Cyclone warnings and a pitch (if you could call it that), which could pass for the debacle a few weeks ago at Spotless; could not stop the Friday night clash between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory. Part of me was expecting Brisbane to pull off a miracle and upset the flying Victory.
I personally was a little relieved to be watching from the safety of my bedroom (despite the flooding and thunder outside, gee thanks Melbourne!) as I have been left scarred on my Suncorp adventures. A failed matchmaking attempt, severely bruised ankle trying to jump over the chairs landing in the gap, average (sh*tty) quality wine and a three-day hangover are just some of my Brisbane misadventures to date.
Twenty-seven seconds in and the heart palpitations had begun when a chance from nothing for the Roar saw a deflection for the home side with a goal mouth scramble that ideally would have been shown in slow motion with the Big Swede Ola Toivonen getting the final touch on the goal line to deny Brisbane. Oh boy, would it be another one of those games that Victory should win but they don’t?!
The 8th minute saw the magical Keisuke Honda rush back to help the defence and clear another dangerous ball in the area. Then in the blink of an eye the ball was on the other end of the pitch with Honda taking a shot, but Toivonen’s follow up was denied by Dane Ingham.
Ok, Victory have recovered from that early scare and I was eagerly anticipating a goal and boy did the goals come.
In the 13th James Troisi (who I had criticised a lot last season and yes I will eat humble pie and apologise JT) provided the most beautiful assist to the favourite Kiwi Kosta Barbarouses – *or Baebarouses as we affectionately call him, fangirl shirt included* slotted it in the back of the net.
1-0 for the boys in blue!
It wasn’t long until it all kicked off, when Eric Bautheac decided to try out his Muscat-like tackle skills on Corey Brown which led to some argy bargy and a yellow card in the 18th minute. But Eric didn’t stop there, oh no that would’ve been boring. He decided to go in for a bit of a push and shove making contact with Toivonen’s face and sure enough, there it was a second yellow and off he goes.
Still seeing red, the Frenchman decided to try some target practice taking the Fox Sports signage with him and a whack on the door frame of the tunnel for good measure. Anyone else get Eric Cantona vibes during his Manchester United days?
WOW. I mean if you’re going to get sent off might as well make it worthwhile right? Plus, I’m sure the Aloisi brothers (Ross especially) would’ve been impressed with the lack of anger management skills. Tempers were flaring in Brisbane so much so you’d think it was a 50-degree day when in the 24th Leigh Broxham received a yellow for a clumsy challenge on Taggart but for the time being there wasn’t any other incidents. Two minutes later and Roar were awarded a penalty for a Honda clip on Taggart which by the way I want to see a replay of please and thank you, considering there were a whole bunch of bodies in the area. But anyway, VAR upheld the decision and Taggart does his job, sending it past Lawrence Thomas.
The 30th saw Bowles receive a yellow and again I don’t know what the Brisbane players had to eat but they were fuming! I have not seen a team that frustrated and angry in a while. Yet the worst was yet to come for the home side and the fans who braved the weather warning to support their team – hoping, that it would be the day they showed up and made something happen. Well sorry Roar fans the answer is no.
Terry Antonis provided a cheeky back-heel nutmeg pass to Corey Brown, who not to be outdone found Ola Toivonen just outside the box who hit a stunner into the top left corner in the 31st.
2-1 for Victory.
Victory were dishing up some seriously sexy, dominant, beautiful to watch football and Storm Roux wanted to join in on the fun in the 34th, but hit the ball wide. A few minutes later and Antonis hit the ball but Bowles was in the way, giving away a penalty for a handball.
Marquee man Honda this time decided not to give it to Kosta to take, but stepped up to the spot himself…. BANG! Conversion.
It was getting pretty embarrassing for the home side and I know I should have felt bad but I was definitely enjoying watching my team killing it. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing when Toivonen scored an own goal from a beautifully placed header (it was honestly was beautiful Ola but wrong net sweetheart) and I couldn’t help but think hmm… 3-2 could Brisbane pull off a miracle and get something from the match?
The fourth official signalled 3 minutes of stoppage time and it didn’t take long for a Honda toe poke to Kosta which ended up taking a deflection and going out for a corner.
Victory did the almost unimaginable not only taking a short corner but Barbarouses scoring his 30th goal for Melbourne Victory from that short corner! I apologise to the rest of my household for the fangirl screaming. The Kiwi has now surpassed his manage in the club’s outright A-league goal scorers only behind club legends Carlos Hernandez, Danny Allsopp (who I personally think doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves), Besart Berisha and of course Archie Thompson!
The second half saw Victory playing keepings off with the ball, not saying they weren’t trying but with a two goal buffer and a man advantage I could see the logic in conserving energy. The 55th saw a beautiful ball from Honda to Antonis, who found Troisi but it was almost like the ghost of Troisi past came along and he sent it soaring into the stratosphere. OOPS!
The 62nd saw John Aloisi substitute on the slippery-fish Henrique who did provide a bit of a spark from the Roar but Victory still enjoyed the possession and advantages increasing: score line, player advantage and now the clock all in the Melburnians favour. The match threatened to boil over again in the 68th when Papadopoulos ended up sporting a shiner and a potential concussion following a clash with Toivonen.
Matt McKay wasn’t having it and seized his opportunity a few moments later, when McKay ended up with a yellow after a challenge on the Swede accompanied by a few words for what I assume is the stick Ola gave to Avraam Papadopoulos just before.
It was a case of much of the same for the rest of the match with Victory still looking a little dangerous but it was definitely a case of maybe we should put
Brisbane out their misery. (More so for the poor fans as opposed to the playing group itself).
In a game that was extremely entertaining (or erotic if you ask me but I don’t think I am allowed to say that, let’s see what our boss has to say) for neutrals and the Victory faithful it is becoming clearer that the formula they have at Victory at the moment could be one of their best ever. The Melbourne Derby next week is sure to be a cracker! But where to now for Aloisi’s men? With a side that seems to lack quality in most areas and now Bautheac suspended next week, it’s back to the drawing board.