A Blot on a Great Night For Wanderers

August 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

Western Sydney Wanderers have come an incredibly long way in a very short space of time, as their victory over defending Asian Champions Guangzhou Evergrande proved tonight; although there is still the second leg away in China to be played.

Credit must go to the players and the coaching staff. They were a little fortunate to go in at 0-0 at half time, but with Ante Covic in ominous form between the posts it was always going to take something special from Guangzhou to beat him.

In the second half it was a far more positive Wanderers who came out and bossed the Champions. The goal they scored to take the lead was a little fortuitous, but it was thoroughly deserved. Tomi Juric proved he is a star of the future, and the performance of 16-year old Daniel Alessi was so composed and assertive it belied his years and experience. In fact when he came on for the injured Daniel Mullen, the defence looked stronger.

The only sour note on what was an historic night for a club that is just two years old, was the display of the much talked about Brazilian, Vitor Saba. From the minute he came on he was wagging his finger at the referee, as well as diving and trying to con decisions out of the referee. When Zhang Linpeng, was issued what appeared a harsh red card when Iacopo La Rocca has pushed his arm into the Chinese player’s face, who was first on the scene applauding the decision, Saba. Then his play acting resulted in the sending off of Gao Lin and led to the Guangzhou bench storming onto the pitch. Behaviour that can never be condoned.

If the A-League has more of these antics from Saba to look forward to, then it is a very sad day for football in Australia. Hopefully Tony Popovic and the powers that be at the club will have a word with him and tell him that such behaviour is not wanted. This is certainly not Jogo Bonito, and not what fans want to see. Rest assured he will be a marked man come the replay, and in every A-League game if he continues in this vein.

As a player Popovic was always honest, hard and fair, so far we have seen those traits reflected in his team. Hopefully he will not sacrifice those values to accommodate one player.

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