Live Match Report: EC Rnd 6 - Parramatta Stadium, Friday 7th November,
1997 at 8pm.
Sydney United Pumas 2 (and ref) V. Newcastle Topper Breakers 0 (2-0)
Well what can you say? An extremely dubious penalty, a soft own goal, no pressure on our keeper, shots and in the crosses in the air to/at Kalac!
Referee: I don't know yet, but boy the 50 Breakers supporters just had their jaws dropped to their feet and mouth gaping at the penalty he gave! On the Ball is a must to see what it was for. JUst what the bloody hell was it for? That said he did card a lot of Red shirts! 0/10 until I know about the penalty!
Crowd: Crowd? You call that a crowd. 50 of us and about 2000 of them! Pathetic! Game rating: 6/10 mainly for the 2nd half. Scorers: Bilokapic (pen), Tachevski claimed an own goal by I think Ritchie.
The story was that the Breakers came out tentatively without the suspended playmaker Troy Halpin and pumped a few too many long balls but were settling against the Pumas who were struggling without Mitchell. We were getting on top, certainly in time occupying their half when a long speculative ball to a mass of players in the box was cleanly and clearly taken by Brad Swancott, who played in lieu of Liam Baker who looked a bit ill composed last week. Suddenly the ref blew the whistle, pointed at Swancott, and the spot, then ran to the line. Our defence just stood their dumfounded. Bilokapic sent Swanny the wrong way 1-0.
I received a call on the mobile from Newcastle, 'how's it going?' - Started to explain the penalty when - Oh shit an own goal. A strong long range shot was deflected by Swancott - but alas then deflected into the net by a Breakers player running in! 2-0.
For the rest of the half we struggled to regain dominance and ideas were lacking, and the final pass woefull. The second half saw Clayton Zane replaced by Liam McGuire (due to injury?). As the half wore on the Breakers got on top and then camped in the Pumas half, with just a few forays into our half by SU. There is however a real flaw in crossing and shooting at Kalac in the air. We never quite cottoned on.
OK, so they won, but they really are a shadow of the team of last year, with little vision and creativity, plus poor temperament. On our side we played better football in the second half, and learned how to play without Halpin, but like previous weeks when Halpo has provided oodles of quality dead ball movements which were left totally unconverted , this time the attack found no clear way around Kalac who had more work than Swancott but retained a blank sheet. Anyone got a spare $100,000 for a striker who can score?
I think SU will struggle on the last two weeks performance and will slide back down the ladder. As for the Breakers? Unless we get back to the superb play of last season, and start converting one chance in 4 or 5, that 6th spot is very far over the horizon. A bright note was the performance of 'new' boys - Lane, Lowe, and Swancott. Lane particulary tried to make some creative openings rather than the obvious.
Best: Breakers - Lane, Lowe, Swancott SU - Kalac.
PS. The Croatzia chant made an appearance. At the 2nd half kick off we managed a few round of clap clap clap etc. Breakers! That seemed to wake up the BBB who starting chanting down in Bay 69. We were about Bay 39 so couldn't see what the 10 police ran to at some stage - a flare? a fight? Oh, and the boys in yellow were really heavy on, wait for it - standing up! This at the back row of the Cronin stand with no one behind, 22,000 empty seats, and not a FIFA match in sight! Really!!! You would have been pissed off Mark!