We played a career-high 7 games for the month of March, with the league heating up and also the Asian Champions League. A lot of players were rested, let's see how we coped.
The first game of the month was against Wanderers FC
, and an unlikely scorer got us rolling. Centre back Aaron Calver scored in the 13th minute, and then Dimitrijevic gave us a 2-0 lead after just half an hour. The Wanderers refused to back down however, and Tomi Juric squeezed one in just after half time. Seb Ryall conceded a needless penalty in the 74th minute, and Mateo Poljak converted, making it a 2-2 draw.
We'd really been struggling against Central Coast Mariners
this season, and when Nick Fitzgerald scored for them just 9 minutes in I feared for the worst. Luckily, Ander Bergara levelled it 6 minutes later and Battman managed to get us in front after just 20 minutes. Batty then sealed the game with a 69th minute strike to give him the brace and give us a 3-1 win.
Okayama FC may have been a hard task, but Seoul
are the real heavyweights in our group and this game would give us a great indicator of how we would do. The Koreans had some decent chances in the first half an hour but we finished ours off, with a De Silva goal giving us a 1-0 lead going into half time. The home fans were silenced in the 71st minute when Battman doubled our lead, and the captain Dimitrijevic gave us a huge win, 3-0 over K-League champions Seoul.
Flanked by 2 ACL games, I rested 7 of my first teamers for the A-League clash with Perth Glory
and the reserve team did a capable job. Chris Harold scored one early for the Glory but the experience of Ryall at corners prevailed as he scored just before half time. We held on for the 1-1 draw.
was a chance to really pile on the goals, as we had already proven our worth against Seoul who had thrashed our opponents for today. Ander Bergara had a field day, scoring in the 16th and 23rd minutes to give us a 2-0 lead at half time. When the unsettled Shay Spitz gave away a penalty, Bergara stepped up and coolly converted the kick to seal his hat trick. Batty scored a 72nd minute header to rub salt in the wounds as we ran out 4-0 winners.
The marauding Melbourne Victory
were making a real play for the title, and with the fixtures stacking up we really had to be careful in this game. My superb midfield frustrated the living daylights out of the Victory as they picked up 5 yellows, and my exhausted team held on to record a 0-0 draw.
We finally got a 7 day break, however we would be lining up without Batty and Dimitrijevic. Brisbane Roar
started very well with a Jung-Hyun lob in the 2nd minute. Batty's replacement, Josh MacDonald equalised just 7 minutes later and after a tussle in the first half he got his brace on the brink of half time. After the break, he lived the dream with a toepoke to seal his hat trick and the win. Jovanovic got a late one for Brisbane but we held on to win 3-2.
We've qualified for the finals now, and with 2 games to go we should be winning the title for yet another year. The form of the Victory is a tad alarming, but all we need is 1 win and we've done it.
Absolute domination in Asia, we've essentially qualified from the group stages already and we're only halfway there. As the league begins to get more serious and finals approach, I can rest players in the ACL knowing that I'm going to go through anyway.
Player Of The Month
's stamina really came into it's own in March, as he played all 7 games often filling in for tired teammates. Was very productive as well, including starring roles in the 2 ACL games this month.