For the second successive week Adelaide United prevailed at the death only this time, the events that unfolded were of historic proportions.
The Reds managed to overturn a three-goal deficit in sweltering conditions on their way to an exhilarating 4-3 win over Brisbane Roar, becoming the first team in the Hyundai A-League to achieve such a feat in 90 minutes.
Nikola Mileusnić’s 97th minute header sparked wild scenes of celebration as Adelaide rebounded from the brink in an ultimate display of perseverance.
Here are three things we spotted:
Impacts off the bench
All three substitutes left a positive impression on the match and provide Marco Kurz with healthy selection headaches ahead of an away clash with Melbourne City. Nikola Mileusnić and Mirko Boland were both called upon at half-time and they answered their boss’ cry. In his first appearance since Round 4, Boland was instrumental behind the shift in momentum as his dynamism and energy to cover every blade of grass helped Adelaide retain possession.
Mileusnić was also lively on the right wing as he looked to run at the Roar defence. But it was that expertly taken header in one of the final passages of play which will go down in Adelaide United folklore. Prodigious talent, Carlo Armiento, also left an indelible mark on the fixture after coming on in the 88th minute. A few nervous moments were quickly forgotten about when he had the poise and composure to find the 25-year-old at the back post with a truly sensational cross to seal the comeback.
Reds’ resilience comes to the fore again
Adelaide’s fighting qualities were again on full display. The players could have easily chucked in the proverbial towel after falling behind 3-0 and with a man sent off. Although, the body language initially dropped, Captain Isaías led by example and executed a pearler of a free-kick into the top corner in first-half stoppage time. It was the lift the Reds needed and after the break they came out determined to get something from the game.
The team is no doubt a reflection of the coach, as they matched Kurz’s passion and exuberance on the sidelines, lifting their intensity as the Roar capitulated. The relentless pressure applied on the visitors stretched their defence and brought about goals from Craig Goodwin and George Blackwood. It is also worth noting United have now suffered just one loss in their previous nine games and climbed into fourth place after City’s defeat to Sydney FC.
Goodwin continues to amaze
The 27-year-old was involved in three of the four goals as he continues to take his performances to another level. He won the free-kick which Isaías emphatically slotted, pulled United within a goal after following up his own blocked free-kick in the second-half and delivered a right-footed cross for Blackwood to head home. Goodwin now has eight Hyundai A-League goals and five assists in 17 matches – a fantastic return, and long may it endure!
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.