With Adelaide hoping to be back-to-back FFA Cup champions in a few day times, round 2 instead heralded United’s first back-to-back losses to start a season in 13 years following a 2-1 defeat to City.
It was the game to win back the stadium supporter. City handed out Mombaert’s-style glasses to the first 1000 fans through the gates to help spread some of that CFG vi$ion, whilst VAR didn’t dare intervene for an entire 90 minutes (I think this was also to appease Simon Hill who just re-joined Twitter with a bang).
In Qantas’ second embarrassing cock up for the weekend, they managed to lose half of United’s squad. Adelaide faced some huge outs with Strain suspended, Elsey, Boland, Blackwood all injured, and Halloran a last-minute omission suffering gastro- who’s his poor hotel roommate? Adelaide’s bench numbers were also looking very Sunday-League as some green-seat elite fill-ins were required alongside Konstandopoulos, Toure, Richards, and Brook. With Adelaide looking as thin at the back as Corey Brown, Marrone was pushed into the CB role and Yared Abetew got himself a professional debut.
City got off the blocks early, with the first chance coming in the 2nd minute. Noone danced around Abetew to find Najjarine, but the shot went across the face of goal and out of play. Five minutes later and another scare was sent across the Adelaide camp with Metcalfe sending in a cross to find Najjarine again, only for Izzo to tip the ball onto the post just enough to stop the ball crossing the goal line.
With City chances coming faster than me trying to finish my entire tub of popcorn prior to the previews finishing, it was only a matter of time before Maclaren capitalised. J-Mac was on the end of a fairly lucky bounce to open the scoring in the 24th. 1-0 down and United were already as behind as Adelaide’s retail scene- we only just opened a Sephora two weeks ago alright. Alas, this was only the start of a five-minute horror period where it looked as if Adelaide could fall apart quicker than a Cadbury flake. In the 28th, Abetew unfortunately conceded a corner- subsequently taken by Najjarine to allow a Noone cross to fall at Jamie’s feet in the box for a tap-in. 2 goals down and Adelaide were looking as off-track as a pensioner’s attempt at driving down the O-Bahn.
United found some spark in the 39th as Mileusnic made a bursting run to combine with both Opseth and McGree. Mileusnic’s shot was off-target and Maria’s clean-up effort could only find the side of the net. Adelaide gave a go of it again in the 43rd as Kitto found Opseth, who’s touch was not enough to redirect the ball into the net. Had these two chances gone in and things could have been very different.
Over the sounds of everyone fapping over the possibility of a Maclaren hattrick came the announcement that Abetew was subbed for Brook at half time. Yes, Adelaide meant business and were deploying the double ‘brawler from Gawler’ play. United amped up the pressure and soon found the reward. Much to the pleasure of former red turned former City now current red’s goalkeeping coach, Galekovic, former red turned former City now current red McGree got one back in the 67th following the aftermath of a corner. The biggest chance for the equaliser came through McGree again in the 71st following a fast break from Mileusnic but missed to the left.
A chance of an injury-time leveller also came in the 91st as Toure found his way around Delbridge as his pass seemed destined for an Opseth tap-in, only to be cut out by the smallest intercept from Windbichler.
City finish round 2 in 3rd whilst Adelaide find themselves in 10th – at least for the first season I can say that doesn’t mean last. With the two teams facing each other again on Wednesday for the FFA Cup Final in Adelaide, I’m just wondering whether we can return to favour and pass on a bout of gastro to Maclaren? I’m thinking the quality establishment known as Charlie’s Diner for team dinner the night before lads.
By Hayley Routley