March 22, 2015 13:15:16 UK
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat criticized his team for playing “sexy football” at the wrong time in their 2-2 draw against premiership rivals Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.
Victory, who are 4.00 to win the Grand Final, took the lead against the run of play in the ninth minute through Tunisian international Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
But just before the break Muscat’s side saw their advantage cancelled out when Pablo Sanchez headed home, leaving the coach frustrated with his defence.
“The first goal we conceded was a very soft goal. We have conceded off a throw in,” said Muscat, who extended his undefeated run against the Reds to six matches.
“We walk about wanting to play possession-based sexy football. A goal like that should not occur at this level.”
Victory would have taken over top spot, at least overnight, if they had won the match but in the end they were indebted to a quality equaliser from veteran striker Archie Thompson to earn a point.
Muscat felt his side improved significantly in the second half and scored two outstanding goals, Thompson’s coming when he showed pace to run on to Gui Finkler’s through-ball and get round keeper Eugene Galekovic before firing in from a tight angle.
“When he gets into those situations he recognises where the line is, the back four,” said the coach. “It was a stand-out goal, Archie’s first touch was good and his second to go round Eugene was outstanding.”
The most frustrating aspect of the match from Muscat’s point of view was seeing Ben Khalfallah continuously fouled and having his impact on the game reduced.
One time he was able to show his quality was when he netted the opening goal with a powerful shot from the edge of the area.
Victory are 1.44 to win their next match against Central Coast Mariners, who are 6.00, with the draw 4.33.
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