After this weekend of A League, and last night's derby FFA Cup, it's been a roller coaster already for most Victory fans, including myself. To beat an incredible rival away from home, only to follow that up with a loss at AAMI Park hurts. That being said, I still watched relentlessly while yelling at the tv. Here's another look at this past week's A League action.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This one was tightly decided but I've gone with Perth Glory vs Melbourne City. From the get go it was a fantastic contest, and one full of drama as well. The Glory defenders were absolutely fuming when Bruno Fornaroli was somewhat dubiously awarded a penalty and the sentiment resonated with Kenny Lowe.
Andy Keogh sealed his perfect hat trick with a long range goal in the 85th minute after a tense and action packed affair. Despite the possession heavily weighted in City's favour (63% - 37%), Perth still managed 8 shots on target and threatened whenever they attacked. Credit to City as well, these games take two to tango. Between the two teams, the game had a total of 10 yellow cards, 31 shots, plenty of tackles filled with spite, and a bit of a scuffle between the benches at half time.
GOAL OF THE WEEK
It's been merely 3 weeks of the A League season, but already I'm seeing a pattern emerge that I'm not very happy about.
My choice for this week's best goal, once again, comes against my beloved Victory. Tarek Elrich isn't a regular goal scorer as such, but when he does score it's usually something spectacular. His effort came off the back of some very sloppy defending from Victory's Rashid Mahazi. Once Elrich cut it back on his left foot, there was no stopping that shot as it sailed beautifully into the top left corner.
THE UNHERALDED HERO
This week takes the form of a record breaker. It literally could've been anybody, but it happened to a long term A League stalwart.
Newcastle Jets' Nigel Boogaard is my pick as he scored the 20,000th league goal in top tier Australian football. It's really an undervalued milestone for Australian football. How far we've come since the establishment of the old NSL back in 1977.
I can imagine nobody back then expected football to come as far as it has today, especially not a centre back either. Well, not by my reckoning. I'd have bet it would've been a striker but credit to the lad. His father played in the old NSL, so it seemed extremely fitting that the man who scored a milestone for the league to have a generational connection to the football of old.
The big man Boogaard has that record forever more. Along with his all time A League red card count. Legendary.
You can check out more info about goal scoring milestones here.
My favourite thing about this round has to be the amount of goals scored late in the game. It always makes for an incredible story, whether it's a reward for persistent attacking or a shock finish by the team who was dominated.
This week, we've had 4 of the 5 games decided from the 85th minute onward. Marco Rojas stole victory for the Victory in Adelaide in the 93rd minute, and arguably the best of these last minute winners was Andrew Hoole's inch perfect free kick for Newcastle in the 88th minute to draw level against Western Sydney.
Speaking of that goal, Wanderers, you gotta get rid of Redmayne. There was a reason he'd played second fiddle at his previous clubs.
First off, it was simply Henrique's injury. Unfortunately for the Adelaide winger, he's the latest Red to suffer an injury that puts him out indefinitely. The challenge from Oli Bozanic wasn't of ill temper, you could see the remorse on Oli's face once he realised Henrique was hurt. A speedy recovery to Henrique. It will be interesting to see how Adelaide cope with the loss of two key players in as many weeks.
The other was Kenny Lowe getting sent off at half time during his side's win over City. Sure, I enjoy seeing passionate managers, it shows they care. But there's no reason to get yourself sent to the stands, that's a rookie mistake mate.
As a result, the match review panel has proposed a 2 game touchline ban for Kenny's antics. And seeing his frustrations at the lack of communications at the weekend, this could probaly impact Perth's management dramatically.
This one is for the North Terrace active support, who this week have ceased active support indefinitely. There isn't much I can say, as I don't know much and I don't want to be seen as another journalist in the media flogging the supporters, because I am a supporter. I've heard some things, read other things, seen a whole lot of opinions and voices but nothing concrete.
I can only say that I hope this doesn't last. Last time they went silent was the worst season as a Victory fan, and I've written about that before. Quite frankly, it blows. I hated it, the boys didn't perform well, and our home games didn't have the same fortress feel as it should. There's nothing I hate more than an atmosphere-less football match.
The derby loss to City in the FFA Cup was a good indicator, the Victory fans made themselves heard. I just hope they were made up of North Terrace boys too. The supporters should be who the players draw their strength from. They shouldn't look to the stands and see political issues invading the terraces.
Don't go quiet. Be loud and proud. Show them that you are Melbourne Victory fans and that you're not going anywhere. Those are the greatest football fans.