Chin up, Tando
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has urged Tando Velaphi to 'keep his chin up' after a terrible mistake by the young goalkeeper handed Central Coast a 2-1 victory in Canberra on Friday night.
Perth Glory coach Dave Mitchell has urged Tando Velaphi to 'keep his chin up' after an error by the young goalkeeper handed Central Coast a 2-1 victory in Canberra on Friday night.
Speaking after the game, Mitchell said the entire Glory team had rushed to support Velaphi after he came off his line and misjudged an initially harmless long ball forward in the 89th minute.
On the dewy surface Velaphi slipped to the ground as he attempted to back track, allowing Mariners substitute Dylan Macallister to chase down the ball and square it for Matt Simon to tap into an unguarded net.
Mitchell said Velaphi's mistake was no different to a midfielder giving the ball away or a striker missing a golden opportunity and he believed Velaphi would bounce back better than ever.
"He's come in and apologised to all the players but Tando's made some great saves during the season and at the end of last season and he's a great goalkeeper," Mitchell told Fox Sports.
"He'll learn from it, as we all will (but) to lose the game the way we did, was very disappointing for everyone."
"There's nothing you can say in that instance, just tell him to keep his chin up."
The error was out of character for Velaphi, though, as the 22-year-old 2008 Olympic team member has been in exceptional form for the club and has been widely touted as having a future with the Qantas Socceroos in years to come.
Despite the mistake, Mitchell said all his players had put in a good shift during the second half after conceding a 42nd-minute goal to Alex Wilkinson just before half-time which was the Mariners captain's first score in 89 matches.
Although Central Coast attempted to press home the advantage, the Glory restricted them to mostly harmless attacks after half-time before levelling the match in the 82nd minute through Mile Sterjovski's first Glory goal.
It wasn't the prettiest of goals, though, as Sterjovski was forced to net the rebound after an initial spot kick was saved by Danny Vukovic, following Brad Porter's handball in the area.
Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said Velaphi's error, while sad for the goalkeeper, had been just the stroke of fortune his side deserved for its efforts on Friday night and after being denied a Round 3 win over Sydney when Adam Kwasnik saw a late penalty saved by Clint Bolton.
"We've deserved a wee bit of luck over the last few weeks and we certainly got that at the end," McKinna said.
"They've got the penalty and had some momentum, but we were due a bit of luck and Matty Simon and Nick Mrdja did very well during the game and Dylan (Macallister) came on and worked hard, believing in something could happen (and it) paid off."
"Credit to Matty Simon for following up with a tap in. I think the way we worked, and coming off a bad performance last week against Brisbane, I think the boys deserved it," he said.
McKinna was particularly impressed with former Sheffield United man Nicky Travis through the midfield in his first start for Central Coast, along with youngster Michael McGlinchey.
However, the Mariners boss was left ruing McGlinchey's form as he's been selected to play for New Zealand next weekend and will miss Central Coast's trip to Adelaide on Friday night.