Kurz thrilled with second-half resolve in comeback win
Marco Kurz hailed Adelaide United’s second-half response on their way to completing arguably the greatest comeback in Hyundai A-League history.
Trailing by three goals after 43 minutes, United produced an inspired fightback to manage a 4-3 win over Brisbane Roar at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
Isaías’ stunning free-kick just before the break proving a crucial turning point.
Two red cards to the Roar early in the second-half helped the Reds’ cause, after they themselves initially went down to ten men following Ken Ilsø’s controversial dismissal.
But from that point on, Adelaide took full control, dominating the final 35 minutes of the game and were rewarded through goals from Craig Goodwin and George Blackwood.
Nikola Mileusnić then guided a 97th minute header beyond the ‘keeper to secure a famous victory.
Kurz said he was initially displeased with his players’ reaction after falling behind in the first-half.
The German’s half-time team talk appeared to instil belief back into the player group.
“It was not easy to come back in this game but I was very loud at half-time,” Kurz told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“Because I hate it when we stopped playing and stopped believing, because I saw in the first-half not a better team from Brisbane, I saw after we conceded the first goal I saw that our body language dropped.
“Our trust and belief in our game was a little bit gone and I don’t like that.
“Also with ten men we had two clear chances with (Jordan) Elsey and (Ryan) Kitto, and I said the first-half is gone and now the goal is to win the second-half.
“… And we changed some tactical things with (Mirko) Boland back in the midfield. He’s very important for us because he’s a very aggressive midfielder.”
However, Kurz praised the resolve and determination shown in the second stanza, and wanted this game to serve as a learning curve to never give up after conceding early.
The Reds have also now suffered just one defeat in their past nine matches and move three points clear of sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix.
“The team is fantastic, the character is fantastic and I’m very proud about them,” he said.
“And I hope we learn in the next week we can concede in every game an early goal or respect a tough decision that sees us play with ten, but you cannot stop to play.
“I think what we did very well in the second-half, the ball speed was good, we waited for the right moments and to trust and believe and jump for the crosses.”
Moreover, tt was German midfielder, Mirko Boland’s, first appearance since Round 4.
The 31-year-old illustrated immense dynamism and innovation after being brought on at half-time.
“Mirko can make the difference in midfield,” he said.
“He’s very aggressive and he’s experienced a lot of games overseas and he’s a good player for us.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne City in Round 18 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 9 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, 10 Bold and streamed on the My Football Live App and Kayo Sports.