Posts Tagged ‘rodrigo vargas’

Getting out of jail but no thanks to you Mr Vargas

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

119042549RC018_A_League_Rd_

It was with some irony that Melbourne Victory’s first home win of the season coincided with the first home game of the season that I was unable to attend due to a clash with a Grand Final that my futsal team* was playing.

Whilst it was a win that came at the end of probably the most tumultuous weeks in the short history of Melbourne Victory one must remember that this a win against a side sitting bottom of the ladder and with the worst defensive record in the league. It was also a game where the Victory when cruising at 2-0 up endeavoured to do their best to actually lose the game. First up, veteran Rodrigo Vargas decided he wanted an early shower with a two-footed challenge on the half-way line with a little over thirty minutes gone on the clock. To say Vargas should have known better is a massive understatement with the incident giving Gold Coast United the incentive to claw their way back into the game. This was followed by a rather soft penalty (it was a penalty just the Victory’s first two goals were penalties) on the stroke of half time which gave Gold Coast some much need momentum going into the second half.

Shortly after the break some lax defending saw Gold Coast equalise and you could almost hear the collective groan coming from AAMI Park in my lounge room as fans watched the team again throw away another two goal lead. Fortunately for the Victory they had come up against a team that quite clearly doesn’t know how to win and even with all of Miron Bleiberg’s so-called tactical genius couldn’t find that all important third goal against a Victory side that had gone to rabble following Vargas’ sending off. It seemed as if the home side suddenly realised that opponents didn’t have both the manpower or the will to actually win the game as both Carlos Hernandez and Archie Thompson rolled back the years (to be fair to Thompson, he’s been in outstanding form all season) and created a number of chances before the two combined for the winner in the 79th minute. Who would have thought that Hernandez could out jump three opponents.

Whilst one win doesn’t a title challenge make one pleasing aspect was the form of Billy Celeski, who looked more than the player of three seasons ago rather than the shadow of a player that existed since his return from a knee reconstruction. Whilst Ernie Merrick might have turned him into one of the best defensive midfielders of that title winning season, it seemed on a Sunday that Celeski relished a more attacking role, one that he was more accustomed to before arriving in our fair town. The result was a much more confident display than we have seen in at least one and a half seasons or maybe it just taken him that long to get over what was a quite a serious knee injury.

Next up is a clash with the Newcastle Jets, a team against which the Victory notoriously struggle against especially on their home turf. If Durakovic has indeed turned the season around then next week is surely a true test as to whether that is really the case.

* - for the record my futsal team lost the Grand Final 7-6 in extra time.

Not quite plain sailing

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

SOCCER Hyundai A-League 2010: 18 November - Melbourne Victory drew Central Coast Mariners 2-2

In the lead up to Thursday night’s match against the Central Coast Mariners, Ernie Merrick clearly articulated that a win was what the Victory needed in order to still have any chance of a top two finish. So I guess you can say with some assurance after the 2-2 draw that any slim chance we had of the double chance disappeared out the proverbial window.

Based on the first half performance from the Victory it looked like Merrick’s motivational skills were simply not working. For the most part, the team looked insipid, disinterested and lacklustre. In fact, it looked a lot like the team that rocked up again Perth Glory the week before. Apart from some neat interchanges between Angulo and Thompson there was very little to write home about. Add to that we also copped a goal to a typical Central Coast sucker punch.

The second half came and it appeared to be more of the same until BANG, a cheeky Vargas back heel and sumptuous Carlos Hernandez free kick within three minutes of each other saw the confidence return to both the players and the fans. For a good period of time this was the team we all know and love and were tearing the Mariners to shreds. If it wasn’t for some poor finishing we could have knocked in a few more.

And it was that profligacy in front of goal that would ultimately cost us all three points as corner that shouldn’t have been found it’s way across the goal line and the hearts of many Victory fans were broken. What looked like it good have been a season turning win just turned out to be like many other games this year and in the process put a serious dent in what is left of our confidence.

It was good to see Merrick give Angulo his second start in succession, something that has never happened before and the Costa Rican is showing signs that the extended game time is doing wonders as he put in what I would consider a best on ground performance. For his confidence and that of the team I can only hope that Merrick sees fit to give him an extended run and that he also puts one of his many chances in the back of the net.

I must admit after the game a red mist descended over my eyes and it was probably a good thing that I didn’t have access to twitter let alone this blog in the minutes after the match had concluded. This was mainly to do with the pathetic display of refereeing that Gerard Parsons again displayed. I have already put forward my thoughts on the poor excuse for a referee a while back and that there is no need to repeat it here but I dread the next time he is in charge of a Victory game.

So now with rather an extended break at hand and a little over half the season gone it provides the team with a much needed opportunity to rest tired bodies and minds and make a concerted push for the finals when they return.

So Mr Vargas, who will you be supporting?

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

The announcement today by Melbourne Victory of friendlies against VPL sides Green Gully Cavaliers and Whittlesea Zebras provides a conundrum for one Mr Vargas. He will have to choose which son to support when Roddy’s Melbourne take on a Green Gully side that features his brother, Andy.

I will be definitely making my way to the Green Gully match - its one of my favourite VPL grounds (apart from Kevin Bartlett Reserve, of course) although on a Monday night in the middle of winter it would be advisable to rug up. Don’t think I will be making it to the Whittlesea game - its just too far away and too hard to get to. As a bonus, we might get to see new Brazilian recruit Ney Fabiano De Oliveira make his Victory debut.

Match details are as follows:

Melbourne Victory vs Green Gully
When:
Monday, 7 July, 7pm
Where: Green Gully Reserve, Green Gully Road, Keilor Downs (entry is free)

Melbourne Victory vs Whittlesea
When: Tuesday, 15 July, 7pm
Where: Epping Soccer Stadium, Harvest Home Road, Epping (entry is free)

On international duty

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Whilst Kevin Muscat, Rodrigo Vargas and Archie Thompson all are in camp hoping for an international call-up against Qatar next Wednesday night, Melbourne Victory’s very own Carlos Hernandez is already on international duty with Costa Rica. Los Ticos took on a coachless Iran in an empty Azadi Stadium (a stadium I would very much like to visit) and by all accounts the match was a rather drab affair finishing 0-0. For match reports click here and here. It is good to hear that Hernandez’s choice of playing in Australia hasn’t harmed his chances of international selection. Game time in this match and in an upcoming match against Jamaica will keep him match-fit for our upcoming ACL campaign.

It is also interesting to note that fellow AFC heavyweights, Iran, are only to gain the services of their new coach, Javier Clemente, days before their first World Cup qualifier against Syria. Certainly interesting times for Team Melli.

Image “borrowed” from the Tehran Times.