Friday, November 24, 2006

Ben's blunder a tough one on the Roar

Round 14 match analysis, Sydney FC 3 v Queensland Roar 0

NOT much was said about it during the commentary of tonight's game on Fox Sports and it remains to be seen how much Frank Farina and his Roar camp will make of it in the post match, but the significance of a decision by referee Ben Williams shortly after 10 minutes shouldn't be underestimated.

When Sydney midfielder Ufuk Talay launched himself recklessly, two-footed, at a loose ball in central midfield, the referee brandished a yellow card. Talay and Sydney were lucky. Spase Dilevski, the Roar player who had shown enough of the ball to entice Talay into the challenge, was also lucky, lucky not to end up in hospital.

It was a sickening challenge, the sort that should be grounds for immediate dismissal. The reaction of the Roar players, particularly skipper Chad Gibson, nearby, told the tale.

Ironic then that it was he, less than 10 minutes later, who was shown a straight red after an over-hit Dilevski ball in the centre of midfield had forced him to lunge, studs showing, into a challenge on Terry McFlynn.

Gibson had used one foot and been shown a straight red (albeit a yellow card would have meant dismissal after he picked one up a minute earlier) while Talay went in two-footed, essentially to protect himself, and stayed on to have a major influence on the game. Figure that.

Much fuss is made about simulation being a blight on the game, and that fuss is fair enough, for it needs to be stamped out, but there few greater sins on the footabll field than the gutless two-footed challenge, and officials should do everything in their power to stamp this out.

Thankfully, we don't see too many in Australia, at least not compared to say the EPL, where the likes of Wayne Rooney often get away with challenges that are 'on the edge' as the referees and commentators turn a blind eye. Lets hope that doesn't become the norm here.

The disappointment for Farina and his team is that the Roar had started this game well, with Gibson influential in the centre of midfield after a lacklustre perfomance there last week when he was rushed into it.

Here Farina shaped up in a 4-3-3, clearly intent on matching Sydney in central midfield (through Dilevski, Gibson and McKay) and keeping their fullbacks busy through Milicic on one side (right) and Reinaldo on the other.

In truth, the Roar should have been rewarded for this positive start with the advantage of an extra man. At the moment though they can't take a trick. Soon enough they were a man and goal down, and it was game over, as if to emphasise that referees do influence outcomes.

Sydney had dodged a bullet, a point appreciated by injured stopper Jacob Timpano at half time, who said his side had had some luck, but they also played some neat stuff afterwards, controlling the ball, moving it around quickly (unlike earlier in the season), getting it out wide and testing Liam Reddy on more than the odd occassion.

Had it not been for a number of world class stops the score could have been anything. Sydney however will argue that the luck that deserted them earlier in the year has finally gone their way, and three wins on the spin, nine goals in the process, puts them in an ominous position.

While Melbourne have bolted and are unlikely to be caught before the finals, they'll be hoping Sydney don't carry this recent momentum into the finals.

The Roar, meanwhile, need to put this one behind them and focus on the positives of their good work in the opening exchanges.


Blogger john said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sat. Nov. 25, 01:39:00 am AEDT  
Blogger john said...

We saw Ben in action against Adelaide. The Foxtel commentators highlighted 2 ignored penalties in that game. Tonight highlighted the ignoring of Milligan's foul on Mori in the penalty box at the 13th minute.

Ben Williams sent Matt McKay off in round 4 last year for a similar tackle to Ufuk Talay's tonight. And he sent off Spase Dilevski in the round 21 game that kept Roar of the finals in season 1. I think only 2 other reds have been shown to the Roar - both double yellows for Matt and Michael Baird.

It looked to me like Chad was stretching to catch a pass to him that was too long. And I didn't like the way McFlynn quickly looked up to see if he had won the card.

Why was Chad given the first yellow?

Nice idea that the Roar will get luck later in the season.

It is interesting that Roar attracts more home fans than Sydney (less than 13,000 there tonight) and yet they have only won 4 home games in 18 matches. Some fans. Some football.

Sat. Nov. 25, 06:04:00 am AEDT  
Blogger Hamish said...

Thanks for this commentary Tony.

I couldn't watch the game as it was on Fox 3 which none of my local pubs have (I blame Fox - who should have automatically included Fox 3 in any Fox 1&2 deal - not the pubs). And following it on the net was very depressing, the main redeeming feature being Reddy's apparent brilliance to keep the score 1:0 'till well after half time.

You have at least given me reason to feel better about the boys who should be in marone.

Sat. Nov. 25, 06:21:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always Tony your thoughts are appreciated and right on the money. Thanks.

Sat. Nov. 25, 09:55:00 am AEDT  
Anonymous orange peeler said...

Farinas comments after the match sure support your story

"Up until the 20th I thought it was going to be a good game, it was a good contest up until then but I think the red card killed the game,'' said Farina.

"There was a tackle just before that by Ufuk Talay which was two-foot over the ball. He got a yellow card for it.

"But Chad was silly, he'd just received a card in the 18th minute, he's one of the experienced players, he should know you don't dive in. So he's partially to blame as well.''

You off to Gosford tonight?

Sat. Nov. 25, 10:20:00 am AEDT  
Blogger Mike Salter said...

It was a bit hard for me to see the Talay challenge properly from where I was in the western stand, but I'll admit it did look bad.

As you say, I think it's a case of Sydney FC getting the rub of the green a little now, after just about everything went against us early in the season.

Sat. Nov. 25, 06:09:00 pm AEDT  
Blogger john said...

can't wait till the Roar get a rub of the green. Its hard to start high and move low. But then Melbourne did it last year and look at them now eh?

Sun. Nov. 26, 06:49:00 pm AEDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Sydney fan - I think we have been due some good fortune given the ridiculous saga that has been our season thus far.

I think the game also highlighted how pivotal Carney is to this Sydney side - its no coincidence that our resurgence has been matched by his return.

Surely 1 of the top 3 most influential players in the HAL (along with Fred and Nick Carle IMO)

Mon. Nov. 27, 05:01:00 pm AEDT  
Blogger The Round Ball Analyst said...

Thanks all for the thoughts, have been flat out since Friday night and haven't had a chance to reply to comments or post anything about that remarkable Ronnie goal....

Orange peeler, did end up going to Gosford on Saturday night and i'll have more on that in my weekly round-up, coming shortly, but I will say it was great to see one of the all time legends, even though his powers have clearly diminished.

As for the Syd-Qld game, yeah fair to say that Sydney and Butcher had so long overdue luck, but they've also played some good stuff. Central to it has been a return of some confidence, the return of key personnel (Carney, Corica and Milligan) and some general calm around the place since the 1-1 with Perth when the club said it's sticking with Butcher till seasons end. Corica and Carney are two gems, no doubt.

As for the Roar, I actually enjoyed their work in the first 20 so yes Hamish and John, there is hope, but this year? The difficulty is the Mariners have so many games at home, while the Jets and Perth are also in the mix.

More on that in my season wrap, hopefully later in the week.

Hamish, yeah, it's incredibly frustraing for fans who don't have access to Fox 3. The publicans I've spoken to say it's just too damn expensive, and they're not sure they've got the patronage just yet, a point you've been making, so hands a tied all round. It really is a pity as a game like the one yesterday from Telstra Dome is a smashing advertisement for the game, and should be seen by many.

Mon. Nov. 27, 09:26:00 pm AEDT  

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