The 32-year-old Japanese star scored on debut – a commanding header coming off the again of a wise run into the field – and he was concerned in a neat little bit of construct up play.
Above and past that objective Honda was as much as his ears in each little bit of Victory’s significant attacking play. He ran at Metropolis’s defence and performed Kosta Barbarouses via on objective within the second half and shortly after knocked a superbly weighted move to James Troisi, which allowed the previous Socceroos attacker to hit the publish with a curling shot.
Honda’s set items have been harmful, his link-up with Storm Roux on the fitting made the New Zealander a greater participant and importantly his defensive workrate was excellent. That is one thing Cahill, and specifically Del Piero lacked – the latter was a defensive legal responsibility at Sydney.
Sure, Honda misplaced Riley McGree throughout his run to attain the winner, however that was attributable to a focus lapse reasonably than a bodily flaw. Coach Kevin Muscat additionally famous post-match that Victory’s collective defensive unit broke down in transition for that objective.
As an alternative of their normal Four-Three-Three, Victory performed a brand new Four-1-Three-2 system on Saturday. It seems the change has been made to cater for Honda, who is not suited to taking part in as a winger. Barbarouses performed as a striker alongside Kenny Athiu. Victory have historically performed with a solitary striker in current seasons (Besart Berisha) and wingers like Barbarouses and Leroy George.
Honda and Terry Antonis performed not as wingers however as proper and left attacking midfielders that pushed again laborious to defend alongside Spaniard Raul Baena who screened the again 4. It is a robust position however Honda was as much as it. Baena additionally impressed along with his passing and talent to end up of bother.
Wing backs Corey Brown and Roux offered width, as did Barbarouses and at occasions James Troisi, who began as a sophisticated central midfielder.
Muscat famous after the sport that Honda’s most well-liked place is as a right-sided superior midfielder, and never centrally as a Japanese journalist prompt to him. That place hasn’t featured in Victory line-ups underneath Muscat till Saturday night time, so it appears the system has been modified to go well with the previous AC Milan and CSKA Moscow participant.
Victory misplaced attributable to a referee error however performed effectively, as did Metropolis, and a draw would have been the fitting outcome. Either side will enhance and get gamers again this week and on paper ought to problem for the title.
Anthony is a sport and basic information reporter.