Sunday afternoon kick-off in what looked like a beautiful day in Wellington with the Nix hosting the Vuck in what could be one of the last football games with a crowd (or at all) given the COVID-19 situation.
Following a moving tribute commemorating the Christchurch mosque shootings it was time for football.
I was slightly optimistic that the Victory could at least try get a result against a Phoenix side that has been beautiful to watch this season. But as they say, “it’s the hope that kills ya.” Whatever hope I had was tested three minutes when a beautiful ball from Reno Piscopo to Davila and sure enough GOAL! Three minutes in and we were chasing the lead away… SH*T! Lawrence Thomas had no chance of saving that and the defenders went to sleep.
All of the momentum, possession, passion and flare was with the Nix and it was about to get worse for those supporting the Victory when Hooper was left free in the box and boy, what a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L header it was, placed beautifully into the net. 21 minutes in and the Nix were out to party with a 2-0 lead.
Just put me out of my misery!
To be fair, Kiwi Messi tried to restore some hope with a rocket of a shot in the 28th but it was the perfect height for Marinovic. He tried again in the 35th minute to make something happen from the by-line and cut the ball back but it was blocked and the danger cleared by the Nix. That was pretty much the only glimmer of hope and determination shown by the visitors for most of the first half.
The second half started much like the first, with the Victory asleep and the Nix firing up. Nabbout did try, by try he unleashed an average shot in the 52nd straight into Marinovic which wouldn’t have counted anyway because he was offside. The effort and confidence paid off once again for the Kiwis however, in the 55th when David Ball was left to shoot (SERIOUSLY, THREE GOALS FROM SLACK DEFENDING) and bang.
I was begging to be put out of my misery, this team is not good for my health. While I was shaking with anger and disappointment it looked like the squad had once again given up. But… just maybe… there was a tiny piece of hope in the 73rd when Nabbout’s shot was deflected into the back of the net.
WE SCORED! WE KNOW HOW TO SCORE! THERE’S HOPE!
Joke was on us when VAR was bought in to check for a potential handball from Nabbout in the lead up (no handball so that was cleared) and then because football can be so cruel, after 19739172 years, it was deemed that the ball came off Ola who was offside.
It was damage control after that, the Nix could easily slot in a couple more goals but in the end I feel like the mercy rule was invoked. I was angry and disappointed in my team who looked like they had given up as soon as that first goal was conceded.
It’s heartbreaking to see just how low my beloved club has fallen this season (following a Jets win, we’d be second last).
I know when put in perspective it’s just football, but it’s much more than that to so many fans. Safe to say I’m counting down until October and a new season where hopefully the Vuck come good again (about 198 days to go if anyone was wondering).
By Jakie Manevski