For something a little different this season, AUFC and Wellington entered the round 11 fixture on an even playing field.
Both teams came in with an equal number of points, wins, losses, draws, and goal difference and so perhaps it was fitting that the score line ended a level 0-0. However, both teams didn’t finish the game equal on the field as it wasn’t quite shirts off for the Nix, but rather Mandi off in the second 45.
The first half was as stale as a showbag lolly for both sides. There was a lot of back and forth between both teams and some solid play on either side dealing with a bit of wind, but for a generation that craves memes the first 45 was putting out as little as a nun.
The 55th saw a stunning Elsey header following a Goodwin assist that looked to have crossed the line. In scenes reminiscent of Liverpool’s goal-line denial earlier in the week, VAR too said “no goal”. And this is where the Adelaide United/Liverpool comparisons stop. Although the no goal was disappointing, the use of technology to look at something objectively and measurable in a quick manner is the kind of technology that should be implemented into the game.
The 65th minute saw the game get as spicy as Colgate (yeah I’m that white girl). Lia found himself on the ground, the ball scooped under Lia by a trailing Wellington foot (watch the replay before you @ me), and Mandi coming in for a late kick straight into the ribs of Lia after the whistle had already sounded. Lucas initially dished out yellows to Isaías and Mandi, drowned out by the “off, off” roars from the fans in the stands who had seen the big-screen replay of Mandi’s actions. Lucas was directed to take another look on the pitch side replay mini screen by VAR, eventually deciding to overturn his original decision and sending Mandi for reckless and violent conduct.
Cue Mandi Sosa-lty with the bad sportsmanship post receiving the red card. Now I’m not saying I’m against a player stripping on the pitch, however Mandi proceeding to unravel his strapping at the top of the box and toss it on the ground like it was Central Coast’s chances of making finals was uncalled for and disrespectful.
Post send off, Adelaide had more openings and opportunity than what the Adelaide United social media admin gave fans when they posted a happy birthday tribute to Baba Diawara this morning (did they think people would seriously leave that alone?). AUFC had 16 shots following the 1-man advantage, however could not capitalise in what was a frustrating period of play for fans to watch. Adelaide continually got the ball to the top of the box but appeared scared to do anything useful with it. The main shining light for Adelaide was Strain, who ran his legs off the entire game as the ball seemed absolutely glued to his feet at times.
The 84th minute saw Adelaide finally sub on one of our actual strikers, with Blackwood gracing the park and handing a note straight to the on-field players that presumably said schiessen ficken (shoot farken).
If this game wasn’t a bigger example of AUFC’s need for a prolific striker then I don’t know what is. With the club’s only announcement this week being that Baba has been added to the long-term injury list (may as well have announced that our primary team colour is red) rather than the de-list we can only hope that the January transfer window won’t be a silent one for AUFC as the rumours of Bobô and Juric becoming distant memories (cue tiny violin).
Adelaide next face Melbourne Victory at home during a mid-week fixture which promises to be a packed house with over 300 away bay tickets already sold, with likely 300 police officers deployed to match cOs HoOlIgAnS. Whilst the Nix face WSW away in hopes of continuing their 6-game undefeated streak for the season.
By Hayley Leedham