Reds can be proud after crushing penalty shootout loss insists Izzo
Paul Izzo says Adelaide United should be proud of their season after it ended in the most heartbreaking of circumstances against Perth Glory at HBF Park on Friday night.
Adelaide lost 5-4 on penalties in sudden death during their Semi-final match which is arguably the most thrilling game in Hyundai A-League Finals history.
Trailing 2-0 with 10 minutes remaining, the Reds fought back from the brink thanks to goals from Baba Diawara and a dramatic strike from Ryan Kitto at the death, sparking euphoric scenes.
There would be more twists and turns in extra-time after Scott Neville headed the Glory back into the lead.
But United would not go away as Michael Marrone responded in the 115th minute to make it 3-3 with a powerful back-post header of his own.
A penalty shootout followed with the Reds converting their first three spot-kicks, taken by Craig Goodwin, Jordan Elsey and Vince Lia.
Perth scored two themselves either side of Izzo saving Diego Castro’s penalty.
The shootout went to sudden death with both teams slotting four penalties from five attempts.
But agonisingly, Adelaide would see their subsequent three penalties saved by Liam Reddy.
Despite, Izzo himself repelling two spot-kicks to throw the Reds a lifeline, Perth progressed when Joel Chianese netted.
Izzo revealed he had injured his glute and received an injection from a doctor at full-time to numb the pain.
“I don’t know I think I got a little glute strain at the moment,” he told Fox Sports post-match.
“I felt it in the second-half when I tried to clear a ball and I kind had to push through because we can’t really waste a sub on a goalkeeper.
“And the boys were out there and they were giving it there all, so the doctor called me aside and I got a jab and can’t feel a thing.”
With Adelaide so close to reaching the Grand Final, Izzo insisted the Reds should only be proud of their performance and campaign.
Adelaide lifted the FFA Cup 2018 trophy in October, finished fourth in the regular season and had to beat Melbourne City with an extra-time winner in the Elimination Final to get this far last weekend.
“The boys did all the hard work,” he said, with Reds playing on four days of rest from that City victory.
“When it comes down to the penalties I think it’s just a lottery, I’ve got to do my best and repay the boys for 120 minutes they put in.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t do enough I guess, but I don’t think we should be disappointed with ourselves.
“We should hold our heads up high, we’ve gone through a lot this year and honestly no one expected us to be here so pretty proud of ourselves.”