Asian Champions League | Matildas | Socceroos | Graham Arnold | Adelaide United
If you see two middle-aged men dancing down Oxford Street, they're not leftovers from the Mardi Gras, but celebrating Adelaide United's sale08 March 2018 | FT Editor
Asian Champions League
Sydney FC suffered their second home defeat of the Asian Champions League, losing 0-2 to Kashima Antlers, placing them in doubt of progressing beyond the group stage. The loss leaves them languishing in last place in their group on one point after three games, six points behind the last night's opponents who are group leaders. The two teams meet again next Tuesday night in Japan.
- Ray Gatt reports that they appear to be struggling with combining the commitments of both the A-League and the ACL, with many players running on “tired legs” last night. To make matters worse for Sydney FC, Michael Zullo had a recurrence of a hamstring injury and Brandon O'Neill is suspended for next week's game.
- Dom Bossi says it was two moments of “elementary defending” which were the problem for Sydney FC who were otherwise “well-drilled”.
- Earlier yesterday it was reported that Milos Ninkovic was in doubt after a minor muscle problem following the weekend match. He did not play last night.
- Tom Smithies says “a handful of storm clouds are gathering over Moore Park” (actually, that's fairly normal Sydney weather) as the ACL exposes more frailties in Sydney FC than A-League clubs have managed to do in the past two years. Arnold was hoping for a reaction to the weekend's loss but Smithies said it was lacking, especially in the opening stages of the game.
Melbourne Victory enjoyed another away draw, this time against Kawsaki Frontale 2-2. Besart Berisha equalised in the 36th minute after a goal from Elson, with Melbourne Victory behind from the 55th minute after a goal from defender Kyohei Noborizato. Leroy George rescued the situation for Victory with a 90th minute equaliser. The result puts Melbourne Victory in third position on two points, five points behind the group leaders, Shanghai SIPG. The two teams meet again on Tuesday night at AAMI Park.
The Matildas finished the Algarve Cup in fourth place after losing to home side, Portugal, 2-1 in the 3/4 play-off match. Caitlin Cooper scored for the Matildas. The winners of the Algarve Cup between Netherlands and Sweden are not yet known as the match was cancelled due to the weather conditions.
- It seems we may be tracking the minutes every Socceroo plays for their club from now until the World Cup. Fair enough in light of what's at stake. Tim Cahill was brought on in the 72nd minute in Millwall's 2-1 win, and also picked up a yellow card within minutes of being on. However, the 20 minutes playing time is the longest he's had since leaving Melbourne City. Massimo Luongo scored for QPR.
- If ever anyone was in any doubt about where Mark Schwarzer stood on the yet-to-be-fully-told tale of Ange Postecoglou's 'departure' [hello PW], then this makes it clear. Schwarzer told Bossi that the Socceroos can get past the group stage if they're tactically flexible and abandon the “headstrong, puritanical football philosophy the group deployed during the qualification phase.”
- Proving that dreams can come true, 12 months ago Alex Susjnar had not even received an email from FFA and didn't think he was on the national team radar. But now he's hoping the friendlies later this month are a springboard to the World Cup for him.
Meanwhile, FFA's media partner 'The Daily Telegraph' reports that Graham Arnold will be 'unveiled' as the Socceroos coach today. He will take over from Bert van Marwijk in August. If this is announced today, it's odd timing - International Women's Day - just as it was odd timing to announce the Socceroos squad on the morning of two ACL fixtures for A-League clubs. The former could have been done the day before; the latter could fill-up any news day.
The ownership of Adelaide United has changed to a consortium comprising a Dutch man called Piet van der Pol and former part-owner, Bruno Marveggio, for a sum believed to be in the vicinity of $12 million. Van der Pol is also President and CEO of Chinese fourth division side Qindao Red Lions.
Steven Lowy and David Gallop must be dancing in the streets. Why? What this means is that another former part-owner, Greg Griffin - who has led the charge against FFA on governance issues as Chairman of APFCA - is out. It leaves a vacuum as the public face of the A-League clubs, and may also leave some doubt about whether the new Adelaide United Board is in-synch with the rest of the A-League clubs.
asian champions league, matildas, socceroos, adelaide united, graham arnold, apfca