’s feet and Cazarine struck lamely to the right of goal.

Fabio made a good clearance on a Cazarine cross from the left, a Jeggo shot won a corner, Franjic got a yellow for hitting Kisel too late, and Luzardo got a yellow and conceded a penalty for fouling Cazarine.

Kisel sent Covic the wrong way and Sydney were one up.

“All right! All right! Let’s have another one!”

“I love you Karol Kisel,” called a bloke away to my left.

Chianese made another great run, getting away from Milligan and Franjic and beating Luzardo and fighting back mightily when he was finally closed down by Fabio and then Luzardo.

Carle was too ambitious with a shot at a tight angle on the left after neat play by Emerton and silky skills from Carle to beat two defenders.

Emerton was then played in behind the defence on the left, went to the line and crossed perfectly for Kisel who fluffed a chance two metres from goal.

Good work from Grant on the right was rewarded with another sitter going begging.

“We could be ten in front!” “At least two.” “And they have the hide to blame the coach!”

A rebound off Jamieson gave Rojas a chance to cross but Thompson’s flying header went high.

Chianese did some more fine work but was checked just before the crucial touch. At the other end Bosschaart was well positioned to clear a cross from the right.

With the commencement of the second half, Emerton took a corner from the left, cleared by Milligan from the right post when an own goal seemed on the cards.

Beauchamp made a strong tackle on Rojas, who had made a penetrating run down the wing and cut in toward goal. Then Rojas, free on the left, curled the ball across goal but found no-one to make contact.

In the 60th minute Emerton hit a brilliant ball through to Kisel in the right of the box. Kisel did the right thing and squared for Chianese, who disappointed. With fans’ patience with Chianese diminishing, the youngster got into the Melbourne penalty area, beat Franjic and shot straight to Covic.

Victory by this stage were seeing a bit more of the ball and won a corner from the left. A header from Milligan glanced wide to the right.

McFlynn earned a yellow for sliding at the ankles of Rojas.

Jamieson played across the face of the Melbourne goal and Emerton was just too late arriving at the right post.

Carle made a poor attempt at swinging the ball inside the left post and Jamieson made a great run but touched through to a marked Cazarine instead of shooting himself.

A Carle shot was blocked on the line (was that Milligan again!) and Bosschaart earned some applause for turning on the ball and evading Thompson and Kewell.

Cazarine was fouled and Emerton’s free kick was met by Cazarine, who headed to Covic. At the other end Kewell shot high from a narrow angle on the right.

Kisel crossed from the left and Cazarine at the right post headed over the crossbar; a difficult chance.

Rojas hit an opportunistic peg from outside the box and had Necevski diving to make sure the shot was going wide.

In the 70th minute Cazarine set himself for a failed volley in front of goal. Beauchamp was good stopping Thompson and Melbourne were lucky to get a corner from which Kewell had a header chance over the crossbar.

Sydney were looking tired. Movement off the ball had all but stopped. Beauchamp missed an intercept and fouled Kewell. Rojas’ free kick came to nothing.

Carle was replaced by Terry Antonis and received a huge ovation as he left the pitch. Antonis brought some spark back to Sydney. He played to Emerton on the right who hit a good cross. Melbourne blocked two Sydney chances.

Mark Bridge finally got an opportunity off the bench with ten minutes to go and Chianese was selected to make way. It must have been a hard call: who had stopped running, who was failing in front of goal, who was most likely to give away possession — Chianese or Cazarine?

“It’s not looking good; they are walking.” “I’m not tired. I don’t know why they would be.”

Thompson, offside, shot well wide. Bridge pressured Covic, Emerton won a corner and Sydney slowed the game down. Antonis had a good chance to shoot but decided against it. And again did not shoot, to the exasperation of his supporters in the stands. Some questioned his intelligence as he fed through a dodgy ball. And his choice of apparel.

“Well, you would wear orange boots.”

Four minutes of extra time.


But Antonis won a series of free kicks. Emerton shot wide but Covic dived and conceded a corner. And it was all over bar the shouting and applause and smiles all round.

Sydney still had a chance to make the finals but for Melbourne there is nothing. A football fan, walking away from what once was Sydney Football Stadium, said, “I used to think Melbourne Victory were good. Not after that.”

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 23
7:45pm, Sunday 10 June, 2012
at Sydney Football Stadium

Sydney FC 1
(Karol Kisel 33' pen)
Melbourne Victory FC 0

    Crowd: 18,180


    Sydney FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Ivan Necevski, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Karol Kisel (2. Sebastian Ryall ‘90), 9. Bruno Cazarine, 10 Nick Carle (17. Terry Antonis ‘78), 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 16 Joel Chianese (19. Mark Bridge ‘81), 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Rhyan Grant
    Substitutes not used: 1. Liam Reddy (rgk)

    Coach: Vitezslav Lavicka

    Yellow Cards: Karol Kisel 21, Terry McFlynn 60'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    21. Ante Covic (gk), 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio (6. Leigh Broxham ‘90), 4. Petar Franjic, 5.Mark Milligan, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 17.Jimmy Jeggo (9. Jean Carlos Solorzano ‘86), 19. Isaka Cernak (18. Danny Allsopp ‘65), 22. Harry Kewell, 28. Ubay Luzardo
    Substitutes not used: 1. Tando Velaphi (rgk)

    Coach: Jim Margilton

    Yellow Cards: Peter Franjic 31, Ubay Luzardo 33'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Ben Williams tba/10
    Assistant Referees: Nathan Macdonald, Scott Edeling; Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths Jones

    BOTN Player Points:
    > 3. Brett Emerton (Sydney)
    2. Nick Carle (Sydney)
    1. Joel Chianese (Sydney)
    But wouldn’t Rojas shine in a decent team!

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 7/10 (if you were a Sydney fan; 3 if you were a Melbourne fan)

    Match Report and ratings: By Stephen Webb

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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