The Mariners host the Victory with their first clash of the 2019/20 season, with the Vuck hopefully finding some consistent form with back-to-back wins, they’re a chance to leap frog WU into 5th and three points behind the Nix and Glory currently in 4th and 3rd respectfully.
As for the Mariners a win would see them four points clear of bottom placed Newcastle and behind the Roar on goal difference. In my opinion Alen Stajcic’s side have been unlucky at times this season not to get a result and the Vuck have a history of failing to get the job done in matches where (on paper at least) they should win.
It was Kiki Dobras with the first shot of the match a minute in, earning the visitors a corner for the trouble. It was Dobras wasn’t missing this time around, slotting it into the bottom corner in the 8th.
1-0 for the Vuck and a solid start from the men in navy blue!
The opening 15 minutes has the Victory with all of the momentum and if this continues it is looking like a case of not if they win but how many will the Vuck slot past the Mariners.
It was De Silva’s chance to try test Lawrence Thomas in the 25th minute with a header but it was sent flying over the bar.
It was starting to look like the Victory were taking their foot off the gas a little, and I was trying not to panic just yet but the Victory have a history of switching off in the midfield and defence.
The 31st minute saw Kim with a rocket outside the area but thankfully it went over the bar, perhaps a warning to the visitors not to go to sleep.
The rest of the first half was looking like a bit of a tousle between the sides but I was feeling optimistic that my Melbourne boys could get the job done. They looked like they were taking their foot off the gas a little and it turned around to bite Marco Kurz’s men, when in the 44th minute an unmarked Jordan Murray, capitalised on the space in the box and headed the ball passed Thomas to draw the Mariners level.
OF COURSE! Why would the Victory make things easy for themselves?!
Onto the second half and I was keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed that the Victory could find a way to re-gain their lead.
Well I was wrong…
Victory failed to clear the lines, looking like headless chooks in the process and Rowles pounced in the 52nd.
2-1 the Mariners!
A quick VAR check for offside…
I don’t know what Kurz said at half time or maybe it was Staj working his magic but the Victory have gone to sleep. Not to be a Negative Nancy but if you didn’t know you’d think it was the Vuck in 10th on the ladder.
Elvis Kamsoba tried his luck in the 62nd but it took an unlucky (or lucky depending on which side you wanted to win) bounce and was no trouble at all for Birighitti.
A VAR check in the 66th minute this time for the Mariners appealing for a penalty, and who else but Matt Simon. But the decision was upheld, no penalty and sorry not sorry Wizard of Woy Woy.
It was deemed that Simon had initiated contact under the ball, and there was not enough to overturn the initial call of no penalty.
The 72nd had Nabbout having a shot but he was blocked and managed to cop a knock for his trouble. The game was opening up with some end-to-end stuff, which team would seize the opportunity?
Nabbout then cut inside from the right but his shot was deflected out for a corner.
Part of me was hoping for the Vuck but the football gods are good at testing my patience so I wouldn’t rule the Mariners out just yet.
Adama Traore sent a rocket in toward goal in the 78th minute, and after hitting the post poor Rowles was in the way, copped a deflection and the visitors were 2-1 up! Poor thing would’ve hoped there was some sort of reverse offside rule to save him.
HOLD ON FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES GUYS! DO NOT F**K IT UP NOW PLEASE! To be honest Victory started off the brighter of the two, got lucky with some VAR calls and the own goal but that is football.
NOO IT IS NEVER THAT SIMPLE.
After ANOTHER VAR check, a penalty was awarded against Donachie for a hand ball and Matt Simon drew the home side level.
F**K THIS, OF COURSE IT WAS SIMON (Yes, a bit of bias from his years at Sydney FC). Perhaps a just result given the balance of this match but doesn’t make me any less angry. True to form, the Victory failed to win a match that was very much a winnable one.
Blink and you’ll have missed the push and shove between Traore and Simon. Both of them earning a yellow for their efforts, Simon a ripped shirt AND Leigh Broxham a yellow for his input.
It isn’t over yet… another shout for a pen for the Mariners.
VAR check… Decision to award the pen was upheld and the Mariners clinch it in the 95th +4.
In my opinion both soft penalties but I think we are all unfortunately getting used to these calls. Marco Kurz was then shown a red for hurling abuse at the fourth official.
This league, this bloody league is going to be the death of me.
The Mariners head to Victoria to face WU next week while the Victory make the trip to Adelaide. I think I’ve had enough emotions for the week, I love our beautiful game but if my side could stop giving away a lead that would be bloody beautiful.
Ok, time to go pour myself a very large glass of wine and get ready for next week.
By Jakie Manevski