Friday, April 27, 2007

AFC Champions League Matchweek 2

Urawa coming to town for the ACL group match was what I would rank as the biggest football match in any of Australia’s clubs history, both past and. Realistically I wasn’t expecting too much from the Urawa match. They traveled here with a big reputation and as I soon found out a huge support base. I had a bit of a laugh trying to trade a supporters scarf with some of their traveling supporters but somehow I don’t think they understood what I was trying to ask them. A point in Sydney would give us a massive boost in terms of progressing through to the knockout stages of the tournament but I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much.

The match rolled along and the battle in the stands was just as intense as the battle on the pitch. Uruwa brought what seemed like an army of fans. Their unison in hand motions and wall of noise that they sent across the stadium was at times amazing. It was great being apart of it and the Cove gave back as good as it took. I would say that we are a different type of supporter group, focusing more on having a good time and a variety of songs and chants to support the lads rather than a hardcore, almost ‘perfect’ group that they seemed to be. We will take elements of their support on board though and all up it was a great experience having them in Sydney.

The action on the pitch was just as crazy as the action in the stands. The Dave Carney of old was back and causing havoc when he ran at players. I know that the other A-League clubs have him sussed but Urawa obviously hadn’t done their homework on his “one footedness” and paid the price with him scoring a sublime goal from a pinpoint Milligan throughball (who said he was being wasted in midfield J) and then drawing a penalty to go up 2-0 early in the first half! It was stupid to think that the game was over but we couldn’t help see stars in our eyes and be already thinking about cruising into the knockout stage. Good things never last long when Sydney FC is concerned and this case was no different. Bolton made two uncharacteristic errors to see two goals go in and the game end a 2-2 draw. Poor positioning saw the ball beat him at the near post for the 1st and a fumble 2 yards from the goal line gifted them the 2nd. But that’s football….

Short and sweet. Hopefully I can keep better up to date in the future!