” There is only one team in Melbourne!”
The socceroo fans shouted out joyfully while we were rushing out from Etihad Stadium after one team had gained the victory over Melbourne Derby.
‘Derby’ means a sports competition between teams from the same town.
Like other cities in the world of soccer (e.g. Manchester , Madrid or Merseyside Derby), the most peaceful city of the world also has its own Derby!
Melbourne Derby refers to the match between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City in A-League Hyundai.
The latest one happened on Saturday evening, the 17th of October. I had a chance to join the glory of Melbourne Derby with couple of my friends from TCFS and our Trinity Socceroo coach. It was nice having him there because he did some research beforehand (we didn’t) so he could tell us many interesting facts about the game and the players.
On that day, everyone was wearing something to show their loyalty to their beloved team. It could be a jersey, scarf, or a beanie.
After we got off the train, we could see that everyone was heading to the same destination with us, although some might not be sitting with us.
We arrived at Etihad Stadium around 45 minutes before the game started.
So we had a chance to walk around to see what was going on around the area. Obviously, the host organised some entertainments for the fans while waiting for the match to start. Here is one, the mix of soccer and WWE.
We were really excited before the game. We couldn’t be sure who was going to win, although the bet website seemed to be on Victory side giving that they had won 3 out of 4 from the previous derbies.
Before the game started, both team had only gained one points from their first game of the season, although City were at 5th and Victory came 7th on the table.
We got a pretty good view from our seats. It’s the same view that FIFA players would be familiar with.
Before the game, the fans stood up singing team’s song to welcome the player.
The game started at 19:38 AEST.
1 GK Danny Vukovic
5 DF Daniel Georgievski
17 DF Matthieu Delpierre
18 DF Dylan Murnane
24 DF Thomas Deng
7 MF Guilherme Finkler
13 MF Oliver Botanic
21 MF Carl Valeri
8 FW Besart Berisha
9 FW Kosta Barbarouses
14 FW Fahid Ben Khalfallah
11 Connor Pain
16 Rashid Mahazi
22 Jess Makarounas
1 GK Thomas Sørensen
4 DF Connor Chapman
18 DF Paulo Retre
22 DF Jack Clisby
24 DF Patrick Kisnorbo
6 MF Erik Paartalu
8 MF Aaron Mooy
10 MF Robert Koren
11 FW Michael Zullo
17 FW Wade Dekker
23 FW Bruno Fornaroli
21 Stefan Mauk
28 Steve Kuzmanovski
30 Hernan Espindola
After the referee blew the whistle for 2 minutes, the first chance to excite the fans was created by Victory when Bersiha got through the middle and had a chance to one-on-one with the keeper but the ball was put back into the game by Sørensen, the ex-keeper of Stoke City.
In the first ten minutes, City tried to press high giving the pressure to the young new man like Deng who’s just 18 years old. While, Victory was playing wide letting the wings make some pressure.
The game went on pretty excitingly. Victory tried to keep the possession while Victory tried to make the best from counter-attack. As you can see the Victory’s keeper below chilling with the seagulls.
Until minutes 23, Victory fans had a chance to celebrate first when Georgievski brought the ball up into the right side, passed it to Bersiha in the box who, then, one-touch passed to Fahid Ben Khalfallah who, then, struck the ball with his left foot. The ball hit the defender reflecting the direction and went into the net. 1-0 for Victory!
Victory were having their games until the end of the first half. The possession was shown 50-50 for both side.
The referee blew the whistle to start the second half.
Victory still had promising chances for a second goal but the shots either went across the bar or were denied by the keeper.
City were also looking scary on the left side.
And eventually, at minutes 68, the goal scorer, Kalfallah pushed the ball up from the left side. He crossed it to the right where Barbarouse was waiting. He won the header sending the ball in the the bottom corner of the net! Victory 2 City 0!
At this point, everyone thought the Victory was going to win again as always.
City must prove them wrong. They made a substitution after the concede of the second goal.
That seemed to work well.
11 minutes after that, City got the ball from the left side, brought it into the middle. Bruno Fornaroli showed a great turn passing the last defender and slightly touched a ball passing the keeper into the net. Victory 2 City 1
The equaliser goal seemed to really give City hope. 3 minutes after that, Aaron Mooy got the ball from his side. He crossed it to Stefan Mauk who were waiting at the front. The ball dropped precisely on his foot giving him enough time to touch it with another step and finished it! 2 Goals for City within 3 minutes ! What a come back! Victory 2 City 2 and there were still 20 minutes to go!
The pressure was on Victory at this point who thought they were going win this Derby easily.
City fans were also happy laughing at Victory’s fans.
The game became more intense. Yellow card was given to both Victory and City players.
Victory hadn’t given up their hope trying to score a winning goal.
Minute 82, Besart Berisha won the header in front of the goal. The ball was going to get into the net under the cross bar but Sorensen showed a great save again keeping their team in the game.
Until the last minutes of the game, Victory’s substitute Conner Pain used his speed to pass the defenders on the left side before pushing a dangerous ball into the front of the goal area. This time, Sorensen could only made a poor clearance that the ball went to Berisha who could easily chuck the ball into the net! Victory 3 City 2 ! What a game!
After scoring the last minute goal, Bersiha run to celebrate with the City fans on the other side. (That’s cheeky)
The game still went on for additional time while Victory fans sending signal asking referee for the last whistle.
The host venue announced 40,217 attendance.
Eventually, the last whistle was blown.
Victory fans stood up quickly together singing their team’s song to celebrate.
Full Time at Etihad Stadium: Melbourne Victory 3 – 2 Melbourne City