Five at 5: Adelaide United v Sydney FC

Five moments from Adelaide United v Sydney FC in Round 5 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season

Adelaide United hosted Sydney FC in front of a capacity 16,000 crowd at Coopers Stadium on Friday night. There were plenty of talking points to come out of the top of the table clash which had everything other than a goal.

1. Reds Defence Busy Early
Adelaide United’s defence was busy early on last night as Sydney’s Marc Janko needed all of 13 seconds to fire a shot at goal. While easily stopped by Eugene Galekovic, the super early attempt on goal signalled the Sky Blues’ attacking intent despite playing without injured captain Alex Brosque.  Janko then penetrated United’s attack once more in the 15th minute before his cross was deflected by Craig Goodwin, as Sydney’s pushes forwards continued to look menacing.

 

2. Gaining Control & a Series of Chances
While Sydney looked dangerous early, Adelaide weathered the storm and soon looked to have the upper hand in the contest. The Reds created multiple chances but just couldn’t quite stick the ball in the net. Marcelo Carrusca and Cirio sent balls into each post, as the two playmakers tested the structural integrity of the southern goal with angled attempts from either side of the pitch. Awer Mabil made a nuisance of himself on the wing once again and did a great job of putting himself in positions to score. However Mabil was also unable to convert. The electric youngster broke clear just before half time but sent the ball skyward, and was unable to capitalise from close range minutes after the break when receiving a great ball from Carrusca via Craig Goodwin. The game was being played largely on United’s terms, but a breakthrough goal was eluding the men in red.   

 

3. Nikola Petkovic’s Disallowed Goal  
Adelaide were fortunate not to be chasing the game from behind after Sydney’s Nikola Petkovic had a goal waived away in the 68th minute. Petkovic launched a long range free kick into Adelaide’s net before the referee disallowed the goal. Players and fans alike were stunned in the immediate aftermath of the long range rocket, before referee Alan Milliner played it strictly by the rule book and claimed that his whistle must come before the kick.

 

4. United Unable to Foil Sydney’s defence  
The Reds’ scoreless night ultimately had a lot to do with the Sky Blue’s much talked about defence. Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic was particularly outstanding, and had all the answers whenever the Reds asked questions of him. United had 11-2 shots in the first half, and 17-11 overall, but Sydney’s defence proved a tough nut to crack all night. Adelaide pulled off some superb defending of their own, headlined by Osama Malik and Tarek Elirch’s efforts, along with Nigel Boogard’s spectacular headed save on the goal line in the 65th minute.

 

5. A Near Epic Conclusion
As both sides created chances which ultimately went unrealised, the intensity continued to rise throughout the evening. As the 22 men on the pitch lifted, the 16,000 in the stands lifted with them. In the final minutes the intensity was such that it felt like the game had reached bursting point, like something big was coming. That moment arrived in extra time when Osama Malik threaded a beautiful through ball to Bruce Kamau on the right wing. Kamau then found Carrusca in the box for a golden chance, the logical conclusion to a scintillating night of football. However the Reds playmaker wasn’t able to connect on a night which seemed destined to end at level pegging.