Sunday, 14 March 2010

Hand of Payne...cue the Big Blue

Wellington lost 4-2 to Sydney in the A-League semi final in front of 13,000 fans at the SFS.

As many have suspected Wellington's finals were played at home the last two weeks, and despite their equalizer to make it 1-1 and a dubious hand of payne goal for Sydney to ease back into the lead, the Nix were never in this.

In truth they were porous against Perth and the Jets in the final series but through penalties and eventually last week through Paul Ifill they edged through.

All season they've been dodgy away from Wellington and last night they lacked much attacking inventiveness and almost no defensive nous. Four goals tells it's own tactical debacle.

Sydney, hardly the World's greatest team, show enough organisation to make the team way better than it's part. Thank the Coach, but they still lack real excitement and goal power upfront. Although last night with an inspired substitution, well injury forced John Aloisi off for two goal hero Chris Payne, and a Nix defence that went walk about all night really, Sydney cruised it.

Chris Payne was left unmarked early, then had enough strength to get his shot away. He clearly lacks real pace but his goal was a worthy one and encouraging for another young Aussie striker. Too slow? Another Sydney trademark?

The second was a real Payne of a goal, turning the match in Sydney's favour.

But in the second half, Andrew Durrante who has played well all season got skinned too easy for Sydney's match winner by Alex Brosque, and although Mark Bridge tried to miss an open goal it went in and the game was won 4-1. Dadi scored late on for Wellington.

So the FFA get a big game in Melbourne, hope Ian Collins sorts his debacle of a pitch out, and of course the FFA and AFC don't have to worry about the Nix getting in to the ACL.

Will Sydney win in Melbourne?

I think not. No Corica and maybe no John Aloisi. That should be enough for Melbourne if Archie Thompson is back and he seems to be.

Let's hope no-one is sent-off to ruin this final, but if necessary the book comes out early and often.

Also Brosque will stir the old Muscat and that should be good to see.

These are the two best football teams in the League, it's just Sydney never excite this neutral in the final third. Lack of pace, lack of firepower and still they make the top two.

Still they have shown they can beat Melbourne home and away over the ninety, with or without Corica or Aloisi. And Melbourne aren't the tightest in the midfield and even the Central Coast thrashed them at home this year so anything is possible.

But can Sydney halt the balls from Carlos to Robbie Kruse and Archie Thompson? Not all night and the defensive pairing of Stephan Kellar and Simon Colosimo should be exposed for positional by-passing and pace as they have been recently in games against the Jets, Perth and Victory.

With the Melbourne crowd expected to sell-out the stadium it should be a hell of a party...for the winner.

No comments: