Etihad Stadium continues to prove an unhappy hunting ground for Adelaide United FC after the Reds’ unbeaten start to the season was ended in a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory tonight.
Etihad Stadium continues to prove an unhappy hunting ground for Adelaide United FC after the Reds- unbeaten start to the season was ended in a 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory tonight.
Not since 2006 have the Reds tasted success at Etihad and they will now have to wait for yet another chance to take three points from the venue after the Victory came from behind to register their first points of the season.
After a lively first half failed to produce a goal, the Reds were the first to strike when Dario Vidosic converted a 50th minute penalty following a Billy Celeski handball in the box.
But goals to Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas, who both returned to the Victory line up after being on international duty, swung the game in the home side-s favour.
The Reds certainly created enough opportunities to take something from the game and more than matched it with a talented Victory outfit in the middle of the park, but they could not turn it into three points.
The opening half had all of the tension and intensity befitting of a clash between the two arch rivals and the Reds found themselves on the defensive early as Melbourne appeared determined to quickly erase the memories of last week-s defeat in Brisbane.
The home side had three corners in the opening five minutes and had the Reds under the pump but United-s defence scrambled well to avoid conceding an early goal.
Coming up against his former side, Marcos Flores received the first yellow card of the match for simulation in the 8th minute, the Argentine prominent in all of Melbourne-s early forays forward.
Having absorbed the early pressure, the Reds tried their best to panic the Victory defence and in the 18th minute Dario Vidosic did just that. As he attempted to bring the ball under control with his head having found a gap in the Victory-s back four, Vidosic was bulldozed into by Petar Franjic, the Melbourne defender possibly fortunate to stay on the pitch, let alone go without a caution.
Cassio-s sailed the ensuing free kick over the bar as the Reds started to settle, Fabio Ferreira-s pace down the right again proving dangerous.
The Reds went close to breaking the deadlock in the 39th minute before Jeronimo should have opened the scoring four minutes later as he beat the offside trap but he missed the target with just goalkeeper Tando Velaphi to beat.
Two Adelaide United corners in the final minute of the half was also unable to bring about a goal, and despite the goal mouth action both sides only managed one shot each on target in the opening 45 minutes.
The breakthrough came four minutes after the restart when Celeski heard footsteps from Jeronimo bearing down on him in the penalty area and used his arm to try and diffuse the danger. Vidosic stepped up to make no mistake from the spot and it was 1-0 to Adelaide.
However the lead was short lived as Milligan found a quick reply, rising to head a Gui Finkler free kick past Eugene Galekovic.
Defender Nigel Boogaard went inches from restoring the advantage as he rattled the woodwork with a curling strike aimed at the top corner before Archie Thompson let the Reds out of jail as he missed a guilt edged chance.
But unfortunately the Reds could not ride their luck in the 67th minute as Rojas pounced on some good fortune. A cross from the left bounced off Boogaard-s chest into the crossbar, Rojas did the same with his follow up header before he got to make it third time lucky as the ball fell back invitingly for him to put it through the legs of Galekovic.
Galekovic prevented a third when he tipped over a dipping Matthew Foschini shot in the 73rd minute, the Reds realising it was the chance to up the ante and strive for an equaliser.
But despite having the majority of possession in the final 15 minutes, and with substitutes Marcelo Carrusca and Jake Barker-Daish lively, they could not muster a goal to salvage a point.
Match Details Melbourne Victory 2 (Milligan 52-, Rojas 67-) Adelaide United FC 1 (Vidosic 50- (pen)) Referee: Peter Green Crowd: 19,174 @ Etihad Stadium
Melbourne Victory starting line-up: 1.Tando Velaphi (GK), 2.Matthew Foschini, 3.Adama Traore, 4.Petar Franjic, 5.Mark Milligan, 7.Gui Finkler, 9.Marcos Flores (17.Jimmy Jeggo 72-), 10.Archie Thompson, 11.Marco Rojas (16.Theo Markelis 81-), 14.Billy Celevski (8.Jonathan Bru 65-), 23.Adrian Leijer (c) Substitutes not used: 20.Lawrence Thomas (GK) Yellow Cards: Flores 8-, Leijer 53-, Milligan 75-, Jeggo 88- Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 21.Jeronimo Neumann (8.Marcelo Carrusca 65-), 22.Fabio Ferreira (19.Jake Barker-Daish 74-) Substitutes not used: 5.Iain Fyfe, 30.John HALL (gk) Yellow Cards: Vidosic 26-, Boogaard 90+1- Red Cards: Nil