But have you done it on a windy day in Ballarat in front of a quiet UE Boom?
Because Brisbane did! That’s right baby, these brexitball boys are somehow in contention for a finals spot. Did you see this coming? No way. Do you think Brisbane have finally found their form? Eh, sorta. Still working on it. Are Brisbane playing great football? Hahhahaha, no. But we won? Correct! And since it has been years since we played entertaining, pressing, football, I am going to take the scrappy win and also remind Diamanti that he can always sign with us. You’ll start every week!
Ya girl made the trek out to Ballarat by walking – catching a tram – walking – catching a V Line for 1 and a half hours – walking – eating a giant parma – and then walking again. The ‘disrespectful derby’ required some effort to get to. Once we arrived, we saw that ‘The Simon Hill’ was not the name of the hill (disappointment) and then saw our away ‘bay’ was on the other smaller hill away from the ground. Dear whoever the heck runs the A-League now, please stop playing games on oval grounds. It sucks when my four-eyed self can barely see the other end of the field and I am spending more time looking up at the replay video screen than the pitch.
However, for all the effort it took to get to the little away hill, all credit to Mars Stadium staff for putting up with the Brisbane Ultras (ha!), having some super cheap canteen prices for drinks, accepting card, and providing free sunscreen whilst we chanted ‘Do you need sunscreen? Do you need sunscreen?!’. Shout-out to the Roar Fans in Melbourne who made the trip along with me and had some fun with the Scott McDonald face masks. You wanna stop him from playing against WU for the rest of the season, Rudan? Well try stop me from spending more weekends scaring the Officeworks staff into printing A4 size masks of Scott Mac. Graphic design is my passion!
Rightio, commentary on the game. If the above couple of paragraphs didn’t make it clear, I found it difficult to watch the game, so this is pieced together based on the days experience and a few highlight packages this morning. From the outset, WU were on the attack and were somewhat unfortunate not to score in the very first minute of the game. I was quietly confident for a win but seeing Pain try to bring the pain so early on had me gripping my Scotty Mac facemask.
The wind wasn’t doing either team any favours. It was crazy blowing from the not-Simon-Hill side across and it seemed like every kick was too heavy and went astray or lacked enough power to battle Anemoi. If the wind wasn’t causing enough havoc with the ball, it appeared to be moving Brisbane players out of position when Hingert forced an early save from Kurto. Ah what is our defender doing taking these shots?
These early moments were soon to be forgotten however as both sides took a more safe, controlled approach, which every football fan just loves to watch zzzzzz. The first half was mostly played in the mid-field, which at least I could see, but with neither team really capitalising on counters or willing to battle the wind, 45 minutes was done, and we remained at 0-0.
Back on the away hill, we cheered on the little wannabe Messi’s and Kerr’s, grabbed some cheap drinks, and re-applied that sunscreen in preparation for whatever the second half had in stall. I was not ready to stand back up again but Young was on our end now, so I needed the better view.
Diamanti put away his latte and was brought onto the pitch and Brisbane swapped one young gun for another with DWH taken off in favour of Muratovic – hajmo Bosna! It didn’t take too long for both these substitutions to be felt as WU pressed forward and Diamanti got angry with the crowd. For real though, the Western Service Crew gave up somewhere around the 30th minute and I think we heard them again late in the second half but their “efforts” were outshone by the little kids near us shouting “Brisbane suck!”. Also where were the rat lads when you need them?
Unfortunately for the WU, the silence Diamanti so desperately wanted to avoid were soon to return when debutant Imai hesitated on the ball and Inman got in there, man. Hesitation and a touch gone wrong meant Inman was able to bully his way onto the ball and take his time as Muratovic joined him up front and slotted away the goal. We love you Brisbane, we do! And mostly important, we love you Mirza’s mum for being such a great champ with our cheers and coming over to say hello to us crazy fans.
The thing about Brisbane is that we have a tendency to go one up and then fudge it up (great chant!) so whilst we were yelling at ‘Who are ya” at Bes, we also feared him scoring against us. At this point the Westies piped up with a Besart Berisha chant that please, you stole from us and Victory.
I was surprised to read that WU did not have a single shot on target but I guess whispers past the post and hoofs across the roof do not count as on target and even with some dying minutes of worry, Young was never really tested and Brisbane did what they needed to do to hold onto the win. Was it pretty? Not really. Am I still celebrating the Muratovic goal like the true ethnic hooligan that I am? You bet your ass.