New A-League football season starts

We’ve just returned from one of the pre-season games for the new A-League football season. It was a non-competition “friendly” between the Phoenix and Boca Juniors, one of Argentina’s top clubs sides (Wikipedia link). The final score was Phoenix 2–Boca Juniors 1. The Phoenix scored all three goals. Poor Andrew Durante, the Phoenix captain, scored one goal for each team! :no:

They did better than Melbourne Victory, the defending A-League champions, who lost 1–0 to Boca last week.

It was a closer game that I thought it would be. The Phoenix played fairly well, strung some good passes together, and were OK in defence, although they did get put under a bit of pressure by the Boca forwards a few times. Most of the second half was all the Phoenix’s, but it got pretty scrappy — lots of yellow cards handed out and few incidents of pushing and shoving between players, with Boca’s captain, Christian Cellay, sent off after his second yellow. I know the referee, Jamie Cross — he’s one of the best we’ve got in Wellington — and he had to work hard to keep things cool between the teams.

It was good to see some of the new guys in the team. Dylan Macallister scored a very nice goal from an excellent cross from Chris Greenacre, and his second-half replacement, Roberto Cornejo, looked pretty good at times, too. With Ifill, Bertos and Daniel still in the team, I think we’ve got a strong attacking side this season.

It was great to get back into the stadium to watch the favourite team, especially after New Zealand did much better than we expected at the World Cup. And to see them win another game at home; the last time they lost a home game was in November 2008.

Some worried Boca Junior supporters

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