Last week the Nix finally got back to winning ways with an unexpected but well deserved 2-1 victory in Brisbane over the Roar.
Back on track
I’ll be the first to admit I was not expecting much out of the Nix side to take on the Roar last Saturday. They arrived in Brisbane fresh off at 5-1 thumping at home from Melbourne City and coach Des Buckingham standing down 3 players after being out till 4am following mentioned loss.
However the team responded well dictating the match from the opening whistle, with Shane Smeltz opening the scoring in the 32nd minute. The well placed header moved Smeltz to second on the all time leading A-League scorers list with 91 goals to his name. Roy Krishna picked up the team’s second goal of the night early in the second half after getting on the end of a low Barbarouses cross.
The Roar would grab a late one back with 15 minutes remaining but it was encouraging to see the Nix hold firm and come away with the three points.
This weekend the team heads to Auckland’s QBE Stadium in the North Shore to play the 3rd placed Perth Glory. Unfortunately for the Nix it happens to fall on the same Saturday as the Black Caps series deciding 5th ODI against South Africa at Eden Park, which is going to have an effect on the crowd numbers.
At the moment the Nix sit 8th, tied on 22 points with Newcastle who are 7th courtesy of a slighter better goal difference. Then it’s the Wanderers in 6th on 24 points followed by a sizeable six point gap up to the 5th spot. The Nix play both these teams in the 2 weeks following the Perth game. A win here would probably nudge the Nix inside the top six heading into these crucial match ups which will decide whether they play finals football or not.
International Window (Again)
Yet again the Nix look like they will be severely depleted for a crucial game. The round 24 game against Newcastle happens to fall in an international window in which the All Whites will be playing Fiji.
It means that the team could be without up to 12 players which would force the coaching staff to assemble a makeshift team including academy players and reserves. The Nix have requested the match be moved to a more suitable date but going on previous experiences we know this is extremely unlikely to happen.
The fact that a major sporting league would allow a fixture to occur in these circumstances with so much riding on it is nothing short of ridiculous. Hopefully by the time the Nix enter round 24 they will have had another 2 wins under their belt and be sitting comfortably inside the six.Google+