A weakened, yet determined Adelaide United has lost 3-1 against Melbourne City in Round 19 of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.
Despite both sides in need of the three-points for their separate pursuits of finals football, it was Melbourne City that was the quickest squad out of the blocks.
Early in the opening stanza, the host’s Jack Clisby had two great chances to see his team in front. Yet on the first occasion, United’s captain, Eugene Galekovic, was equal to the task and beat Clisby’s strike away, whilst the second went just wide of the far post.
But once United eventually settled and found their rhythm, their passing prowess came to the fore, much to the delight of the travelling Red Army at AAMI Park.
With the City defence remaining resolute, the Reds were finding it difficult to make the breakthrough. But after 32 minutes, a brilliant ball from Sergio Cirio found Pablo Sanchez, who had no hesitation in smacking the ball into the bottom corner of the far post.
Soon after the opener, Cirio created another good chance in front of goal, this time for himself, however his strike at Tando Velaphi was palmed wide by the City glove-man.
The remainder of the half saw little action, but the first 10 minutes of the second saw just as much as the entire first with City scoring two goals in three minutes. First it was Baharudin following up at United’s back post from a corner, the second, a well-taken header from Josh Kennedy.
From here the Reds tried desperately to pull a goal back, but the result was sealed in the 87th minute when Iain Ramsay found the back of the net.
Following the match, United’s head-coach, Josep Gombau, told of his disappointment with the result and the lacklustre second-half performance of his squad, but reiterated the team’s desire to continue working hard and progressing throughout the remainder of the season.
“I think today’s game was opposite of what we had last week,” Gombau explained.
“This week, I think that the first half was very good for us and we controlled the game and we scored the goal. But in the second half, Melbourne City (attacked) the game and played better than us and we’re stronger than us. They deserved to win.
“When you don’t have all your squad, when you have players that can’t play and you need to adjust and put players in (different) positions, it is difficult. But in the end it is what we had (to do).
“We tried to prepare for the game in the best way that we could and we’re not (using our injured players) as an excuse.
“If you want to try and be at the top you need to win every single game, but in the end this league is very equal and it’s very difficult. To come here (AAMI Park) and to win is not something easy.
“I am a coach that does not see the ladder a lot, (I see it) more game-by-game. Now we have eight (games left) and we will see what happens in the end and which position we are in (at the end of the season).
“We’re trying to be as high as possible in the ladder, but it’s game-by-game and we couldn’t win today but that’s football.
“With the football that we are playing, the group is very close and this is important for us to keep the project and keep working in a good way.”
Friday, 27 February 2015
Hyundai A-League Round 19
Melbourne City 3 (Baharudin 52’, Kennedy 55’, Ramsay 87’)
Adelaide United 1 (Pablo Sanchez 32’)
Venue: AAMI Park