Adelaide vs Sydney FC: late Adelaide winner rubs salt in Sydney’s wound
After last week’s performance, Sydney FC fans were hoping Steve Corica was drilling the defense this week in hope of a less embarrassing performance against the League leaders Adelaide.
Adelaide however, was coming into this game breathing easy, hoping that Sydney’s bad luck will continue for just one more night. Sydney did have some good omens, as their last match against Adelaide ended in victory for the Sky Blues, even though their recent form seems to be against them. With the prospect of Jason Culina coming onto the pitch however, Sydney FC are looking and sounding optimistic ahead of this rigid fixture.
In terms of training before the match, Sydney were fast paced and athletic, maneuvering with muscular endurance, while Adelaide seem far more relaxed, having a laugh with each other and not going all-out in their pre-game training – were Sydney overworking themselves or were Adelaide coming into this game a little too relaxed and unacquainted?
As the players started to arrive on the pitch ready for the game, Jason Culina received a standing ovation by many fans around the stadium as Adelaide started off the game. As the ball left Necevski’s hands, Terry Antonis was on the ball; energy just exploding from his skillful and tight passes.
Adelaide’s first chance came in just the third minute as three of their players got a crack at a goal – made possible by a fantastic run down the left side by Fabio Ferrera – but Sydney’s defense was there to nervously kick the ball away from harm’s reach. Emerton also had a nice chance not long after Adelaide’s, as he swiftly made his way around the Reds’ defense but failed to create a goal-worthy chance for Sydney.
It only took 14 minutes for a controversial decision to be made. Adelaide’s number 8 Marcelo Carrusca tapped the ball comfortably into the net, but was shocked to see the offside flag up while he started his celebrations. Replays showed after the decision that the winger was on the right side of Sydney’s defense and the assistant referee had made a crucial judgment that could have cost Adelaide the game.
But Adelaide needn’t have worried, as they soon scored the first goal of the game. Just seven minutes after their notorious ‘offside’ goal, Vidosic neatly flicked the ball over to Fabio Ferreira who blazed the ball into the back of the net from 12 yards out. Just seconds after Adelaide’s goal, Sydney fans immediately start chanting for Steve Corica to bring on the famous Socceroos right back, Jason Culina.
Adelaide nearly scored in the 24th minute as Ivan Necevski made another spectacular save following another blunder from his defensive counter parts. Yau received the third yellow card of the night, leaving Steve Corica eyeing his players with an anxious expression upon his face. Following that, Del Piero and Brett Emerton see through two wasted chances which would have easily seen Sydney back in the game. Just before half time though, Del Piero sent a stunning free kick just inches over the bar, sending apprehensive gasps around the stadium.
The second-half started optimistically for the home side as Terry Antonis sent the ball just wide after an impressive pass from the Italian magician. Less than a minute after that chance came an actual goal for Sydney FC, scored by the youngster Yau. The ball was sent over the heads of the defenders,after finding Yau’s feet. His first touch was magic, setting up his splendid right-footed goal.
McFlynn was subbed off in the 58th minute for Joel Chianese – a wave of applause greeting him upon his arrival to the sideline.
Seb Ryall had an inspiring chance in the 65th minute as he sent a surge of energy behind the ball which just deflected off the Adelaide goalkeeper into the safe feet of his team mates. But it was the 68th minute which made the crowd go crazy; it was the time everyone was anticipating since the news of his return had leaked out. Jason Culina was making his way onto the pitch for number 22 Abbas. A surge of applause was sent from the stands as Culina graciously made his way onto a football pitch for the first time in 22 months.
Adelaide was given another chance as their number 22 was given plenty of space to sneak in a kick which just missed the Sydney goals. Sydney had a dozen or so more chances to score but they were all spoiled by the linesman as they were all held back by the offside flag – sparking outrage from both players and fans. Ivan Necevski had a great save in the 85th minute after safely securing a dangerous Adelaide corner but nothing could stop what was coming.
Adelaide ended the game in the 88th minute with a smashing goal from none other than Dario Vidosic. Nigel Boogard’s shot hit right off the crossbar but Vidosic’s volley sealed the deal for Adelaide, leaving Sydney in shatters. Goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic said:
“Sydney’s last (on the ladder) but they don’t deserve to be there, they’re tough to beat away from home. Today we had to grind it out … but we got the goal we needed.”
Terry Antonis was left disappointed after his team’s loss as he felt they deserved more. He said:
“We had plenty of chances. We played well at times, they (Adelaide) went down three times and they scored two goals. We’ve got to keep working on our game, and we’ll start getting the results.”
This victory for Adelaide leaves them five points clear of second place Central Coast Mariners, who face arch enemies Brisbane Roar on Sunday.