The opening game of Round 21 saw a f*ckup final rematch between Sydney and Adelaide at Leichhardt Oval. With Adelaide’s regular backline absolutely obliterated, you just knew this was going to turn out about as good as fake tanning around your ankles and knees, with Sydney coming off 2-0 victors in front of a 12,000 strong crowd.
Hats off to The Cove as well who were as vocal as Brosque’s whinging; what a shame he was suspended for tonight (I needed to get pleasure out of one of the team line-ups okay).
I had the same reaction looking at Adelaide’s starting XI as I do when I look at my savings account past transactions- WTF. We were prepared for no Elsey given his foot fracture picked up during the Round 19 WSW clash, but no Jakobsen due to back spasms in training yesterday (which surely would’ve been cured sitting bolt upright on a Jetstar flight) had our backline opening up into a chasm.
I don’t blame the blokes for wanting to stay in Adelaide rather than traveling to Sydney this weekend. I mean, Adelaide is the internationally renowned place to be this weekend with the Fringe Festival, the Superloop Adelaide 500, and of course my Hen’s…which I’m now expecting both CB to attend. So instead, on paper we were faced with the prospect of Marrone and Lia in the backline. In reality, we saw Isaías spend his 150th as another defensive reinforcement with Marrone and Galloway, as he became as important as the lone pair of knickers on a camping trip- needed both front and back.
Sydney made the most of Isaías’ absence from the midfield as Ninković found plenty of space to be a pest in the opening 45. Meanwhile Mullet Man was tasked to limit the impact of Goodwin who wasn’t able to get into much of the game.
Loan-signing Jordy had an early chance in the 3rd post Goodwin free-kick, but his header didn’t have enough oomph on it and easily found the hands of Redmayne. Momentum soon swung toward Sydney as ALF had a chance in the 8th minute but Ninković, who had Lia beaten, put a little too much on the pass for Izzo to just get there just in time. Reza capitalised on the indecisiveness of Adelaide’s makeshift defence only a minute later to gain possession, but Marrone did just enough to put the shot taker off to allow Izzo to clean up.
It was razor sharp from Reza in the 15th as he opened his A-League scoring account following some combination play by the Smurfs. Reza started off the play before sending the ball to Grant, then to ALF, to do the A-League roundabout to come full circle and find the back of the net.
Ninković attempted to bring the chips and the sausage rolls to the table as his lob in the 18th was just denied by the fingertips of Izzo. Moments later in the 23rd, the pinky of Izzo again denied Reza by pushing his shot into the woodwork as he looked for the Bali-special Gucci fake by glancing toward ALF, then deciding to go himself.
Thomassen had his best chance to open his scoring account for Adelaide in the 32nd, finding the end of an Isaías free kick that had been punched out by Redmayne, but the ball only grazed off Jordy’s head to go wide of the post.
Adelaide finished out the first half the stronger side with Boland turning to face the Strain in the 38th for more ch, ch, ch, chances but Strain sent the shot wide. Blackwood also had a massive chance in the 45+1 as Redmayne made the poor choice to come off his line, however the shot was saved on the goal-line by a Wilkinson clearing header.
Adelaide dominated possession in the second half as the Red’s attempted to find the equaliser, with Blackwood having a quality game including a chance in the 57th that found the side netting. Goodwin attempted a shot in the 81st that was fumbled by Redmayne, but Jordy didn’t read the play and failed to capitalise on the mistake. Strain found his way around Zullo and Wilkinson in the 85th to find the head of Ilsø, but Redmayne dived on the shot. D’Arrgio snuck on for his A-League debut in the 86th to replace the weary legs of Strain as Marco continues to give a nod to the youth.
The devil appeared for Adelaide in the form of Devlin who was able to capitalise on the break as the Reds had thrown everything forward in injury time. Cameron found the back of the net in the 94th to grab Sydney’s second and his first A-League goal. The banger caused The Cove to crumble and spill over the advertising boards like a tipped over latte as the poor Liechhardt oval security guard attempted to stop the fan tsunami (he is okay and his efforts rewarded with a free team jacket!).
Now would appear to be a good time for us to start a Go-Fund me with a $50k target to buy back Regan for the remainder of the season as we face league-leaders Perth Glory next round. Whilst Sydney next face City again at Liechhardt Oval in Round 22, with the Smurf’s only needing to leave the state once more to finish off the regular season.
By Hayley Leedham