Adelaide United has drawn 2-2 against fierce rivals, Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
As could be expected, the match started at a ferocious pace, both sides quick to shut down their opposition and not shying away from crunching tackles.
For the opening 15 minutes, United were undoubtedly the more active of the two teams and had numerous opportunities to beat Victory’s goalkeeper, Nathan Coe. But in the 9th minute, Fahid Ben Khalfallah struck a sweet, low drive into the bottom corner, beating a diving Eugene Galekovic.
Yet despite Melbourne’s early goal, the Reds continued their attacking onslaught towards the visitor’s goal and were unlucky not to go ahead through Bruce Djite and Jimmy Jeggo.
With Pablo Sanchez and Sergio Cirio also looking incredibly dangerous and creating clear chances on the flanks, United definitely deserved a goal for their efforts. And on the stroke of the 43rd minute, their hard work and determination paid off when Pablo Sanchez popped up at the back post to nod the ball past Coe, after Cirio and Marcelo Carrusca worked the ball brilliantly to the back post.
The match in the second half was initially played at a more relaxed tempo, with neither side prepared to go for glory and ultimately risk defeat.
But United refused to give up on the three points and the masterful introduction of Miguel Palanca by Josep Gombau midway through the half was the catalyst for the Reds to go on and get their second for the night. Persistent work from the Reds on the right wing saw the ball eventually scramble towards the back post where Dylan McGowan’s deflected header bundled over the line.
Unfortunately though, the Victory were able to steal a point when Archie Thompson escaped the Reds’ defence and rounded Galekovic before slotting it in the back of the net.
It was one of the few chances the Victory had throughout a match that was heavily dominated by the home side.
Coach Josep Gombau felt as though his side put in a good performance and praised his players and the fans.
“I can’t say anything to any player and they can all hold their heads high with the fantastic football that was played,” he said.
“I think the people who watched the game will appreciate our performance over the 90 minutes but we know we need to win in front of the fans who came because this is important.”
Gombau said that their two goals were caused by two small mistakes and he noted that these will cost you against quality sides like the Victory.
“Their first goal happened because two players went for the same ball and they have quality you know.
“They play good football and these games are always open so anything can happen, this is football.”
Adelaide United will next travel to take on Newcastle Jets on Sunday 29 March 2015 at Hunter Stadium in Round 23 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season. Kick-off at 5:00pm (4:30pm ACST).
Saturday, 21 March 2015
Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season - Round 22
Adelaide United 2 (Sanchez 43’, McGowan 74’)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Khalfallah 9', Thompson 77')
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh
Adelaide United: Galekovic (c), Sanchez, Boogaard, McGowan, Sanchez (Palanca 69'), Isaias, Cirio, Carrusca, Djite (Goodwin 82'), Jeggo, Elrich
Melbourne Victory: Coe, Geria (Broxham 45'), Ansell, Milligan (c), Finkler, Berisha (Pain 89'), Thompson, Khalfallah (Mahazi 90'+3), Georgievski, Delpierre, Valeri
Scorers: Khalfallah (9'), Sanchez (43'), McGowan (74'), Thompson (77')
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Elrich (25'), Milligan (45'+2), McGowan (81'), Marrone (87')