Absalonsen lauds Reds’ determination ahead of blockbuster Victory clash

Adelaide United winger Johan Absalonsen praised the Reds’ fighting spirit following a dramatic 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

The Danish international made it two goals in as many matches, courtesy of a thunderous 92nd minute strike which rifled off the underside of the crossbar to steal all three points.

Massimo Maccarone had initially opened the scoring in the eighth minute for the hosts at Suncorp Stadium, before substitute Ryan Kitto grabbed a deserved equaliser on 88 minutes.

Absalonsen said he is enjoying his prolific start to life in Red and hailed the team’s persistence until the final whistle.

“It’s really been a pleasure and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.

“And I’m enjoying that we have the spirit to fight back after the first two games when we have conceded a goal in the first 10 minutes.”

However, while Adelaide recorded their first win of the season, Absalonsen acknowledged the team must be focused from kick-off and cannot avoid starting games slowly.

It is the second successive match Marco Kurz’s men have fallen behind inside the opening 10 minutes and Absalonsen warned they must rectify this before it becomes a worrying trend.

“As we can see now maybe it’s a pattern we have to work on,” he said.

“For two games and also in the cup games we had some games where we were slow starters.

“So of course that’s an issue we have to speak about, but it’s difficult once you are down every time in the first ten minutes.

“So that’s something we need to work on but on the positive side we have the team spirit to turn it around.”

But after scoring the winner to seal the smash-and-grab victory, the 32-year-old believed United deserved to prevail after a rampant second-half display – combined with Brisbane fatiguing. 

“I felt that in the second-half we had the upper hand in the game,” he said.

“And I felt after the first-half when were under a bit of pressure and they had some big chances the second-half was ours.”

The Dane said the team will savour the win for the weekend before shifting the focus to its meeting with fierce rivals, Melbourne Victory on Friday.

“Of course we’ll enjoy it (the win) until Monday, we have a day off on Sunday,” he stated.

“And then from Monday on we’ll start looking forward to Friday’s big game against Victory.”

Absalonsen revealed he is also relishing the prospect of playing in his maiden Hyundai A-League Original Rivalry at Adelaide Oval. 

“I tasted a bit of it in the FFA Cup where we also played the Victory,” he said.

“But I haven’t tried the A-League games so I think it’s bigger than an FFA Cup game.

“So I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be a special game on a special pitch on the Oval.”

Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in Round 3 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 20 October at Adelaide Oval. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.