Adelaide United has settled for a frustrating 0-0 draw against Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season.
With both sides desperate to begin their respective campaigns without a loss, each defence remained resolute throughout the 90 minutes, despite Victory going down to ten men when Leigh Broxham was given his marching orders.
A golden chance fell to Sergio Cirio in the dying stages of extra-time and with the box flooded with bodies, his strike was eventually blocked by Melbourne goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic.
The match begun at a typically furious pace, either side looking to gain the ascendancy early on in an attempt to put their opponents on the back foot. But with John Hall, in particular, full of confidence between the sticks in his maiden competitive start for the Reds, neither side was able to convert the chances they created.
Soon enough, challenges began to fly from almost every position as the match heated up to its typically feisty temperature, referee Peter Green brandishing three yellow cards in just ten minutes.
In the end it was Victory with the more significant chances in the first half, racking up numerous corners, but unable to beat Hall who dominated his 18-yard-box throughout the opening stanza. United, however, weren’t without chances of their own, with Cirio looking his usual lively self on the left flank and whipping in number of dangerous balls from out wide.
Into the second half, Marcelo Carrusca almost got the Reds off to the perfect start when he penetrated the Victory defence and broke through their lines, but his shot was somewhat scuffed and dribbled wide of the goal.
Then, in the 60th minute, Besart Berisha was put through, clean on goal and looked destined to make it 1-0 in favour of the visitors. But, out of nowhere, Osama Malik tracked back to make up at least five yards to slide in and prevent Berisha from striking towards Hall. After a bit of a scramble, the ball was cleared and danger averted.
With 70 minutes on the clock, the dynamic of the match changed almost entirely, when Broxham was given his second yellow for a stray arm on Isaias.
United surged forward for the majority of the time remaining, but were unable to finish Victory off.
Following the match, Head Coach, Guillermo Amor, praised the fight displayed by his team, but couldn’t hide his disappointment that the win slipped through United’s fingers.
“Overall I am happy with the performance but we have to keep in mind that we played the current Champions,” Amor explained
“I am satisfied at happy with my team and the level of commitment they showed.
“The players have run and fought all game and for this I am very happy because it was a difficult game.
“Now we learn what we can from this match, analyse it, and look forward to preparing our next game at Coopers (Stadium).”
Friday, 9 October 2015
Hyundai A-League Round 1
Adelaide United 0
Melbourne Victory 0
Venue: Adelaide Oval