Thursday, November 15, 2007
Nothing to Fear but the Referees - update
That's right, the side that sneaked ahead of Sydney FC to progress to the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions' League, after a 0-0 draw in Japan in which they were largely outplayed by Branko Culina's side.
Their supporters were certainly worthy of note, even if their football, on the whole, wasn't.
Well, the team from the Urawa prefecture has triumphed in the competition, winning the two-leg final against the Iranian side Sepahan (the highly-fancied Gulf sides this time failed to provide a finalist).
It seems to be a habit of Australian sides to put the winners of international competitions to a stern test.
Urawa's success should give Australian club sides plenty of hope for future instalments of the competition. If not for Ufuk Talay's missed penalty in Sydney's penultimate game against Shanghai, and David Zdrilic's egregious miss in the Urawa showdown, it would have been the men in light blue into the second round instead of Urawa.
Sadly, the fact that the A-League season clashes so awkwardly with the Asian calendar means that the best Australian sides will not necessarily take part (Melbourne Victory this season, as all have averred, is nothing like the Fred-inspired class of 2006/07). Still, the signs are good.
What do you mean he hasnt set the league alight? Fred has been fantastic in the MLS for DC united he is arguably there main catalyst in midfield.. and its nto easy to get that kind of recognition, we are talking about a bigger competition than the A-league, of a higher standard (im sorry its the truth)...
Furthermore as for the URAWA REDS, i dont want to take anything away from Sydney FC's performance, but hte fact is they do just enough to get the results. URAWA were content with holding us to a Goalless draw in Saitama... i would say if they wanted to they couldve ran over us. I mean you say if only Zdrillic had landed that header, but htat is football.. how do you know the keepr wouldnt have pulled of a great save even if he had got decent contact on it?
There have been numerous times when Urawa have been tested, i mean lets face it Sepahan technically outplayed Urawa, but the final 3rd was just terrible.
I thought Seongnam was really the team that took Urawa to the edge....
Anyway i also dont know what you mean by "Norhing to fear but the referees", im sorry but Asian referees actually call fouls unlike in the A-league, so its up to the A-league teams to play football and not be brutes and then we will be fine in the ACL..
The Asian refs go much too far in the other direction for my money. But it's something that we'll have to get used to.
About time the FFA got serious. either put in more sides or another round