Adelaide United FC begins its decisive run towards the Hyundai A-League’s business end with a clutch encounter against the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
Adelaide United FC begins its decisive run towards the Hyundai A-League-s business end with a clutch encounter against the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
While all of the Reds- remaining five games are decisive from here on in, if they are to think about contending finals, it must start with victory on the road over the Jets.
The chance for the Reds to salvage their season became tougher after going down to Sydney FC at home last week, which left United sitting seven points outside the top six.
However, with real belief and 15 points still up for grabs, there is still hope. The Reds may appear to be up against it but stranger things have happened and midfielder Osama Malik says they are by no means ready to write the season off.
The 21 year old, who has been one of United-s shining lights in his role as a holding midfielder, knows a win over the Jets would certainly keep the Reds in the finals race.
“We made it hard for ourselves after last week so now it-s definitely do-or-die and we-ve got to get three points this week,” Malik said.
“It-s still mathematically possible that we can make it (the finals) and we-ve still got a good chance and I think we-re good enough to do it so it gives us belief.”
Generally, when the talk starts turning to ‘being a mathematical chance-, it is often a sign of a team facing a serious and usually unsuccessful uphill battle.
But the Reds are determined to defy the odds, Coach John Kosmina brutally frank in the only result that is on his mind.
“We-re not going to Newcastle to get a draw, I-ll tell you that,” Kosmina stated.
Newcastle, currently two points outside the top six, have ambitions of their own as they look to not only break into the top six but according to Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy, also aim to finish as high as fourth.
Taking out last week-s loss to Perth, the Jets scored a total of eight goals in their two games prior and Malik is wary of a team that United drew 1-1 with in Bathurst a month ago.
“They (Newcastle) are a good side. They keep the ball well, they have a real philosophy about the way they play and it will be a tough game,” Malik said.
“We had a tough game against them a month ago in Bathurst but we-re confident we can win the game.”
Kosmina has taken the same squad of 15 that was named in last Sunday-s game, with defender Jon McKain to most likely play in the Reds- Youth Team on Saturday in his comeback from a knee injury.
With matches against the top three sides on the table to follow the match with the Jets and the situation for the Reds becoming increasingly desperate with each game, it is almost fair to suggest that Adelaide United-s finals campaign starts tomorrow night. Kick-Off is at 7.30pm (ACDT).
Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 21 Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United FC Friday 24 February 2012, Hunter Stadium Kick-Off: 7.30pm ACDT Referee: Ben Williams
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Twitter: https://twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #HALjetsau)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 15.Jacob Melling, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Usucar, 38.John Hall (gk)
In: Nil Out: Nil Unavailable: Daniel Mullen (international duty), Mark Birighitti (gk) (international duty), Antony Golec (international duty), Spase Dilevski (groin), Jon McKain (knee), Paul Izzo (gk) (knee)
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Ben Kennedy (gk), 2.Taylor Regan, 4.Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5.Tiago Calvano, 6.Ben Kantarovski, 8.Jeremy Brockie, 9.Michael Bridges, 10.Ruben Zadkovich, 11.Tarek Elrich, 13.Byun, 14.Labinot Haliti, 17.James Virgili, 19.Matthew Nash (gk), 22.Ali Abbas, 23.Ryan Griffiths, 24.Francis Jeffers, 25.Jacob Pepper, 26.Connor Chapman
In: Ben Kantarovski (Olyroos return), Labinot Haliti, James Virgili (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Jobe Wheelhouse (groin 1 week)
Adelaide United vs. Newcastle Jets - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 21 - 9 wins, 6 draws, 6 losses
25-Jan-2012… D 1-1… 2011/12 MW (Carrington Park, Bathurst) 25-Nov-2011… D 0-0… 2011/12 Wk 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 13-Nov-2010… L 1-3… 2010/11 Wk 14 (Hunter Stadium) 11-Sep-2010… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 6-Aug-2010… D 0-0… 2010/11 Wk 1 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 12-Feb-2010… W 2-1… 2009/10 Rd 27 (Hunter Stadium) 4-Dec-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 5-Oct-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 9 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 9-Jan-2009… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 30-Nov-2008… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 13 (Hunter Stadium) 27-Sep-2008… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 4-Jan-2008… L 1-2… 2007/08 Rd19 (Hunter Stadium) 18-Nov-2007… D 1-1… 2007/08 Rd13 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Sep-2007… L 0-1… 2007/08 Rd4 (Hunter Stadium) 11-Feb-2007… W 1-1 (won 4-3 on penalties)… 2006/07 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Dec-2006… W 3-2… 2006/07 Rd17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 27-Oct-2006… L 1-2… 2006/07 Rd10 (Hunter Stadium) 8-Sep-2006… W 5-1… 2006/07 Rd3 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 2-Dec-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd 15 (Hunter Stadium) 14-Oct-2005… L 2-4… 2005/06 Rd 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 26-Aug-2005… W 1-0… 2005/06 Rd 1 (Hunter Stadium)
At Hunter Stadium Played 8; Adelaide United 3, Newcastle Jets 4, Draws 1
Last time they met 25-Jan-2012 Midweek, Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season at Carrington Park Adelaide United FC 1 (van Dijk 57-) Newcastle Jets 1 (Wheelhouse 72-)
Adelaide United last three results Wk 20. 19-2-12… L 1-2… vs. Sydney FC (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 19 .12-2-12… W 2-1… vs. Gold Coast United (Skilled Park) Wk 18. 3-2-12… L 1-2… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Hindmarsh Stadium)