Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Melbourne Victory was beaten in the A-League grand final last night by Sydney. Scores were locked at 1-1 after regular time and after 30 minutes of extra time. Sydney ended up winning the penalty shoot out.

As a spectacle, it was a pretty ordinary game. Both teams generally sniped away at each other all night, but the major contributor to the poor standard was the surface at Etihad Stadium. Once again I ask, how the hell does Ian Collins get away with providing such a crap surface week after week after week? It’s bullshit! It’s interesting that Victory has lost three players this season to significant knee injuries, all of which occurred at Etihad from memory. On that subject, let’s hope Archie Thompson makes a speedy recovery – he is a significant signature player for the A-League.

With the way the game was decided, it makes me wonder why soccer doesn’t embrace the concept of “golden goal”, instead of the penalty shoot out, which seems to be the way that is commonly used to break deadlocks in major games. Golden goal basically means that, once extra time has commenced, the side that scores the first goal wins the game.

In golden goal’s defence, it would mean that all effort would be made by each side to score, knowing the next goal will be the winner. This would make it a much better spectacle for spectators. It would also remove the penalty shoot out option, which is really a lottery based on which direction the goalkeeper decides to leap and which angle the shooter decides to strike the ball. If the keeper guesses right, then sometimes he gets lucky.

Critics of golden goal would no doubt argue that there is no guarantee that a goal would be scored, which is certainly true. They would also suggest that it is unfair on coaches, who mange their substitutes with the expectation that play will go on for a set period of time. Surely the solution to this would be to allow substitutes to come back on.

Has golden goal been tried in soccer previously? I’d be interested in comments on how it went.

Read Full Post »

Manchester United 0  Leeds United 1 – 3rd round, FA Cup

It’s easy to dislike Manchester United. They really are the Collingwood of the Premier League. Absurd amounts of financial backing while other clubs like Portsmouth are almost bankrupt. Arrogant. A manager who gets way more publicity that warranted.

So how fantastic it was to see Leeds United, a League One (effectively third division) side knock them over in the third round of the FA Cup.

It was even more satisfying for me, because I used to keep a close eye on them when they were in Premier League, given they had both Harry Kewell and Mark Viduca playing for them.

Read Full Post »

Australia has once again qualified for the World Cup, following a draw with Qatar overnight. This is a fantastic effort, qualifying for two World Cups in a row, in a sport that has not traditionally been a national strength. It speaks volumes for the progress football has made in recent years.

But it clearly doesn’t impress the ABC! I flicked the radio on at 7:00am this morning, specifically to hear what had happened. I would have loved to stay up and watch it on Foxtel, but wasn’t confident I could stay awake. I had to wait for the third sports story, about eight minutes into the ten-minute news bulletin. It didn’t rate as being more important than Carlton beating Brisbane in the AFL, and even worse, Port Adelaide beating Fremantle. Nor did it rate as being more important than the West Indies beating Australia in Twenty20 cricket, far and away the most unimportant and insignificant format of the game.

C’mon ABC Radio, lift your game! Last night was a significant event in Australia’s rich sporting history. And you dropped the ball in the way you reported it.

Read Full Post »