Adelaide United have defeated Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in an intense encounter in Round 6 of the Hyundai A-League, on a very wet and suspenseful afternoon at Coopers Stadium.
In damp conditions, United started the match well – the slick surface catering to their free-flowing and pass-intensive style – but both sides looked lively in the opening five minutes, pressing their respective opponents regularly.
Yet it was Wellington who hit the front early, only 15 minutes after the start of the match through Rolieny Bonevacia. The goal came from a swift counterattack whereby the Phoenix were initially lucky not to concede themselves.
On the half hour mark, the Reds had one of their best chances in the first half to beat Wellington goalkeeper, Glen Moss, when Awer Mabil hit the upright from within the six-yard box. Two minutes later, Craig Goodwin was unlucky not to score from a wonderfully hit free-kick from 23 yards out.
The Reds continued to mount pressure onto the Phoenix defence, attack after attack, and 37 minutes in it proved too much. Goodwin whipped a glorious corner into the box, which was forcefully met by United defender, Nigel Boogaard, who left Moss with little chance in preventing the equaliser.
With the game locked at 1-1 at half time, both teams came out in the second half with added intent, as the weather had settled somewhat and everything was up for grabs.
In the 55th minute, United were incredibly unlucky not to take the lead, when a Marcelo Carrusca free-kick was floated to the back post towards Osama Malik. With time to think, Malik placed his header towards the far post, but fortunate for Wellington, the ball sprayed across goal – eventually rolling out of play for a corner.
The remainder of the half saw both teams try desperately to find a winner, however it seemed the surface hindered both teams majorly.
With 89 minutes on the clock, United were awarded a corner. The resulting play ended with Sergio Cirio having the opportunity to win the match for the Reds, but unfortunately miscued his effort. But on the stroke of full-time Cirio wouldn’t miss his opportunity twice, poking the ball home from four yards.
Following the match, United coach, Josep Gombau, said although the game was ridden with mistakes, which he attributed to tiredness and the wet conditions, his players showed the desire they possess by grinding out a tough result against stiff opposition.
“It was a very good first half, but I think, for me, the key moment was when we had a chance to score and their goalkeeper made a good save, then on the counterattack they scored,” Gombau said.
“This changed a lot because 1-0 up is very different to 0-1 down and after we needed to try to win.
“Then the second half we wanted to win because we drew already two games at home against (Melbourne) Victory and Sydney and for us it’s not enough.
“We played just two or three days ago and I think we played well but the speed that we put into the ball was not the (fastest) we can. But the attitude (of the players) was fantastic and to score in 93, or 94 minutes happens when you want something.”
Adelaide United’s next match will be against Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League. Kick off is at 4.30pm ACDT. To purchase tickets, click here.
Saturday, 15 November 2014
Hyundai A-League Round 6
Adelaide United 2 (Boogaard 37’, Cirio 90+4’)
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Bonevacia 15')
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh
Adelaide United: Galekovic (c), Boogaard, Malik, Pablo Sanchez (MacGowan 80'), Isaias, Cirio, Carrusca (Kamau 72'), Goodwin, Mabil (Ferreira 61'), Jeggo, Elrich
Wellington Phoenix: Moss, Muscat, Bonevacia (Rufer 78'), Brindell-South, Rodriguez (Cunningham 60'), Burns (Ridenton 73'), Riera, Lia, Sigmund, Krishna, Durante (c)
Scorers: Bonevacia (15'), Boogaard (36'), Cirio (90'+4)
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Burns (33'), Jeggo (41'), Lia (45'+1), Bonevicia (54'), Malik (77')