My Greatest Goal Mate Dugandzic
THE LEAD U P
It was Round 1 of the 2010/11 season and it was a grand final rematch. We had lost the big dance to Sydney FC. Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse were out injured and Ney Fabiano and Danny Allsopp had left the club. We had no one else to play up top, so I was a makeshift striker for the game and just remember having to come up against the likes of Hayden Foxe and Stephan Keller. They were a really experienced team and everyone was buzzing because it was the first game. I had only played a handful of senior games at that point and it was good for my confidence, as bad as it was for Archie and Krusey to be out.
We were under the pump and found ourselves 2-0 down. They could’ve been up by a lot more before we started to mount a little comeback. I remember Kevin Muscat was caught out for the first goal and the second goal was a long ball and Terry McFlynn and it looped over Michael Petkovic to make it 2-0. We were struggling and coach Ernie Merrick made a change. Tommy Pondeljak went out wide and Leigh Broxham scored his first A-League goal.
After Broxy scored the goal, it took about two minutes, Tomi whipped in a ball and it went just behind me. It magically fell to me, I just took a touch and I thought ‘I’m going to get under a bit of pressure here, I’m just going to turn and shoot straight away.’ I’ve taken a touch to try to get one-on-one and it worked out really well because I was in between a couple of defenders and I just slotted it through. I didn’t have much of a celebration, we just tried to get it back to the centre-circle looking for the winner. It was more because we had a bit of momentum after that, we were buzzing, but we wanted to keep it going.
We were burning after the penalty loss last year and to go there without Archie and Krusey. We came back from 2-0 down to go up 3-2 as Billy Celeski got the third goal, in his first game back from a while. It was a bit of sour ending as we ended up drawing 3-3. We then came back to play our first ever home game at AAMI Park the week after. I started, we struggled, Perth Glory downed us 2-0 and it wasn’t my best game from memory.
It would have to be my first goal against Adelaide United in the 2009/10 season. I made my starting debut and we won 3-1 and I got a brace and I was up against Scott Jamieson who was having a top year. I just remember Sutee Suksomkit took on some players and the ball fell to me and my shot took a slight deflection and went into the bottom corner. That would have to be a close second.