Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Archie stole the plaudits!
By Daniel Paperny

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 8
7:45pm, 24 November, 2012
at Paramatta Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0
lost to
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(o.g.(Beauchamp) 44', Archie Thompson 60')

(Archie has the last laugh)

Roadrunner Rojas put in a promising display as veteran No.10 Archie Thompson stole all the plaudits in this Round 8 game of A-League action at Parramatta Stadium.

Melbourne Victory showcased an impressive performance against a lacklustre Wanderers side on Saturday night, winning 2-0 despite Ange Postecoglu’s men having been reduced to ten men after just 16 minutes.

On his debut for Victory, 21-year-old centre-back Sam Gallagher was hauled off for a soft challenge on Dino Kresinger, though the Blues harried on to record their first clean sheet of the season. Coach Postecoglu’s side were well-drilled defensively, spreading the ball wide with quick transitions into attacking play, meaning that the Wanderers were unable to capitalise on their spare man advantage.

This is the second consecutive week that Victory have been reduced to ten men, having lost Argentinean playmaker, Marcos Flores, in their 2-2 draw against the Mariners at the Etihad last week. In Round 7, Western Sydney themselves were red carded with Youssouf Hersi sent off for kicking out at Perth Glory left back Scott Jamieson in the 38th minute; with a resolute display from keeper Ante Covic seeing the Wanderers hold on to their slim 1-0 lead. Covic put in another tidy display against Victory here, but an own goal from captain Michael Beauchamp and a strike by Archie Thompson in the second half helped seal the win for the Blues who rise to third place on the ladder.

Wanderers started off well with a smooth passing game from centre-back La Rocca. The Italian moved into central zones, and his excellent, high through-ball on 18 minutes found forward Mark Bridge cutting in from the left wing, but the opportunity was wasted. Wanderers sounded the alarm once more just nine minutes later, with creative movement by defender Shannon Cole, who presented a real threat with his over-lapping runs on the right. Cole showed great composure to hold up play and stretch Victory’s defence by moving into wide channels; his fierce shot on the 27th minute was saved by Victory keeper Nathan Coe.

On 44 minutes, Victory’s Gui Finkler capped off a fluid passing move with a dangerous cross into the Wanderer’s penalty box that beat the fingers of Covic, after an accidental deflection from left-back Michael Beauchamp. As a constant thorn in Wanderer’s half, Finkler had been a surprise inclusion in Postecoglu’s side, starting the match despite fears that the Brazilian trequartista would miss another week with a groin injury.

Marco Rojas was a real highlight for the Blues, with an array of trickery and exciting, attacking runs that kept the Wanderers on their toes. The fleet-footed winger made a blistering run on 54 minutes that saw him pass three Wanderers players but his tame shot was easily saved by Covic. Six minutes later, Rojas sprinted forward on the counter-attack and his diagonal throughball found Archie Thompson scoring a real poacher’s effort on 60 minutes from a tight angle. With all the youth and promise that Rojas brings, Victory coach Postecoglu can look forward to further sumptuous displays from the 21-year-old.

With attendance figures totalling 9614, the crowd hassled Victory forward Archie Thompson throughout the night, as he made a series of diligent runs and solid linking plays with Finkler and later Leigh Broxham. Thompson switched flanks with Rojas at half-time and his tracking-back and tactical awareness meant that Victory could comfortably consolidate their lead during the match. After 87 minutes, the Wanderers looked exasperated, struggling to break through a determined Melbourne Victory side, and groups of crowd members began leaving the stands. Grinning at a frustrated sea of red and black, Archie Thompson had the last laugh.

After their Round 7 draw with the Mariners, Coach Postecoglu outlined the necessity for Victory to capitalise on goal opportunities and tighten up defensively, with his side having conceded 16 goals in the last seven games.

"There's still some schoolboy stuff we need to get rid of, particularly defensively which is holding us back", he said.

Last night, through sheer conviction and an organised defensive display, Victory strode towards a 2-0 win, with clinical finishing the key difference between the two sides. Melbourne Victory have now won 4 of the last 6 games on the trot, and Postecoglu will hope that they can build on this momentum against Perth Glory on November 30.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 8
7:45pm, 24 November, 2012
at Paramatta Stadium

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 0
lost to
Melbourne Victory FC 2
(o.g.(Beauchamp) 44', Archie Thompson 60')

    Crowd: 9,614


    Western Sydney Wanderers FC :
    Player listing:
    Ante Covic (gk); Michael Beauchamp, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Iacoppo La Rocco (23. Jason Triforo '45), Shannon Cole (13. Joey Gibbs '64); Aaron Mooy, Adam D'Apuzzo, Jerome Polenz (11. Tarek Elrich '78); Mark Bridge, Shinji Ono, Dino Kresinger
    Substitutes not used: 20. Jerrad Tyson (rgk)

    Coach: Tony Popovic

    Yellow Cards: Adam D'Apuzzo 85'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    Nathan Coe (gk); Adama Traore, Adrian Leijer, Sam Gallagher, Mark Milligan; Billy Celeski, Guilherme Finkler (19. Isaka Cernak '64), Diogo Ferreira; Archie Thompson, Andrew Nabbout (8. Jonathan Bru '27), Marco Rojas (6. Leigh Broxham '77).
    Substitutes not used: - (rgk)

    Coach: Ange Postecoglou

    Yellow Cards: Billy Celeski 33', Archie Thompson 66', Adama Traore 68', Nathan Coe 73'
    Red Cards: Sam Gallagher 15'

    Referee: Ben Williams
    Assistant referee 1: Scott Edeling, Assistant referee 2: Owen Goldrick; Fourth official: Adam Gehrig

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Archie Thompson (MV)
    2. Marco Rojas (MV)
    1. Shann Cole (WSW)

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    Match report and photos: By Daniel Paperny

(Mark Milligan on the counter attack)

(Milligan takes a shot)

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 are as attributed.

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