Hall ready to face Victory after stunning AFC Cup win

It’s been a stellar season in Yellow and Navy for Dan Hall, with the 24-year-old solidifying his place at the heart of defence next to Brian Kaltak.

Since starting his first game of the Isuzu UTE A-League season against Newcastle Jets at the end of November, the defender has been in just one losing performance, winning 12 of his 18 matches.

In nine of those games he has helped the squad record a clean sheet, a remarkable 50% of the times that he has started.

The positive record of results continued on Thursday night, as the Mariners came from behind in extra time to finish 3-2 winners after 120 minutes against the Bulls in Campbelltown.

The defender is thrilled to have helped the team progress, proud of the belief shown by the squad to secure progression.

“Crazy is a good word to describe it, the game had everything. Obviously, we would have liked to get the job done in 90 minutes, but the boys showed a lot of heart to push to the end to get the win,” he said.

“Progression was what we wanted and that was what we got so on to the next round we go.”

After falling a goal down at the beginning of extra-time, the squad demonstrated the never-say-die attitude that sees us currently sit second in the Isuzu UTE A-League. Doka scoring in the 105th minute mark, with fellow defenders Kaltak, Farrell and Hall all holding strong in defence.

Ronald Barcellos ultimately scoring the winner in the 120th minute, producing pure scenes of jubilation from the entire squad.

“Credit to the boys, we didn’t panic when we went down a goal. We continued to trust the process and we knew that we had the ability in the team to score goals and get ourselves back into the game,” Hall said.  

“To go on and win it with Ronnie was amazing, we’re just happy to progress.”

The win over Macarthur sees us move into the Inter-Zonal Semi Final against Indian club Odisha FC. Despite this meaning an even more congested schedule, Hall says that the team are excited for the challenge, eager to go as deep in the Cup as possible.

“It is just more football and that’s what we as footballers want to play,” the defender said.

“Obviously new experiences are amazing and to progress in the competition is what we want. Hopefully, we continue to win and see where it takes us.”

Hall and the squad’s attention now solely sits on Melbourne Victory, as we take on the Victorian outfit on Sunday afternoon.

So far this season both games have resulted in the spoils being shared, with our focus on securing all three points at AAMI Park.

“The boys are excited for the game, we are ready to go again,” Hall said.

“We’re going to work on focusing on recovery and being fully prepared for the game against Victory on Sunday, it should be an exciting match.”