Melbourne City vs Brisbane Roar 1-0 Review

City-Brisbane

The stage was set at AAMI Park for a massive showdown that would incidentally be very much a six-pointer.

Melbourne City: Played 22 matches. 6th. 30 points

Brisbane Roar: Played 21 matches. 7th. 25 points

A win for City would increase the gap to 8 points as we headed into the tail-end of the season knowing that a finals position is a must. Coming off two consecutive impressive victories against Newcastle and Sydney, we were in good form and having not lost in 7 appearances at AAMI Park, nothing but a win would be acceptable.

Josh Kennedy returned from injury and was immediately at the heart of the action. A ball from Koren in the opening moments of the match saw our Australian marquee man rise to meet it with his head, only to somehow be kept out allowing Jonatan Germano to tap it in for the early lead.

It begged the thought of whether it could be a massively dominant result but it was anything but. City opted to sit back for the majority of the match after the goal which provided the Roar with plenty of possession. James Brown, last week’s match winner, suffered an injury which brought him off and was replaced by Harry Novillo.

Brisbane looked the more threatening as they tested the Melbourne City defence but another brilliant performance by the pairing of Kisnorbo and Jaliens stopped most of their attacks. Tando Velaphi also failed to put a foot wrong once again and kept out every shot that hit him.

The second half continued to see a conservative City side that still had a few chances to kill off the game. Novillo and Germano both saw their attempts fly off target. Fortunately, despite having plenty of the ball, the Roar did not create any clear chances which kept off much of the stress for the home fans and the counter attacks that City were relying on couldn’t be thrived on.

Novillo once again picked up the ball in space in his own defence before striding on towards the other end. He ignored the option Koren provided on the left and opted to shoot himself which allowed a comfortable save for Young in goals.

In the end the three points were ours. However, they weren’t gained in the expected fashion. Fans wanted to see an attacking showcase to provide excitement but City displayed very little of it. Perhaps a while ago (like against CCM in round 6) we would’ve given up a goal late in the match as the team sat deep piling on the pressure, but we were able to win ‘ugly’ similar to last week against Sydney.

The win was the third successive victory and finals, unless an immensely disappointing run-in to the end of the season awaits, seems certain. But will we make it beyond the first round – elimination final?

Back to back wins a must for Melbourne Heart.

20130104-112658.jpgWhat a way to start the new year with a 2-1 home win over the Newcastle Jets, making Melbourne Heart the first A-league team to notch up a win in 2013. Now the challenge is to back it up with another win this coming Sunday at home again versus Brisbane Roar.

The New Year’s Day game started with my new favourite Golgol getting Heart on the scoreboard in the first 6 mins. He has played the last five games with 3 goals, providing some much needed sharpness in attack. The team wasn’t daunted by a Jets equaliser, regaining the lead with a Tadic penalty after continuing to press forward for another goal.

Although Heart played the first half like a winning team, then seemed to lose its drive in the second, the significant achievement of this game was preserving a lead for more than 45 minutes. If they can stay focused for the full 90 minutes, then more points will surely follow and finals football will be a real prospect.

20130104-113222.jpg

Heart have announced their squad for this Sunday’s match, with nearly a full line up to choose from, only missing Dugandzic (injured for the season) and Grella (when will he be match ready?). Who can forget the last time they played at AAMI Park, with Heart winning 4-1 – can this be repeated this weekend? Roar were without Berisha but with him back in the team and a new coach in charge, Brisbane will be a tougher opponent.

20130104-112018.jpgIt was disappointing to see a low attendance for the Jets game, even with Heart offering members a free pass for a friend. We could only get 5,641 which is less than the total number of members that Heart have and about 2,000 less than last time they met at AAMI Park. Maybe it was due to New Year’s Day. Can we redeem this against Roar? Last time they visited it was in front of 5,466. We need to come in force in a sea of Red and White and show that there are two teams in Melbourne and not just Victory. Go Heart!
20130104-113250.jpg

Friday Night Lights: Heart reign on Roar

When you bring friends along to a game, you always hope in the back of your mind that Heart will put on a show – and last night that’s what they did. For the first 30 minutes of play it was just Heart all the way. On the 20 minute mark Gerhardt redeemed his bad mistake from last game to get Heart on the score board. He played solidly in the back too.

Late in the first half Roar were starting to look like a threat, and they seemed to be the better team for the middle stint of the match. But then it started raining again, and in a good way for Heart. We kicked 3 goals in a matter of 11 minutes in the middle of the second half. The only thing that was scary was that Roar have been known to come back from these games in the dying periods. Lucky for Heart they only scored the one goal late in the match.

Unfortunately due to the bad weather the crowd attendance was down from the usual average, with only 5,466 supporters getting to see one of the best games Heart have played this season. Lots of good points to come out of this game, one being Tadic and Garcia seeming to pick up the pace, as well as the team looking very impressive without Fred. He will hopefully return soon and Vince Grella is still 2 to 3 games off apparently.

Apart from the Perth game, Heart are looking good value and Friday night’s game against Roar just shows that we are amongst it. If Heart can keep playing like this we will upset other top teams and make the finals.

Heart Vs Roar. The battle for last!

Round 6 is now upon us and Heart will be battling Brisbane Roar for last spot, that is to stay out of it!  Heart have been competitive on the field for most of the games so far, but only has one win to show for it, and that is the victory against Victory (bad pun alert). No-one would have predicted Roar would be near the bottom of the ladder after five rounds, and few Heart fans would have thought we’d be fighting Roar to get off the bottom.

Our form against Roar has been 1 win, 2 draws and 3 loses to date. Last time they met was the 2011/12 season, round 22 at Suncorp stadium, in front of 10,988 roaring Roar supporters. The match was a draw with Heart’s only scorer Curtis Good. Last home game against Roar was 2011/12 season round 16 in front of 7,118 Heart fans, which again ended in a 1 all draw, Germano being our goal scorer.

This will be a tough match for Heart. Once again we go into the game without Fred and need to get our first home win on the board for the season. The only good signs we have is that Roar will be missing Besart Berisha, but this will still not make it an easy win for Heart – we have yet to get full points against Roar at home. All we can do as supporters is grab as many friends as we can and head down to AAMI Park tomorrow night to provide our best backing for the Heart.

Heart’s team line up going into tomorrow night’s match is:

Clint Bolton, Michael Marrone, Simon Colosimo, Patrick Gerhart, Matt Thompson, Dylan MaCallister, Josip Tadic, Richard Garcia, David Williams, Aziz Behich, Jason Hoffman, Andrew Redmayne, Steven Gray, Nick Kalmar, Mate Dugandzic

Quick Around the Grounds Stats: Round 3.

Perth Glory VS Melbourne Heart

NIB Stadium, Crowd Attendance: 7,548

  • Goals: Glory 2 (Heffernan, Mehmet), Heart 0
  • Goals Attempts: Glory 20, Heart 8
  • Shots on Target: Glory 8, Heart 1
  • Completed Passes: Glory 378, Heart 235
  • Saves: Glory 1, Heart 5
  • Tackles: Glory 24, Heart 24
  • Possession time: Glory 56%, Heart 44%

Melbourne Victory VS Adelaide United

Etihad Stadium, Crowd: 19,174

  • Goals: Victory 2 (Rojas, Milligan), United 1 (Vidosic)
  • Goals Attempts: Victory 12, United 8
  • Shots on Target: Victory 4, United 4
  • Completed Passes: Victory 418, United 314
  • Saves: Victory 3, United 2
  • Tackles: Victory 39, United 41
  • Possession time: Victory 52%, United 48%

Newcastle Jets VS Central Coast Mariners

Hunter Stadium, Crowd: 15,289

  • Goals: Jets 2 (Griffiths, Heskey), Mariners 1 (Ibini-Isei)
  • Goals Attempts: Jets 11, Mariners 13
  • Shots on Target: Jets 3, Mariners 8
  • Completed Passes: Jets 187, Mariners 303
  • Saves: Jets 7, Mariners 1
  • Tackles: Jets 24, Mariners 19
  • Possession time: Jets 46%, Mariners 54%

Western Sydney Wanderers VS Sydney FCC

Parramatta Stadium, Crowd: 19,126

  • Goals: Wanderers 0, Sydney 1 (Del Piero)
  • Goals Attempts: Wanderers 19, Sydney 12
  • Shots on Target: Wanderers 3, Sydney 4
  • Completed Passes: Wanderers 278, Sydney 284
  • Saves: Wanderers 3, Sydney 3
  • Tackles: Wanderers 29, Sydney 34
  • Possession time: Wanderers 50%, Sydney 50%

Wellington Phoenix VS Brisbane Roar

Westpac Stadium, Crowd: 9,182

  • Goals: Phoenix 1 (Huysegems), Roar 1 (Berisha)
  • Goals Attempts: Phoenix 11, Roar 7
  • Shots on Target: Phoenix 3, Roar 3
  • Completed Passes: Phoenix 164, Roar 547
  • Saves: Phoenix 2, Roar 2
  • Tackles: Phoenix 37, Roar 31
  • Possession time: Phoenix 36%, Roar 64%