Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Liverpool got their first win of the English Premier League season when they beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at Anfield on Sunday [Monday morning Tasmanian time].


A superb second-half strike by Fernando Torres in the 66th minute earned The Reds the three points.


It was Liverpool’s 350th Premier League win and their 2,000th league win overall.


The goal was Torres’s first for Liverpool since 28th March and his 50th goal at Anfield. His reaching of the 50-goal mark is the fastest of any Liverpool player.


The goal came after an expert one-two between Torres and Dirk Kuyt which sent the latter down the left wing. When Kuyt chipped the ball back into the middle, Torres finished with a marvellous volley from the edge of the box.


Liverpool had a penalty appeal for hands turned down late in the match by a very lenient referee, Lee Probert, after a Torres shot had been blocked by the outstretched arm of defender Gonzalo Jara.


Probert did, however, send off James Morrison in the closing minutes after the West Bromwich Albion player had gone over the top in a tackle on Torres.


Probert had done nothing all game, however, about blatant shirt pulling and wrestling inside the box at corner-kicks. Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel was particularly guilty of this and at one stage wrestled an opponent to the ground in full view of the referee, who did nothing.


Torres almost had a second goal in the 71st minute when Steven Gerrard picked him out at the far post with a cross from the left, but Albion keeper Scott Carson produced a splendid block from almost point-blank range.


Melbourne Victory won their first game in this season’s A-League competition when they downed Gold Coast United 1-0 away at Skilled Park this afternoon [Sunday].


The attendance of 3,624 was the lowest A-League attendance in four years.


A brilliant goal in the 20th minute settled the issue. Carlos Hernandez played an inch-perfect pass through the Gold Coast defence for Robbie Kruse, who touched the ball past the advancing keeper Glenn Moss and rounded the custodian before finding the net from an acute angle on the right.


Gold Coast, insoired by captain Jason Culina, fought back but were unable to find an equaliser despite some excellent chances.


A minute after the goal, the home side should have levelled when Culina floated in a cross from the left, but James Brown failed to get the vital touch and Roddy Vargas was able to put the loose ball to safety.


In the 28th minute, Culina put Adama Traore away on the left and he cut inside and unleashed a fierce angled drive which was parried by keeper Michael Petkovic. The ball looped towards the far right-hand post, where Gol-Gol Mebrahtu nodded wide.


Culina sent in a vicious volley on the half-hour which was superbly saved by Petkovic.


In the 39th minute, Michael Thwaite shot just wide from range for the Gold Coast.


The second half proved just as unproductive for Gold Coast United and Melbourne held out for an important win.


The home side badly missed striker Shane Smeltz. The Kiwi international is in negotiations with a Turkish club. His replacement is likely to be Bruce Djite.

Being a newcomer to any competition is difficult. That is especially so in the A-League.


Melbourne Heart made it four matches without a win tonight when they were held to a 2-2 draw at home at AAMI Stadium by Perth Glory before a crowd of 6,000.


The Heart had little luck. They conceded a terrible own-goal, and then a dubious penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time at the end of the match brought them undone.


The Heart scored early from a penalty of their own and led 2-1 at the interval. They withstood enormous pressure in the second half and seemed all set to record their first win when they succumbed to a penalty converted by Robbie Fowler.


Alex Terra was impeded in the 3rd minute by Naum Sekulovski and Gerald Sibon converted the spot kick, his first goal of the season, to give Heart the lead. It was the giant Sibon, in fact, who had played the through-ball for Terra to get into the box before being brought down.


Glory hit back and, in the 8th minute, Todd Howarth went close when he fired a good chance just over the bar from an angle on the left.


Matt Thompson missed a great chance to extend the Heart’s lead in the 12th minute when the Glory defence found itself outnumbered, but the ultimate man-of-the-match shot tamely from an angle.


In the 19th minute, it was 1-1. Fowler curled an inswinger from the right and Brendan Hamill, under pressure from Glory’s Branko Jelic, got a touch with his head, but only enough to help the ball strike Michael Marrone in the chest and bounce into the Heart net with keeper Clint Bolton helpless.


Nick Kelmar restored the Heart’s lead in the 37th minute. A Dean Heffernan free-kick from wide on the right was not cleared by the Glory defence and, when the ball carried to the far left-hand side of the box, Kelmar controlled it and cut inside before scoring with a low curling shot inside the far post.


Jelic had a half-chance for the Glory in the 56th minute following Steven McGarry’s cross from the left, but he nodded the ball high and wide of the target.


Jelic was replaced by Michael Baird in the 61st minute. Baird was finally playing after long delays in obtaining a clearance from Romanian club Universitatea Craiova.


Bolton produced a brilliant save from Fowler in the 71st minute as Glory dominated the second half.


In the 80th minute, Bolton again produced a marvellous save, this time from the marauding Sekulovski, who had been put into the box by Howarth.


Two minutes into stoppage time, Baird appeared to dive as he worked his way past Heart substitute Kliment Taseski and the referee, Kurt Ams, who was in charge of his first A-League match, pointed to the penalty spot.


Fowler notched his first goal for Glory by converting the spot-kick and maintaining his side’s unbeaten start to the season.













Southern Division One


Hobart United 4 (A Guot 23, 42, I Gwolo 65, N Omery Zola 86) beat Nelson Eastern Suburbs 1 (R Mills 13)


Reserves


Hobart United 2-2 Nelson Eastern Suburbs