Mauk: We knew it was going to be tough
Having never recorded a Finals win away from home since the A-League’s inception, Adelaide United would have to re-write history against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Their task was made harder following injuries to Craig Goodwin and Kusini Yengi in training prior to the game and coupled with the fact United had two wins from its previous 10 league games.
However, courtesy of Tomi Juric’s stunning brace in the first-half, Adelaide could alter its tactics in the Elimination Final.
Captain Stefan Mauk lauded the desire and character his side showed, particularly in the second-half when dealing with the unrelenting pressure the hosts applied.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” he told Fox Sports after the game.
“We knew we were going to have to work really hard and I think scoring the two goals allowed us to probably sit back a little bit more and soak it up.
“We didn’t feel like they were going to break us down. Unfortunately, we conceded from a set-piece but we knew if we held our defensive structures they weren’t going to actually score past us and it worked out.”
Mauk admitted perhaps the midfield did sit too deep at times, but believed it ultimately did not matter with the Reds prevailing.
“You don’t want to invite too much pressure on,” the 25-year-old continued.
“But I think Brisbane were always going to come really hard at us and we knew they were going to press more in the second-half.
“And I think we probably had some tired boys out there. In another game we probably keep the ball a little bit better but in saying that we got the job done.”
Saturday, 19 June vs Sydney FC
A-League 2020/21 – Semi-final
Kick-off 6.35pm ACST
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App