Absalonsen praises Reds fans in draw to City
Johan Absalonsen has praised Reds fans for their support in Adelaide United’s 1-1 draw with Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
The Dane opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, but his close-range effort was cancelled out by Stefan Mauk eight minutes after the interval.
Earlier the Reds were indebted to goalkeeper Paul Izzo for a smart save to deny Bruno Fornaroli from the penalty spot. It was the 23-year-old’s third penalty save of the campaign.
Absalonsen was left unmarked as he darted into the box to meet Nathan Konstandopoulos’ cut back and bag his fourth goal of the season.
“It’s just instinct when you’re playing in the offensive positions,” he said when explaining his clinical finish.
“You have a feeling of where’s the space and where could the ball end up.
“And I had a feeling that the area around the penalty spot was open and just searched for that area.
“But it was a really good moment to score because the first ten, fifteen minutes was really good from us.
“And then we were pretty under the pump for the rest of the half so 1-0 before the half was really important.”
The 32-year-old, who returned to the starting XI for the first time since Round 3, admitted he was surprised with how well he recovered.
“I’m feeling better than I expected,” Absalonsen said.
“I thought I’d feel more exhausted and tired today but I’m actually feeling pretty good despite not starting since October.
“So I’m pretty surprised that I’m feeling that well today after playing 75 minutes.”
Absalonsen believed a draw was a fair result, commending City for making it a hard-fought battle, but lamented conceding after taking the lead.
“We felt that even though we didn’t have one hundred per cent control of the game we still felt we were 1-0 up and had the confidence,” he said.
“But credit must also go to City because they played well and were putting us under pressure also in the second-half had some good chances.
“So for us 1-1 was okay when you look at the big picture but when you’re in front 1-0 you really want the three points.”
Despite only 7,668 supporters in attendance at Coopers Stadium, Absalonsen lauded the atmosphere generated in the venue and thanked fans for their passion.
“I think it was really buzzing and always have the feeling there are more spectators at the stadium than there actually are,” he said.
“Because they make really good noise and really good support so for me yesterday was really good support.
“And now I’ve seen it too many times from the stands and now I had to experience it from the pitch and it was a really good feeling, a really good ground.”
The stalemate moves Adelaide equal fifth in the league standings with 30 points.
Adelaide United host Newcastle Jets in Round 24 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 23 March at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.