Adelaide United FC will look towards Monday’s New Years Eve blockbuster against Sydney FC after having its six game unbeaten run at home this season snapped in a narrow 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar tonight.
Adelaide United FC will look towards Monday-s New Years Eve blockbuster against Sydney FC after having its six game unbeaten run at home this season snapped in a narrow 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar tonight.
In a spirited match that saw both defences enjoy the upper hand for the majority, it took a 66th minute Henrique goal to leave the Reds without a point from Hindmarsh Stadium for the first time in Season 8.
The Reds- first home game on Boxing Day pitted the two teams that have scored the highest number of first half goals so far this season against each other, but there were none to speak of in a tense and often physical opening 45 minutes.
Determined to restore some pride after their drubbing to Western Sydney last Friday, the Reds were up and about from the kick-off, Bruce Djite launching a shot that he watched bounce precariously in front of Michael Theo, the Roar keeper doing just enough to take control of the ball on the second attempt.
Then in the 9th minute the healthy holiday crowd was treated to a Eugene Galekovic special as the Reds gloveman pulled off a superb reflex save to his left to parry away a goal bound Besart Berisha header after the Albanian slipped in front of his marker on the edge of the six yard box.
The Roar was beginning to find its groove while the Reds were being denied by the linesman-s flag as a couple of close offside calls not going their way, much of the action being played between the two penalty areas.
Brisbane-s high pressing game was making it difficult for the Reds to fully synch, Djite and Berisha-s early chances the best of the opportunities until Galekovic was alert to Ben Halloran-s quick fire release from close range in the 42nd minute.
Some strong shielding over the ball and sublime footwork from Djite in the middle of the park did have the crowd on their feet just before the break as he released Marcelo Carrusca free down the right, but it proved an anti climax as the Argentine-s cross was blocked by Roar captain Matt Smith.
The Reds- flowing, pinpoint passing game in the attacking third was proving slightly off, although an in swinging Carrusca corner did force Theo to turn it onto his near post in a close call for the Roar.
Brisbane-s breakthrough came when Thomas Broich and Mitch Nichols combined on the left, Nichols beating a couple of United defenders before having the presence of mind to find Henrique whose first touch was enough to find the back of the net.
With their unbeaten home record under threat, the Reds- efforts to respond were being thwarted as the Roar looked to starve the Reds of possession and take the sting out of the game.
An inventive Djite back heel almost created something out of nothing as the Reds- desperation levels increased, Nick Fitzgerald then having the chance to put any thought of a comeback beyond the home side as he was clear on goal with just Galekovic to beat but Daniel Bowles came up with a goal saving block to keep the Reds in it.
The home side mustered a couple of opportunities late on, the best a glancing header from Djite that just went wide to amazingly leave the Reds scoreless for the first time this season.
Rebounding from the heavy defeat to Western Sydney, it was a much improved United performance and one that Coach John Kosmina could take positives from despite the result.
“It was a long way back from where we were five days ago, and tonight we changed our shape a little bit, maybe we rolled the dice to some extent,” Kosmina said.
“We worked hard, we made opportunities, they got one chance and put it away and we probably had two or three we could have done better with but we just lacked that final bit of quality.”
Kosmina also put the low scoring nature of the encounter down to both clubs- situations coming into the clash.
“Both teams defended well. We defended with desperation and so did they,” Kosmina said.
“Brisbane are trying to fight their way back into some form and we-re trying to fight our way back from a thrashing five days ago, so it was almost like the tables were turned tonight - Brisbane got that little bit of luck that they-ve probably been missing and we didn-t have the luck that we needed tonight.”
“But that-s the way football goes…having said that, I-m happy with where we are.”
Match Details Adelaide United FC 0 Brisbane Roar 1 (Henrique 66-) Referee: Adam Kersey Crowd: 11,035 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik (14.Cameron Watson 66-), 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca (18.Fabian Barbiero 78-), 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 16.Daniel Bowles, 21.Jeronimo Neumann (23.Evan Kostopoulos 63-), 22.Fabio Ferreira Substitutes not used: 20.Paul Izzo (gk) Yellow Cards: Neumann 18-, Fyfe 42-, Bowles 43- Red Cards: Nil
Brisbane Roar starting line-up: 1.Michael Theo (gk), 2.Matt Smith (c), 3.Shane Stefanutto, 5.Ivan Franjic, 6.Erik Paartalu, 7.Besart Berisha (8.Massimo Murdocca 90+3-), 10.Henrique (24.Nick Fitzgerald 80-), 11.Ben Halloran, 15.James Donachie, 17.Mitch Nichols, 22.Thomas Broich Substitutes not used: 4.Matt Jurman, 20.Matt Acton (gk) Yellow Cards: Smith 25-, Henrique 31-, Theo 46-, Paartalu 53-, Halloran 90- Red Cards: Nil