A Christmas miracle happened, one that is over due by a couple weeks. But better late than never!
After holding out for the rain, lightning, thunder, floods and Noah’s Ark making it’s way through West Sydney, we kick off at ANZ stadium against Melbourne ‘we are champions’ Victory.
And we ACTUALLY PLAY WELL, LIKE WE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYING, SINCE ROUND 1!
Kicking off, we start with a long ball towards the Victory goals, and I’m thinking “hmmm, that was a stupid move, standard.” I made a bet with TLL Contributor/Reporter Extraordinaire, Cassandra Treppiedi, that we’d concede within 10 minutes. 25 minutes pass, it’s still 0 – 0 and the Wanderers are giving Victory a run for their money!
The team are communicating well together this time around, passing with accuracy and keeping possession. Seeing Victory unable to click as well as the Red and Black was a huge shock and a big frustration amongst the fans, players, Muscat and most importantly…my little Victory supporter brother. (SUCKER!)
We were playing so well, we gave The Great Wall of Victory a real challenge, forcing Lawrence Thomas to make a handful of world class saves to keep Victory alive. Tables turned after a while as Vedran Janjetovic was head on with Ola Toivonen, who sends him the wrong direction and scores for the Victory just before half time!
Apart from the show that the Wanderers put on in the first half, we have to point out the real star of tonight. Tate Russell, our 19 year old Left Back from Wollongong making his senior debut. The young defender was everywhere, on the defense, as well as out of his position on the wing. It didn’t matter where he was, he made a statement and a positive impact.
The kid is an all round threat, KEEP HIM ON THE FIRST TEAM! KEEP HIM, DO YOU HEAR ME!?
Second half kicks off and what I thought would happen was actually the complete opposite. We’re known to give up as soon as we concede a goal, hang our heads in shame and run around the field like we have just lost the war. Complete drama queens, am I right?
But we hold our ground, continue to pressure the Victory, making them look nothing like themselves. Soon we get a penalty, Baumjohann goes down.
Who’s going to step up to the spot this time? Will it be Ori, who has been having a bit of bad luck and a goal drought? Or will Alex take it? Are we gonna “scissors, paper, rock” to make a decision?
In the end, Baumjohann steps up to take it, and the rocket of a shot flies right past Thomas and levels us!
We continue our amazing play, I’m in awe. Sitting there with a giant grin on my face that has been missing since Santalab netted it against Vuka in the derby. My brother, well, he’s shouting abuse and death threats at the TV screen. What a wonderful turn of events, it’s not me going mental this time.
Another Wanderer who came off the bench to cause a further stir and keep Victory on their toes was Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzy made it a little more interesting as Lawrence decides to throw away all normality and runs out of his box, towards Fitz!
These keepers are crazy, are they all just taking turns each week to have a brain snap?
It would have been a glorious goal to make it 2 – 1 if Broxham minded his OWN DAMN BUSINESS! But a nice save with his head, I must say. Round of applause to the dream-crusher, but also hero in navy blue (Sorry Terry)
We end up with the whole team having a last minute brain snap that gets Victory the win, a cross by Mr. Clean- I mean, Troisi….. and a goal off the chest by Ola Toivonen. It ends in a 2 -1 Victory for the Victory.
I am thoroughly impressed and proud of the boys, they listened to the demands of the fans, proved their worth. This is the fight we have been asking for, whether win or lose, we expect a fight, right down to the wire and we will be proud to stand behind them.
Next week, we have the Nix. I could be a bit of an egotistic a**hole and go “HA! Just give us the 3 points now” but they royally f*cked up Sydney FC a few weeks ago so I’ll stay quiet until the results are in.
Until then, I’m gonna sit here an figure out what this wonderful feeling is after watching the team play. Is this joy? I can’t say I have felt this emotion is years.
By Christina Trajceska