There’s no other way to put. The Nix were absolutely pumped on Monday by Melbourne Victory.
Two penalties within minutes of each other gave the Victory a 2-0 halftime lead. A third penalty, this time to the Nix, provided a little bit of hope before the Victory took the game away with a further four goals. Berisha, who scored both Victory penalties, grabbed himself a hat-trick while former Nix player Marco Rojas scored two goals of his own.
While Melbourne has always been a tough place for the Nix to go and get a result, 6-1 is just ridiculous. It is the second worst Phoenix defeat in their ten year history behind the 7-1 embarrassment at the hands of Sydney FC three years ago.
One of the only positives to come out of the Victory loss was the lone Nix goal. After being taken down in the box Roy Krishna converted the awarded penalty to score our first goal of the season.
While it’s great to finally get a goal 3 and a half matches into the season, it’s a shame that we’ve had to rely on a penalty to get it. Obviously they all count the same but our attacking players need to start putting away some of the numerous chances they are creating every game.
Must Win vs Newcastle
Sitting dead last on the ladder and with zero competition points to their name, the round five clash against Newcastle really is a must win match for the Nix. Pressure is starting to pile up on the team and coach with some calling for Ernie Merrick to step aside.
While I believe getting rid of Merrick would be an extreme step to take, if the Nix don’t pick up at least one win from their next two matches (Jets & Mariners) serious questions will start to be asked around his ability to get the desired results.
The Nix have a solid record against the Jets with 15 wins, 4 draws & 9 losses from their 28 encounters, although Newcastle won all three match ups between the sides last season. The Jets have started the season reasonably well with 4 points from their opening four games to be sitting sixth on the ladder. A win for the Nix could jump them as high as 8th depending on other results.
Adam Parkhouse has been ruled out for a month meaning Merrick will once again have to fill the gaps in the already inexperienced backline.
250 For Durante
This Saturday’s match against Newcastle will be Andrew Durante’s 250th A-League match. It’s fitting that it’s coming against the Jets, the club he started his A-League career with, winning the grand final with them in 2008.
Durante joined the Nix the very next season going on to become our most capped player as well as making numerous appearances for the All Whites after becoming a New Zealand citizen back in 2013. It would be awesome to see a decent crowd turn up this week to show its appreciation to a man who always gives everything every time he puts on the yellow and black.
Vince Lia will also achieve a personal milestone against the Jets as he makes his 200th A-League appearance.Google+