We found ourselves at Coopers Stadium on a Sunday evening to enjoy the second instalment of the Hyundai A-League’s stupidest fixture decision since, well that would be a long list so lets keep it short hey.
We decided to make a day of it, it’s a final, let’s go and entwine ourselves in the energy. At pre drinks where literally the entire pub was just AUFC fans having a good time, drinking and even with families having dinner in the dining room, I’ve seen 18th birthday parties wilder than this. Actually 18th’s can get real. Let’s say underage socials.
What I’m sure was the reason behind this was the roaming police. I mean, when the hell did this start? I hate to be that person who complains about pointless shit, I REALLY DO. But, they were walking through the pub observing each and every one of us in assumption we were to do something wrong. As a citizen, a commoner, a human, I expect the police to be protecting me, not making me feel like a criminal. I was told after a bit of investigation that the police presence had been increased since the Victory match and as well because it’s a ‘Melbourne’ match. Regardless of City having like 35 fans.
We head to the match and holy crap balls, I love Coopers Stadium so much. A perfect night for football in an open stadium. The Adelaide weather was chilly with a side of frozen balls but the energy, the excitement from other spectators in the stadium, kept you warm.
Heading into the match, I was full of confidence. I thought, yeah we got this. Remembering back to the last finals match against City here at Coopers, I remember it distinctly. Yes especially in the A-League, players change teams like their underwear. However Melbourne City since that match, still haven’t done anything particularly exciting. They are still inconsistent, struggle to score at times and don’t always play as a team. Melbourne City’s struggle all season I believe, is the team work. Individually they’re excellent players, they just needed more team building seminars.
The second half began as you’d imagine, both teams feeling each other out, unsure why considering Melbourne City haul their players and administration from Adelaide United. Craig Goodwin then goes and does Craig Goodwin things early in the first half. The play originates from a bit of tiki taka at the back, finds Craig Goodwin in the middle of the park who cuts out 4 defenders with a pass to Ben Halloran making a run up front who unfortunately for Reds fans, hits the God damn crossbar.
The referee, Kurt Ams, he was fun in this match. Contrary to popular belief I don’t like to talk down a bloke just trying to do his job. But to be completely honest, I think a cold calling Telstra employee with English as their second language could make more correct calls.
Unsurprisingly to anyone who knows Isaias and his tendency to play just above the line that will get you a card, Señor receives a yellow card in the 27th minute. Generally it takes Isa a little longer to get a slice of cheese, We normally experience the 3 stages of Isaias before the yellow comes out; bitches to ref about teammates card, tackles oppositions several times in a ‘just legal’ manner and finally, bitches some more. Part of me only thinks he has been assigned captain as he’s gonna bitch about a call regardless so they figured they might as well put him in a position of a little more lenience to do so.
In this case, I still personally thought it was quite soft. Isaias arriving at the back of Berenguer who falls to ground, Ams directly behind the incident believed this clip was free kick worthy and called for a spot kick. Paul Izzo however, was not taking anyone’s shit.
If at this point, if the game wasn’t doing it for you, the sideline battle of Marco Kurz v everyone else sure would’ve. Sad to see Marco leave Adelaide United, not only has he had a good spell as manager but his sideline demeanour is entertaining as shit.
Baccus began to really piss off Reds players. Towards the end of the first half he did receive a yellow for his actions but as the game went on, the bloke was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Early on in the second half Adelaide came out wanting one of those goal things people always talk about. Goodwin’s attempt on goal from a terrific attacking play was cut out by Harrison Delbridge sliding into the box like it’s a girl wearing a cleavage tops’ DMs. Isaias and Goodwin thought this was a good time for a short corner. It was not.
As the energy in the stadium elevated, the noise rose, Baccus cuts out Goodwin up the left, ending the attack but gaining a spot kick just outside of the box. No goal for the Reds however Luke Brattan got the lights knocked out of him. He’s good though.
Delbridge and Shayon Harrison (also known as ‘you’re just a Tottenham reject’ as the Red Army so eloquently put it) both attempting attacks in bid to find Jamie Maclaren who’s been treated by United like he’s in a library, but absolutely no one could get through to the little pocket rocket.
Melbourne City had their best chance of the game in the 64th minute when Riley McGree found Delbridge up the left who found an open Berenguer who missed the goal by the narrowest of angles.
Later in the half we see Paul Izzo unintentionally give the ball away to the opposition from a goal kick which finds its way to Riley McGree, shit. Thankfully for Reds fans, McGree’s something outta nothing burst of a shot is saved by an on-the-ball Izzo.
In the 76th minute Adelaide United’s newly crowned saviour, Baba Diawara was substituted on. We all had ourselves thinking for some unknown reason, we’re good now.
Over the remaining minutes of the 90 we found ourselves up and down with nerves. The team stepped up but there was just no goal in sight, it really looked like it was going to penalty’s on a school night.
The end of 90 minutes plus stoppage time ends at 0-0. We’re on to extra time at 9pm on a Sunday, cool.
The first 15 of stoppage felt very ‘save your energy and make the appropriate subs’. Which actually is pretty much what happened. So we head into the second half. We’re cold, we have no voices and my battery is on 20%, much like Adelaide United’s shooting accuracy.
In the last God forsaken minute of stoppage time, over 119 minutes without a goal, HALLORAN, BEN HALLORAN, DOES GOAL.
It starts all the way down in the Reds half with Kitto seeking out Goodwin. De Laet attempts an interception but it was tired and unsuccessful. Goodwin finds Diawara central in the box however with nowhere to move he passes over to his right to find Halloran who SENDS IT HOME.
Coopers Stadium goes absolutely insane. Marco Kurz I think, burst many veins. I have beer all over me. We did it. We won. We’re off to Perth on Friday night. Thank u, next.
By Rose Valente