The Sunday arvo Australia-day weekend clash saw Adelaide overcome a first half as underwhelming as this year’s Hottest 100 to snag the three points from a hungry Central Coast. Adelaide= the sausage, the Mariners= the onion if you go to Bunnings.
A minute’s silence started matchday proceedings to recognise the recent passing of both Boland’s father, as well as former Adelaide United favourite Awer Mabil’s sister. Bor Mabil tragically lost her life in a car accident in Adelaide in the early hours of Saturday morning at just 19 years of age- RIP to a gorgeous lady. TLL would like to take this opportunity to send our condolences to both families.
Simon returned fresh faced from suspension with his golden hair glistening in the Adelaide sun, contrasting well against the navy-blue away kit. With the return of Jakobsen, Michael Marrone was awarded the coveted pitch-side seats as a 32nd birthday present.
The Mariners started off the first half fast as they have been in recent rounds. In contrast, Adelaide’s game plan of Izzo passing out from the back directly to Elsey, and then bombing a long shot down the pitch that either went out of play or was quickly turned over was unsurprisingly discovered by the Mariners quite quickly. Not even a stinging ball (you should get that checked out) to the face of Jakobsen in the 4th minute could wake up the Reds, for what would become a frustrating opening half.
United appeared to still be stuck in Perth from earlier in the week. Shots were sloppier than a Zooper Dooper left in the pantry. Players appeared to know where each other was as much as most Australian’s don’t know the second verse to Advance Australia Fair and the work rate appeared as good as every McDonald’s ice cream machine in Australia. Goodwin had the best chance for United in the first half in the 26th, as his right (scandalous) footed shot to the left side of the box was blocked by a Rowles goal-line clearance more prominent than a servo counter Ginger Coke and Chomp bar clearance.
And with Adelaide continuing to turn balls over more than men tanning on banana lounges at Maslin Beach, a goal inevitably resulted for the Coast. Hoole slammed in an absolute curler in the 37th into the top right corner as he was given more time to pick out his spot than a girl getting ready for a Saturday night dinner…with Andrew Hoole.
More calls were made for VAR than Troisi in first half injury time as shouts for handball in the box cried out, but VAR deemed contact to be unintentional. The shouts for VAR were replaced by Adelaide getting booed off the park at halftime, to the point where Lia didn’t make a return and Ilsø entered as his replacement for the second 45.
Adelaide stepped up the tempo in the second half, however the condom balloons floating around in the crowd appeared to be protecting United from scoring. Goodwin was one on one with Kennedy in the 52nd, but his shot had little threat and was saved as he failed to shoot on his first touch.
Nikola had several chances, his 61st going too high and his 65th being tapped out for a corner. Luckily the corner cross, taken by Goodwin, had the ball looser in the box than going commando. Capitano Isaías got a better leg to the ball than Vedran does in the 96th, to slot in the equaliser. Isaías opted for the puffed cheek celebration, looking more bloated than me after downing two ciders and a cheese platter.
Central Coast attempted to hit straight back, with a Millar shot following a free kick getting deflected off his own player. Millar went back for a second attempt in the 74th but Izzo had it covered.
Adelaide did their usual “pick up the pace in the last ten minutes as if the previous 80 minutes of football had never happened”. Goodwin was denied again in the 75th, whilst Ilsø’s man bun nearly made it on the board from an 86th minute corner cross, to be denied by a hair.
And just as Central Coast looked to be slowly climbing themselves from that bottom ladder rung, Galloway managed to part two defenders to provide a mesmerising assist for Blackwood to find the back of the net. Opting to snub the Isaías bloated cheek celebration, George selected the STFU gesture instead, appearing to be directed at a certain member of the crowd.
Adelaide next face the struggling Roar at Cooper’s- and given how hard we seem to make it against bottom teams in our home fortress, I won’t be tooting our own horn just yet.
By Hayley Leedham