The look on the crestfallen Rugter Worm’s face said it all really.
The look on the crestfallen Rugter Worm-s face said it all really.
A tough encounter on Saturday ended in bitter disappointment at Central Coast-s Bluetoungue stadium as the Heart-s stubborn resistance was undone by some controversial officiating and the aerial dominance of Patrick Zwaanswijk and boy did it hurt.
It would be silly to argue that Melbourne Heart were at their scintilaiting best, but they certainly did not deserve to be on the wrong end of a two goal loss. The statistics seem to show a very tight game of football, contested between to very well matched teams and a more quantitative analysis of the game itself would suggest the very same. Robbie Slater perhaps put it best when he said that the two teams were, “cancelling each other out”.
Football is a very harsh game though sometimes, and in matches that are so evenly contested, the finer details are always the most important. Unfortunately for Melbourne, anything and everything that could go against John van-t Schip-s battlers against Central Coast inevitably did. From the award of a corner where there was no touch from a defender, to the awarding of a penalty for Germano-s chest control in the dying stages, this was not Heart-s day.
It is hard to try and comment on this game without bringing up the officials. As John van-t Schip and Rugter Worm correctly stated in their post match press conference, these factors lie outside the realm of control of the players and the manager and when these things go against you, it is important to react positively. At the same time though, the players and the managers, not to mention us fans who spend our hard earned money to be a part of these clubs, should be able to be confident in the ability of these paid officials to apply the laws of the game as accurately as possible. To Melbourne Heart-s severe detriment, officials collectively failed in that respect on Saturday.
Already missing Mate Dugandzic, Aziz Behich, Simon Colosimo, Alex Terra and Jason Hoffman, Heart were already playing with their backs to the wall, and for the majority of the game, the players put on a good display in the circumstances.
The injustice of the first goal right at the end of the first half seemed to spur Heart into a much more positive performance in the second half, and Eli Babalj-s equalizer was no less than the youngster deserved after the contribution he has made in Heart-s impressive five win undefeated streak.
With Heart in the ascendency at the concession of the crucial second goal, we looked a spent and demoralized force, and though that was disappointing to see it was also somewhat understandable. We-d worked so hard to get ourselves back into the game and to fall behind so quickly and injustly after getting the equalizer proved one setback too many for van-t Schip-s men to bounce back from.
With so many key players returning to the squad from the Olyroos for the trip to Morwell this weekend, we can only hope that our lads turn it around for us.
Follow Matthew on Twitter @mg91