Last night I was one of 95.446 people lucky enough to have been able to be at the Liverpool v Melbourne Victory friendly game at the MCG, normally the home of cricket and Aussie Rules Football. I say lucky because I almost missed out on getting tickets and was almost in tears at work trying to refresh the order screen, hoping more tickets would magically appear on the screen. I was so happy and excited when they did. The match sold out in around 30 minutes.
Fast forward to last night. I bought a ticket for my Mum as a birthday present. We were also lucky to get good seats on level 2A behind the goals so we had a great view up the pitch to the goals at the other end. There were many goosebump moments, especially when almost everyone stood up to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone.
It was a dream come true to watch my EPL team, Liverpool play against my Aussie team, Melbourne Victory. It was hard to decide who to go for. I was cheering both teams but was really proud of the way Victory stood up to Liverpool. It’s still around 10 weeks until the start of the A-League but Victory were still very well-prepared. That’s despite some of our best players playing for Australia, including my favourite player, Archie Thompson.
It was an often spiteful 1-1 draw on Saturday night at AAMI Park. Brisbane got an early, and unexpected, goal against the run of play but then it was a tough, frustrating game for spectators and fans at the ground until we got our only goal. Victory kept attacking and attacking but Brisbane goalie (and former Victory premiership player) Michael Theo made some fantastic saves to ensure each side got one point from the game. Once again it is our defense that caused problems. We thought Finkler had scored a brilliant goal to win the match late in the game but Theo pulled off another remarkable save to deny us.
This was our first game at our true home ground, AAMI Park after playing four games under an old contract with Etihad Stadium. We have reserved seats here so don’t need to get to the ground until just before kick off if we want. It certainly beats having to get to Etihad when the gates open 90 mins before kick off.
It was a good, hard game with Victory slowly getting on top. With several missed chances for Victory to score, it began to look like it was going to be a tough, defensive nil all draw but suddenly a set play worked well and Marco Rojas ended up with a great goal. Rojas is fast becoming a crowd favourite, especially with the Northern End supporters.
Throughout the game we saw the stormy clouds rolling in from the west. Sure enough, just as we were standing in the platform waiting for our train home, the thunder and lightning started. It was awesome to watch but I was a little worried because we were a little exposed .
It was an exciting 2-2 draw in front of just under 20,000 mostly Melbourne Victory supporters. The media and match day commentators have widely said that the first half was the best of the season so far. It was a great contest and had everything you want from a game; goals, exciting contents, flair, and (unwanted) also one red card for each team which will have an impact for both sides in their next game. I’ll admit to being totally biased but Victory had more opportunities to win the game. The ball spent much of the second half at the Victory end and if we’d had players in front of goal at crucial moments we could have scored at least two more goals.
It looks like things are finally starting to change and improve at Melbourne Victory. Last night we played Wellington Phoenix at Etihad Stadium and beat them 3-2. Although they were 3-0 with about 10 mins to the end of the game. It made those final 10 mins very tense. Even more annoying when a group of kids start hanging around the fence in front of us hoping to get the free soccer balls the players give out after the game.
Marco Rojas got 2 goals and Marcos Flores 1. Archie Thompson got his usual off-sides but couldn’t buy a goal. He was never quite in the right spot at the right second and could have scored a couple of goals. He did have some great assists though. The pace of the game was very fast and has shown that Ang Postocoglou has made the right decision in moving on some of the older, slower players.
The club also put on a tritbute to Danny Allsopp who retired two weeks ago. It’s always sad to see one of the best players retire but I wish him all the best in the future. He was presented with an award and walked a lap of honour, giving us all the chance to say goodbye.
Celebrating one of Rojas’ goals from an Archie Thompson assist
Round 3 of the A-league season began on Friday night with Victory taking on arch rivals Adelaide at Etihad Stadium.
Mum and I arrived not long after the gates opened and secured great seats in the third row, right near one of the corners of the ground. Getting there that early meant we had around 80 mins before the game started but it was worth it.
When the game started it seemed that Victory were going to play well. Their speed was great and they weren’t allowing Adelaide to get in their offensive half (which was at our end). After last week it was great to see them sticking to their game plan. At half time the score was 0-0 but soon after Billy Celeski gave away a penalty to Adelaide who scored. The tv commentators described it as a brain fade when I watched the reply. I have to agree. He seemed to put his forearm out and the ball hit below the elbow which is definitely a penalty. Four minutes later Mark Milligan headed the ball in for a goal so we were back to 1-1. The intensity soon stepped up as both teams knew they had to get another goal to secure the 3 points. Not long after Archie Thompson kicked the ball into the goal square and Marco Rojas headed the ball but it hit the cross bar and bounced out. He had another go and got it in this time. Phew. I thought it was a great goal because he was ready for the rebound. Sometimes players aren’t ready and miss the opportunity.
It was great to see Victory win after 2 losses in the first 2 games. Final score was 2-1.