After an entertaining Oz Football Aid game, Melbourne City and Perth Glory decided it was best to temper the crowd and deliver a boring a stalemate. Thank Popovic for the Glory fan singing about chicken treats otherwise I would have fallen asleep.
Ya girl made it out to AAMI Park for the Oz Football Aid game which had the likes of Bresciano, Kennedy, Theo, Ogenovski, Skoko, Barbieri, Thompson and the all time silver haired GOAT Fozza playing a game of charity football to raise funds for Rural Aid. It was amazing watching none of these players run – just slightly too hot in Melbourne – and wondering if some of the goalkeepers would ever get up after making a save.
We cheered when Thompson got tackled, laughed when Ed Kavalee scored a goal and then did a lap of selfies and hi-fives around the ENTIRE stadium, and soon cried when we realised some of these players could still outplay some current A League teams. It was a great match with Team Lapaglia winning 6-2 over Team Foster.
Before the match was to kick off, I gushed at the newly minted Australian citizens who just finished their ceremony and came to the game to complete their pledge to Australia. Waving their little Australian flags, holding their plants, and then singing along to the national anthem was a sight to see. Welcome new Australians! Now that the fun part is over, we begin the hazing ritual of making you watch 90 minutes of the A League.
City were after a win to “keep the pressure” on Sydney at the top of the table and Glory were after the win to keep their streak going and make me regret all my jokes I made about their premiership defence earlier in the season. It was City who came bursting from the gates and pressed forward from kick off but both Maclaren and Luna failed to do much with their shots on goal. After a Kim error (one of many) that put the ball directly to Maclaren’s feet, it was barely a shot on goal as much as a pass to Reddy. Luna with a better strike in the 13th minute but Reddy pulling off some acrobatics to get there and force it over the bar.
After the opening 15, the game appeared to be mostly played in the midfield as neither teams’ defence looked to fall apart. It made for technically interesting football but not an exactly exciting match to watch. Instead we commented on how Meredith runs in a way that it makes it look painful, Kim should probably be taken off, and oh yeah where is Maclaren again? Credit to every team who can defensively shut down Maclaren – you literally end up forgetting he is on the pitch.
In an effort to ensure the crowd remained only semi-conscious, both teams took a number of short corners that enraged me enough to yell “SHORT CORNERS ARE THE WORST” but not enough to get up and get some chicken treats. (this article is not sponsored by chicken treats)
Then, in what must be the most bizarre end to a half ever, Reddy spends close to 2 minutes just juggling the ball in the box (wink wink) and everyone else stood around and politely watched. I was super confused why the ref wasn’t blowing the whistle for time wasting but it was aggressively pointed out to me that he received the ball from a headed pass, so he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Reddy, the man who isn’t technically doing anything wrong but fuck we hate him for it.
When a City player finally decided to run at him, Reddy took the long shot only for it to go straight out and then even the ref had enough of this and called half time early. Only 45 minutes to go, new Australians. You can do it! Spoiler alert, they could not, and I am jealous of them taking their plants and leaving.
After the break. Glory took a few more chances, but it was Good, not Fornaroli who almost scored for them and the post had more to do than Bouzanis. A penalty call threatened to liven up the game but interestingly enough VAR made a timely and good decision that overruled the penalty due to Fornaroli being in an offside position. We couldn’t even get mad at the VAR in this game! My only point of confusion here was whether the possible handball should have been the reason for the no penalty call rather than the offside. A civilised discussion was had. Yes yes cheerio we still have like 30 minutes of this to go.
A Perth corner came close to goal, Luna builds up a free kick that sails over the cross bar and Brimmer is unable to make a failed cross turn into a goal (yeah the girls!) and so the match ends 0-0. Before kick-off, Popovic, all lonesome, roamed the grounds. Was he inspecting the pitch or saw what was coming and already had ‘hello darkness my old friend’ playing in his head? WHY DIDN’T HE WARN US?!
In all seriousness, it was a game of offence which is never entertaining to watch but I guess for Hendry was a good introduction. Though both teams had their shots, the shots on target count was only 3 each which is how many points Sydney continue to get whilst Perth and City walk away with 1.