Monday, August 27, 2007

Phoenix rising (and the Trotters, too)

The Wellington Phoenix football (soccer to the uninitiated) team played their first game of the A-League yesterday at the Cake Tin against the premiers Melbourne Victory, and what a day it was. I went along with Mike and Karen, they have season tickets, so I was just over a bit with the rowdy supporters known as the 'Yellow Fever' (the club strip was supposed to be predominantly yellow, but as it turns out, it's mainly black!). A good crowd of 14,000 was in full voice, with a number of chants and songs at the ready, including the ever-popular "the referee's a wanker". Whenever a Victory player would hit the turf under a tackle, the chant of "same old Aussies, always cheating" would break out. I hid the fact I am an Aussie, but decided against joining in on that one. Mike joined me in the second half, and we got amongst it with the masses, while Karen stayed with Mike's family in the more subdued section.
The first half was not so good for the home side, going behind 2-0 after a handball resulting in a penalty from Muscatt and a strike from Allsop. Phoenix missed a penaly too, which would come back to haunt them and everyone in the stadium. The second half came to life though when Brazillian Felipe came on, adding much needed flair in attack, and the crowd went mental when the Phoenix drew level. They had two chances to win it in the dying minutes, hitting the post and just firing wide. A great atmosphere and a great game. The next home game is against Newcastle Jets, my 'other' home team, so I'll be a bit sheepish if they should win, but either way, I'll be happy!

In the big boys league, the English Premiership, my Bolton boys finally got a win after three successive defeats to start the season. 3-0 against Reading put a smile on my face and got us off the bottom of the table. A good weekend of football, topped off with some good rides and good beer with good people. Niiice.

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