Izzo heroics pivotal in Reds’ win in Melbourne

Paul Izzo admitted the final 20 minutes was some of the most intense football he has ever experienced against Melbourne Victory.

Nine-man Adelaide United secured a courageous 2-1 win against their arch rivals at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Izzo enjoyed another productive outing between the sticks, making six saves on the night and was called into action in the dying stages as Adelaide tried to hold on for the win with nine men.

His final involvement was an instinctive save, preventing Ersan Gülüm from scoring an own goal.

The young shot-stopper stated it was complete pandemonium in the final minutes of proceedings as the visitors repelled Melbourne’s onslaught.

“It was absolute chaos,” he told Fox Sports after being awarded the NAB Man of the Match.

“Honestly against Melbourne Victory it’s hard enough with eleven players on the field.

“And when you go down to nine (men) I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

“It was just wave after wave it was just chaos.”

He also made a sensational double save to initially deny Besart Berisha from the spot, tipping his strike onto the post, and then reacting to palm away Leroy George on the follow-up just prior to half-time.

The 22-year-old attributed his penalty save to the work that his former and current goalkeeper coaches have done during trainings.

“Credit to Matt (Matthew) Nash at the Mariners he does a lot of study and he told me last year of where people go,” he said.

“And credit to Frank Juric as well this year, he reminds me every week when we play.

“So it’s a collective effort I just had to keep it out and luckily enough it went off the post.”

Baba Diawara scored a header off a Ryan Kitto corner to put United in front, before George Blackwood’s clinical finish after the break cancelled out Mark Milligan’s equaliser.

When quizzed whether that was his best-ever performance in the Hyundai A-League, Izzo criticised his distribution.

“Honesty I made the saves but my feet were stinking,” he said.

“So if I get that right I can only improve.”

The triumph sees Adelaide temporarily move into fourth place in the league standings with 14 points after 10 matches.

Adelaide United will face Newcastle Jets in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 16 December at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.