Five moments from Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16.
1. Mabil the Magnificent
19 year old Awer Mabil was simply fantastic for United last night.
Mabil instigated a lot Adelaide’s attack, posing a threat to the Roar defence all night with his speedy breaks on the right wing.
Mabil showed superb touch, often finding himself surrounded by white shirts only to flick a troublesome highball through traffic to a teammate.
With Mabil and United’s attack teasing the fans for over half an hour with promising advances which just weren’t bearing the fruits of their labour, things turned around when Mabil, ever the instigator, assisted Bruce Djite’s 35 minute game opening goal with a gorgeous cross across the face of goal.
Mabil’s frustrated grimace found itself replaced with a dazzling smile, as he celebrated with the United faithful and swiftly got back to work terrorising the Brisbane defence for the remaining 55 minutes of play.
2. Possession Dominance
Adelaide once again went about implementing Josep Gombau’s tika-taka style of play, dominating possession, particularly in the first half.
The Roar never really looked to be in the game. They simply didn’t have the leather at their feet, and were expending all their energy chasing United’s speedy midfield around the park for most of the evening.
The Red’s possession dominance created chances almost straight away, but didn’t have an instant impact on the scoreboard. Awer Mabil missed United’s best chance at an early goal, just short of reaching a Jimmy Jeggo cross, before later redeeming himself with his assist to Djite.
3. Galekovic Stands Strong
The Roar didn’t exactly create an abundance of scoring opportunities, particularly in the first half, but when they did the Adelaide keeper stood strong and kept a clean sheet.
Luke Bratten fired a couple of stray balls goal-wards from outside the box, Henrique did his best to capitalise on a second half counter attack, Thomas Broich launched a half volley scoring attempt moments later and Liam Miller fired a close range rocket at the bottom corner, yet every time Galekovic was up to test.
4. Blast from the Past
The Advertiser’s Val Migliaccio provided fans with a fun piece of trivia when he pointed out that Roar keeper Jamie Young (standing in for the injured Michael Theo) was himself being backed up by 45 year old Jason Kearton, the Roar’s keeper coach.
Of course, we didn’t see Kearton between the sticks, and it remained just that, a piece of trivia. What a sight that would’ve been though, Kearton keeping out balls sent his way players who were born when he was already five years into his successful goalkeeping career.
5. Sydney Bound
Following the game, talk amongst many folks immediately shifted to “who are playing next?”
Fans didn’t have to wait long, as just minutes after the final whistle blew, Fox Sport’s announced that United will play Sydney FC on the road.
While plenty of punters were hoping for an Adelaide United vs Adelaide city showdown, the Reds will once again be put to the test against a fellow A-League competitor.