Verbeek pleased with 10-man Adelaide's attacking intent in loss to Sydney
Adelaide United’s ability and desire to get themselves back into the game against Sydney FC pleased Gertjan Verbeek despite ultimately suffering a 3-2 loss.
Adelaide fell behind 2-0 after Adam Le Fondre’s brace but Nikola Mileusnić halved the deficit with an emphatic, dipping free-kick just before the interval at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
Following the re-start it was the Reds who came out all guns blazing and Al Hassan Toure punctuated a dominant spell with a classy finish on his Hyundai A-League debut.
The 19-year-old timed his run to perfection as he latched onto Ben Halloran’s cleverly lobbed pass, keeping his composure and holding off a defender to restore parity.
Verbeek said he observed some encouraging signs and was content that his players did not drop their heads and always tried to win the game even being down a man.
“I think the whole game we were a little bit unlucky,” Verbeek told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“After going down 0-1 they maybe got more comfortable and after that I saw a team who played very good football – a lot of chances.
“Even then they got the second goal – it was bad defending.
“But we still went on and the it helped of course that we scored a goal before half-time.”
“I said at half-time the duels and the second balls were 50/50, if you make it 60/30 then we’ll win this game and they started very well in the second-half and we got the second goal.”
Ryan Strain was then contentiously dismissed on 57 minutes for the slightest of contact on Le Fondre, who immediately fell to the grown.
“We had very good chances for the third goal and then the red card with half an hour to go,” Verbeek said.
“And even then we tried to play football and tried to attack and make the third goal and unlucky.
“In the end a set-piece, a corner, which is also trained by the opponents. We train it also in defending, we did (zonal defending).
“But when you’re not aggressive in your own zone and you let one come in front of you, you may have the chance that they score a goal and they did.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne City in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday, 20 October at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 3.30pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.