Out­played, yet Vic­tory

Toivo­nen shows home side how to fin­ish

Sunday Herald Sun - - Soccer - TOM SMITHIES SYD­NEY

THE cru­elty of foot­ball was laid bare on the soak­ing turf of ANZ Sta­dium last night, as West­ern Syd­ney tasted an­other de­feat, but one it re­ally didn’t de­serve.

Two goals for Swedish striker Ola Toivo­nen earned Mel­bourne Vic­tory a 2-1 win over the Wan­der­ers in a game the home side dom­i­nated.

Af­ter last week’s ab­ject loss at home to Mel­bourne City, cap­tain Bren­dan Hamill had de­manded a reaction and he got one, in ev­ery man­ner bar the re­sult.

Though the Wan­der­ers slip fur­ther from the top six, this dis­play sug­gested they can still earn a place in the fi­nals.

Mov­ing the ball with ur­gency and in­tent, West­ern Syd­ney set about Vic­tory as if their lives de­pended on it — an anal­ogy that in one or two cases might be true, for coach Markus Babbel has plans to re­shape this squad.

Left back Raul Llorente paid the price for a hap­less show­ing against City and in came 19-year-old right back Tate Rus­sell to make a de­but to re­mem­ber, full of in­tel­li­gent run­ning and pos­i­tiv­ity.

Still, though, the home side mis­fired in con­vert­ing the gilt­edged chances that came and went with­out the score­line chang­ing.

Alex Baumjo­hann’s el­e­gant right foot was the cre­ator in chief through­out, de­liv­er­ing crosses and set pieces that de­manded con­ver­sion.

One free kick was headed back across goal by Pa­trick Ziegler but flicked over by Bruce Ka­mau, then Ziegler was pre­sented with a free header from close range that he planted straight at Vic­tory goal­keeper Lawrence Thomas.

Per­haps most waste­ful was Oriol Riera, meet­ing Baumjo­hann’s dev­il­ish cross with a 7062 at ANZ Sta­dium Jarred Gil­lett Jan­je­tovic; Rus­sell, Ziegler, Hamill, El­rich; Bac­cus, O’Do­herty (Fitzgerald 71), Baumjo­hann; Ka­mau (Ma­jok 71), Boneva­cia, Riera. Thomas; Roux (Nie­der­meier 89), Deng, Brox­ham, Brown; Va­leri, Hope (Ak­bari 60), An­to­nis (Baena 82); Troisi, Bar­barouses; Toivo­nen. glanced header that went wide.

All of which made Vic­tory’s first goal, right on half­time, even harder to stom­ach, though it il­lu­mi­nated the sheer qual­ity in Kevin Mus­cat’s side.

The goal was all down to Toivo­nen’s move­ment — pass­ing the ball in­side to James Troisi and an­gling a run into the box to re­ceive it straight back and fin­ish clin­i­cally past Ve­dran Jan­je­tovic.

For much of the sec­ond half the Wan­der­ers probed with­out re­ward, un­til Baumjo­han­ndrew in Storm Roux for a clumsy foul, and the Ger­man con­verted the penalty.

But as Babbel’s side pressed for a win­ner, they were caught on the break with four min­utes left. Again Troisi was in­volved, surg­ing into the box and squar­ing for the Swede to tap in.

Crowd: Ref­eree: WAN­DER­ERS (4-3-3) VIC­TORY (4-3-2-1) The Wan­der­ers’ Roly Boneva­cia com­petes with Vic­tory’s Storm Roux last night, while (in­set) Vic­tory play­ers cel­e­brate. Pic­tures: AAP

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