Welcome to Victory In Melbourne’s minute by minute analysis of Melbourne Victory’s clash against the Newcastle Jets at Energy Australia Stadium, kickoff at 5pm AEST.
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Angulo gets a start in his debut: Mitchell Langerak (gk), Kevin Muscat, Leigh Broxham, Matthew Kemp (c), Archie Thompson, Rodrigo Vargas, Carlos Hernandez, Robbie Kruse, Nick Ward, Adrian Leijer, Marvin Angulo. On the bench: Glenn Moss, Grant Brebner, Tom Pondeljak, Mate Dugandzic
Newcastle Starting XI: Neil Young (gk), Adam D’Apuzzo, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ljubo Milicevic, Ben Kantarovski, Jin-Hyung Song, Matt Thompson (c), Tarek Elrich, Jobe Wheelhouse, Michael Bridges, Labinot Haliti. On the bench: Ben Kennedy, Sasho Petrovski, Sean Rooney, Ali Abbas. Look for plenty of puns with Neil Young in goals for the Jets. Hopefully he has a heart of gold towards the Victory and lets in a few goals.
2 mins: In the week leading up to this game, Jobe Wheelhouse reckons that South Americans (sic) don’t like to get kicked so he’s going to give Hernandez a few.
5 mins: Langerak pulls off a brilliant save to deny Michael Bridges. An early warning for the Victory.
10 mins: Sloppy opening from both teams early on. No one able to really assert themselves on the game.
13 mins: Can anybody explain to me why the Energy Australia Stadium pitch is in such bad condition? Looks like they have been holding tractor demonstrations.
14 mins: Angulo gets wrongly called offside on the edge of the penalty area denying Melbourne are scoring opportunity. Wheelhouse still yet to get near Hernandez to carry out his promise.
18 mins: Kevin Muscat gets the first yellow card of the game for a flying kick on opposing captain, Matthew Thompson. Probably a tad lucky to still remain on the pitch, it was fairly blatant.
19 mins: How about a bit of variety of the free-kicks, sometimes it pays not to take them quickly. Although looking at Broxham’s delivery they be the best option. Earlier the linesman on the opposite side of the pitch also forgets the rule book and calls Newcastle offside from a throw-in.
22 mins: Kantarovski picks up Newcastle’s first yellow card for an act of petulance.
26 mins: Matt Thompson puts the Jets in front after being set up nicely by Michael Bridges. It begs the question why he was left unmarked that close to goal. Maybe the goal will bring some composure into the Victory game, have been looking a little sloppy so far.
28 mins: Langerak denies Haliti from close range. Another example of some poor defending from the Victory as the Jet’s striker was allowed to much space in the front third.
31 mins: Maybe the Jets have Kruse confused with Hernandez, as the former Roar player has been getting kicked left, right and centre.
33 mins: PENALTY to Melbourne Victory for a blatant shirt tug by Kantarovski on Robbie Kruse in the area. Second yellow for Kantarovski sees him take an early shower and the Jets are down to ten men. Kevin Muscat duly converts the resulting penalty to bring the scores back to level pegging.
36 mins: Yellow card to Michael Bridges for a foul on Leijer. One has to think that Wheelhouse must be giving the team talks instead of Culina.
41 mins: Nick Ward gives us a fine example of the Maradona spin on the edge of the area, unfortunately it comes to nothing. Kruse looking the most dangerous of the Melbourne forwards, with Archie Thompson being rarely sighted.
44 mins: Goal to the Jets as Michael Bridges slips in unmarked at the back post. Another example of some poor defending sees Newcastle take a 2-1 lead. Poor effort by the Victory considering they have the man advantage.
45+2 mins: Matthew Breeze blows the whistle for half-time. Some seriously poor defending has seen the Victory give up to easy goals to the Newcastle Jets. Hopefully, Merrick will give them a good talking to in the half time interval and the second half will see the Victory make the most of their man advantage. The debutant, Marvin Angulo has rarely been in the play so far.
Half-time: A-League website has Melbourne having 71% of the possession. Slight exaggeration of Melbourne’s possession there don’t you think, probably more like 60%. Now to make that possession count. The lovely Mel McLaughlin tells us that Brebner is coming on for Angulo and Sean Rooney will be coming on for Bridges for the Jets. If I was a betting man, I would take Sportsbet up on that $3.25 for the Victory to win.
49 mins: Hernandez gets his first shot on target for the match. Unfortunately its straight at the Jets’ keeper.
51 mins: Melbourne defence again gets caught napping by a beautiful Song cross, fortunately for the Victory Rooney blazes it well over.
54 mins: Kemp robs Song blind and then makes a run into the penalty area that comes to nothing.
55 mins: Goal to Haliti (this guys sure likes to score against the Victory, his third in as many matches). Beautiful volley but again the defending leaves a lot to be desired. Also cops a yellow card for removing his shirt.
58 mins: Andy Harper is blaming Melbourne’s poor form in this match on lethargy from possible intensive training. No excuse really, considering they are a man up.
61 mins: Keep your arms by your side Vargas, that should have been a penalty to the Jets. Melbourne’s chance of taking the premiership could very well hinge on Perth’s performance against Sydney FC in the match following this one.
64 mins: Langerak saves a free Sean Rooney header. If that had gone in, it would have definitely been curtains for the Victory.
65 mins: Yellow card to Leijer for pulling on Matt Thompson’s shirt. Can’t see why he’s complaining about that one really.
72 mins: Simon Hill describes it as a most un-Melbourne like performance. It’s looking very much like Melbourne’s last start performance against the Fury so I guess that makes it two un-Melbourne like performances in a row. Whilst a lot of the blame could be placed at the feet of the defence for the result so far the front third is looking extremely unimaginative. Would have liked to see Nathan Elasi get a game in this one as he provides a different option going forward.
78 mins: Langerak gets down low to deny a Song free-kick that was bent nicely around the wall.
81 mins: Socceroo Matthew Kemp makes way for Mate Dugandzic. Who would have thought that after his relatively poor start for the Victory three seasons again that he would get a Socceroos starting spot.
82 mins: I give Abbas a 2 out of 10 for a dive that took place about fifteen minutes after being fouled.
86 mins: A crowd of 6,979 announced. Most of them who would be pretty happy with what they are seeing. Although there is a good Victory travelling contingent and they definitely wouldn’t be happy with they are seeing.
90+1 mins: GOAL to Hernandez! Probably a little too late you would have to think as Hernandez curls his shot around a despairing Neil Young.
90+3 mins: Matthew Breeze blows the final whistle just as Ali Abbas takes another theatrical dive after clashing with Kevin Muscat. A poor performance from the Victory, especially considering that they had a man advantage for almost an hour. Uninspiring in attack and sloppy in defence and as Simon Hill correctly stated, hands the advantage to Sydney FC in the race for the premiership. Two ordinary performances in a row on the road by the Victory, the home fans will surely be expecting a better home performance next week against Perth Glory.