Melbourne slips another one past sleeping Sydney
Sydney FC fans have woken up this morning feeling like they’ve had their wallets stolen – but they’ve got no one to blame but themselves.
Melbourne Victory’s major semi-final extra-time winner yesterday afternoon was typical; clever Kevin Muscat exploiting the situation, too-quick Archie Thompson putting the ball in the back of the net.
But what were Sydney doing? Ball-watching? Waiting for the ref? Checking their haircuts? In an open and entertaining game, Melbourne always seemed most likely to grab the all-important away goals that would earn them a home grand final.
Was Terry McFlynn’s handball legitimate? Doesn’t matter now – Melbourne Victory have another grand final, and a real chance at taking their second-consecutive, and third A-League title.
And it would be well deserved. Melbourne have consistently been the most entertaining and most successful team in the competition. And their fans vastly outstrip any of their rivals.
During the regular season, Melbourne Victory’s crowds totalled 295,473 – almost double Sydney’s crowds and more than three times that of Gold Coast United.
Yesterday at SFS, for a major semi-final against their biggest rivals in a knock-out game with good weather Sydney FC could still only pull in 23,000. That’s pretty high but nowhere near the predicted 30k (and nowhere near Wellington’s 35k sell-out at Westpac). What does Sydney FC have to do to entice fans out?
Word is the pumped-up ticket prices didn’t help the situation, putting off some regular punters – but for the biggest game of the season, it’s still a disappointment.
Sydney fans might feel they were robbed, but they have to admit the A-League grand final should be in Melbourne – at least they’re guaranteed a full house.
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