Big day of soccer today when I attended an 11.15am Minor Premier game and then a 3.00pm A League match. The Annerley Stars (my old team who moved to Annerley from Mt Gravatt) had come second this season and were playing 1st placed Virginia for a guaranteed spot in the Grand Finals. The last game the two had played had been a two all draw so we knew the game would be close.
The first half was uneventful with Annerley holding most of the ball and causing Virgina trouble. Virginia was limited to a couple of chances on goal which were mostly on the counter attack. In the second half the game immediately hotted up with a lame goal by Virginia which sort of slowly rolled in to the net. Immediately annoyed by this the Annerley Stars set about making them pay with numerous near misses. Lorena the skilled technician from Ecuador did this amazing side swiping volley which just went over the top bar. Finally Annette made a break from the pack with her long legs and did a luscious kick over the group in front of goal to Lorena on the other side who slammed it in. Beautiful to watch and pissed all over Virginia’s goal. The momentum failed by all after that and the game went to golden goal because it was drawn at full time. Danielle (dbee) did an incredible kick from halfway that went over the head of the keeper and just nicked the side post and went the wrong way out. If it had gone in Danielle would have done a David Beckham goal and won it for the team. Not bad for someone who was planning to quit a few weeks ago. The game ended up going in to penalty kicks where Doonah made an incredible save to win it for the team. Annerley fully deserved it – especially after the hand ball by Virginia in the box which should have been a penalty if the ref wasn’t completely blind!!
As soon as the game was over I rushed home to swap the Alfa for Puppa the Vespa and Pauline and I headed off to Suncorp Stadium to watch Queensland Roar in their first ever game in the A League. A lot of money has been poured in to establishing this League and as a soccer fan I’m really hoping it takes off. The team has a player wage cap of a million dollars total except for one star player whose wage is up to the club. They have managed to lure Dwight Yorke from Manchester United to Australia so they must have shown him the money! It looks like they are applying the USA method of Soccer to this league. In the 80s/90s they had players like Pele playing in America which took the game off big time there.
I think 20,000 people attending the match today at Suncorp Stadium was a great turn up. Right from the start the match was entertaining and fast with lots of skill. I didn’t realise how big the leap was from Brisbane Strikers to this game but there is a huge difference. I was trying hard to concentrate on the match but at the same time I was absorbing my first view of the stadium and it is damn nice. The grass is sweet as well – I’d love to run on it. The food and beer was yummy too even if it was a bit expensive at $5 a beer.
The first half of the game had lots of attempts on goal by Queensland but most of them weren’t on target. It was rather frustrating as New Zealand seemed to have everyone defending and kept getting in the way everytime an attempt was made. In the second half the game got way more exciting but of course it was now down the other goal end from where we were sitting. Queensland sent on Michael Baird the striker and immediately the game changed. He was managing to attract two defenders whenever he got the ball which gave lots of room to the other players. This was actually caused the first goal as they went in to tackly Michael, the ball fell to Alex Brosque who sent it to the back of the neck. A few minutes later Michael got his own goal after he put pressure on the keepers and defenders and placed it to the back of the net without hesitation. Thankgod for Queensland that they scored those goals in the last 10 minutes or everyone would have been disappointed. Hopefully winning 2-0 will bring more people to the match. It was great!
Not so great was returning to our Scooters and discovering a little piece of paper tucked in to the seat. The Brisbane City Council had kindly left a parking bill of $50 to be paid in to their coffers. This shit me as the signs all say 2 hour parking – residents excepted. Apparently this changes to 15 minutes parking during game times but I didn’t see any signs on the ride over (unlike the gabba where there are signs everywhere). All the cops blocking off all the streets probably distracted us. If only we’d parked on someone’s garden or something – we wouldn’t have had a problem then. Serves me right for being overconfident about the scooter’s ability to park everywhere – I should have taken the free bus from Buranda like Danielle, Doonah and Mel. Bloody council and their DRS officers.