Toivonen needs assistance up front

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Ola Toivonen created several scoring opportunities for Melbourne Victory again this week but is there anyone else to assist the striker?

The Victory captain was one of the most influential in the club’s 1-1 draw against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.

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With only 36 touches, the forward had eight scoring shots; two of them on target and created a further two scoring assists.

Whilst he could only convert one of the opportunities, his goal secured him the title of quickest Victory player to reach 20 goals for the club – achieved in 32 games – taking the top spot from Besart Berisha who accomplished it in 36.

Toivonen weaved himself around the Phoenix defence in the 66 minute and finally found the net, equalising the game for Victory.

There is no doubt the skipper constantly gives Victory the opportunity to convert, and his coach Marco Kurz agreed.

Kurz said Toivonen’s efforts on the night should be recognised, in particular, the way he returned after the loss to Western United the week before.

“He’s good, he’s our captain, he’s the face,” he said.

“Also, a big compliment because he trained only twice with the team.

“He (hurt his ankle) in the game against Western United and it was not 100 per cent sure if he could start or not, but he’s a good player, fantastic.”

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But is the pressure to constantly perform part of the reason he missed so many possibilities to score?

Or is it a lack of support from his teammates?

Elvis Kamsoba is a man in question leaving many of the fans frustrated as he took time to control the ball and decide what he would do with it next.

The lack of urgency caused for many turnovers and wasted time on the ball in Victory’s attacking half.

James Donachie, Leigh Broxham and Jakob Poulsen had opportunities to convert in the clash. Leaving defender Donachie with a shot more than some of his midfield and forward teammates.

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It’s inevitable to bring up the absence of Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse to injury, with little indication on when the two will return.

Nabbout has proven to be a suitable partner for Toivonen and has shared the role in scoring for Victory as one of only two other players to score for the club this season.

One thing is known for sure, with Toivonen in the side there is a guarantee of shots and if you believe in patterns, there is a guarantee of at least a goal a game.

The question remains how long will it take for his teammates to step up and assist the striker, and will it be what finally gives Victory another win.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.

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