Final stages start up and this round, in the (navy) blue corner, it’s the navy blue mob, who have been singing ‘We are Champions’ for the last 27 f*ckin rounds, who have made finals consistently over the last 6 season with Muscat at the helm, and who have one of the best teams on paper, as well as performance on the field.
And in the red corner, they are up against an currently impressive Wellington Phoenix side, who have basically defied all odds!
It’s back and fourth guesses over who will win tonights match, and most bets are being placed on Rudans Nix to upset the current A-league champions, but not without a fight, FIRST.
Speaking of first, the first half sucked.
Alright, It didn’t “suck” completely, both sides were at each others throats, trying to put their team in the lead. It was just a constant, frustrating 45 minutes of Tug-o-war style football. Quite exciting in the first 49 seconds as Krishna tests Victory keeper, Lawrence Thomas, early on. Not too hard for Thomas at all as the ball is palmed away as we resume the rest of the half, but after that…mate, nothing was happening for a while. It was just so even.
While waiting for a result, there was a question we were most likely all sorta repeating to ourselves. With the way Wellington have played this season, after a miracle signing of Manager (and Messiah) Mark Rudan.
Will the Victory score first or will the Nix silence the stadium? Will Honda score a belter to open it up for the Navy blue, or will Krishna swerve around the defence, leaving Melbourne in the dust? And last but not least, will the VAR do something ballistic enough to cause controversy?
Well to answer the question, the right answer, is in the first line of the previous paragraph (making ya work for it, aren’t I)
The Vuck score first, from a brilliant header! A marvellous cross by Marquee man, Honda, towards Niedermeier. A swift jump by the German, his back to the goals but still manages to redirect the shot to send it into the back of the net. 1 – 0.
We cut it off there, waiting for the second half to begin, as well as the rain in Melbourne to stop (it doesn’t).
What also doesn’t stop, is the goals that come from the Victory, in the second half.
Shortly after the second half begins, a costly give away from Mandi, a through ball from Ola and a poised finish from Kosta Barbarouses, award the home team with a second goal. Another costly punishment to the Wellington Phoenix.
As the Nix try to turn things around with golden boot winner, Krishna, sneaking his way in between the Victory defence, surprising Lawrence Thomas, it becomes 2 – 1. Many begin to believe, along with myself, “this is it, this is where it all goes to sh*t”.
But hold onto your dockland native seagulls, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not over yet.
Ola Toivonen, the Big Sexy Swede (that is a nickname my brother has given him, don’t ask how we got that nickname, it’s a long inside joke and story), swings his way past the Nix defence, bolting it towards a loose ball like his life depends on it, comes far too close to the goals for my liking, and somehow chips the ball over Kurto as the ball gracefully lands in the far left corner.
And as he makes it 3 – 1, the puns all over #SokkahTwitter being (along with my own pun, which I honestly thought was one of my worst, but a few people got a giggle out of it, so I can’t be that sh*t)
The game ends, the Vuck are through, the Nix are out but after a great season, I really do not think anyone has a right to be bagging the Nix out a single bit. They completely swung around their season with the help of Rudan. A true miracle worker. To make it to the quarter finals after a horror last couple of seasons (hold both hands up, that’s how many seasons it’s been a ‘horror’ show) but either way, #NixIn, if you disagree with me without a valid reason for why they should be out, ya can feck off.
As for the Melbourne Victory, it’s ANOTHER big blue semi final derby against Sydney FC, in good ol’ Sydney town, and I have only one thing to say….
By Christina Trajceska\
Featured Image from Matt Johnson Photography