Rogic rises as Wellington Phoenix fall

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Tomas Rogic will be hot on the tongue again this week after scoring another stunner to help the Central Coast Mariners to a 2 – 0 win over Wellington Phoenix in tonight’s Hyundai A-League fixture at Bluetongue Stadium.

Rogic combined well with new strike partner, John Sutton.
Credit: © John Dewberry / Central Coast Mariners

Building on his performance from last week, Rogic was as it again with some tidy footwork and a slight swivel of the hip, before bending the ball into the top left hand side of the net with an unstoppable dipping strike just after half-time.

The technically gifted teenager caused plenty of headaches for a Wellington side that was out-of-sorts without key suspended pair, Tim Brown and Andrew Durante.

Wellington looked flat all over the park and were sorely missing Durante’s calm and neat distribution from the back, as well as his leadership and hardened defensive qualities.

The absence of Brown was also costly as Wellington struggled to find any foot-hold in the middle of the park, and were particularly poor supporting their front men; a role that Brown excels in.

The win exposed the weakness in Wellington’s squad depth, and puts pressure on Brisbane Roar as the Mariners increased their lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
 

Rogic was unlucky not to have scored in the first half after coming close with a couple guilt-edge chances, his best a low drive that narrowly went wide of the post after he’d wriggled free of his marker with an instinctive turn.

His spacial awareness and support play was impressive, with his movement and execution providing the Mariners a smooth transition between the middle and front third.

The Mariners had some tooth in their attack and created a lot of chances in front of goal, the balance finally looking back to normal for the men in yellow and navy, as Rogic, on-loan Hearts’ striker, John Sutton, and Adam Kwasnik, linked well.

While many recognise Rogic’s attributes going forward, his defensive qualities off the ball perhaps go a little unnoticed.

It is no secret that Graham Arnold admires a hard working player, and Rogic was no exception in his 76 minutes on the park where he did as many kilometres tracking players in defence as he did making forward runs into the box. He cut out passes and made the odd well-timed tackle, too.

There is a bad habit of our young players being sensationally billed as the next Kewell’s, Viduka’s, and Maradona’s, well before their time.

Judging from his comments, the well spoken teenager recognises that one swallow doesn’t make a Summer, and knows there is a lot of hard work ahead – his head apparently more screwed on than some media pundits.

There’s no doubting Rogic’s nose for goal and promising attacking talents; it is no secret that Hyundai A-League clubs are hunting for his long term signature. But calls for Socceroos’ coach, Holger Osieck, to be considering him for Australian selection? Please, he has started in four A-League matches.

The signs from Rogic have been promising, and for Australian football’s sake, we can only hope that he maximises and fulfills his potential. Though, the proof will be in the pudding.

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