A screamer from Ryan Strain has helped Adelaide United to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory in our final pre-season friendly at Coopers Stadium on Friday.
Strain bagged an equaliser with a mesmerising strike after Kevin Muscat’s men initially opened the scoring via a fortuitous deflection. George Blackwood had the final say with a clever finish on 84 minutes to build some extra momentum ahead of the commencement of the Hyundai A-League.
Carlo Armiento was the first to try his luck in the opening 10 minutes. The speedy winger freed himself from the attentions of left-back, Corey Brown, and showed great persistence to fire a shot away which Lawrence Thomas caught.
Indeed, the youngster continued to prove a handful for the Victory defence in the opening stages as this time his deflected effort won a corner after an exquisite pass from Isaías.
And Adelaide stayed on the front foot for much of the first period with Mirko Boland and the Spanish maestro controlling the game’s rhythm.
The pair curtailed the involvement of James Troisi and Keisuke Honda for the majority of the half, who only touched the ball in largely harmless areas of the pitch.
The Victory did threaten on the break on the rare occasion as they bypassed the midfield.
However, Melbourne did finish the half the stronger of the two teams, dominating possession, but not withstanding a well-stuck shot from Vince Lia.
On 41 minutes, the experienced midfielder unleashed a powerful low drive, forcing Thomas into an outstretched save to his right.
Terry Antonis then saw a curling effort saved by Isaac Richards approaching half-time but it failed to trouble Isaac Richards.
It was a much more end-to-end start to the second stanza with the Reds just edging the visitors on the balance of play.
But it was Melbourne who took the lead in the 67th minute courtesy of an own goal. Terry Antonis’ long-range strike rattled the upright and fell to Corey Brown, whose cross ricocheted off a United defender and beat Richards.
Though the advantage was momentary as United responded in emphatic fashion five minutes later.
Scott Galloway played Strain on the edge of the box and evaded his opponent, before picking out the top right corner with a brilliant curling effort.
Adelaide then made it 2-1 when Strain turned provider six minutes from time. Armiento dribbled the ball forward, finding the 21-year-old, who caught the defence napping with a chipped through ball for Blackwood to control and clinically finish past Thomas.
It was a solid performance a week out from Adelaide’s Hyundai A-League season opener against Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium.
Friday, 12 October 2018
Adelaide United 2 (Strain 72’ Blackwood 84’)
Melbourne Victory 1 (OG 67’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium