The Round 25 City v Adelaide fixture had a lot at (vegan) stake for both sides vying for the coveted off-the-podium fourth place finish and the all-important home final that comes with it. However, after a solid tussle on latte-sipping soil, both teams walked away with a polenta chip a piece as the game ended deadlocked at gluten-free bagels thanks to both keepers’ hands being so safe, you could trust them with your AUX cord.
It was no Barty, no party for City, with Atkinson the replacement for Schenkeveld, who injured his quad during training. Whilst Adelaide experienced a feeling that they don’t get too often; two strikers being available at once. So, what do we do? Put them both on the park at the same time to field a 4-4-2 formation. How would this partnership fair? Would it be a ‘kiss at a red-light kind of love?’ or would it work out about as well as trying to get your winged eyeliner on both eyes to match?
Both teams came out firing with as much confidence as CCM existing in a league without pro/rel. Goodwin was first to test the Yarra waters with a huge chance in the first 50 seconds, to be denied only by the feet of Galeković. Moments later, Adelaide had the far post woodwork to thank as Izzo was all but beaten by Baccus’ attempt in the 2nd minute.
Izzo’s biggest save of the first half came in the 11th to palm out Harrison’s shot, before the remainder of the opener became one-way roadwork-induced traffic for Adelaide.
We got our first non-Joyceball related delay in the 22nd as Griffith’s copped an elbow to spill blood from his cheek- not the passion I think City deserves, but okay. Jordy went down in the 31st, appearing to twist his ankle following an aerial dual with Atkinson, which resulted in him eventually leaving the field five minutes later. Adelaide fans faked their disappointment surrounding his departure as much as the tans and extensions at Southbank shopping precincts as Thomassen was subbed for Mileusnic, our second highest goal scorer of the season (having only played a third of the season mind you).
Nikola managed to make an immediate impact as he beat Berenguer to slam a left footed shot toward goal, only to be deflected by both Brattan and de Laet. There was a notable difference in Adelaide’s intensity post substitution, with their intention to score as obvious as guys who text “you up?” at 2am.
Adelaide finished the first half off strong, with the ball somehow not finding the back of the net in the 41st as Galeković was forced into a double save; first from the efforts of Blackwood, and then to deny Halloran on the clean-up.
City came out hard and fast in the second half, as Delbridge immediately forced Izzo to save his header attempt in the opening minute.
Maclaren, who had little impact in the first 45 due to receiving service as good as Vodafone, found himself unmarked tailing a Brattan cross…only to follow up with a weak, limp volley with as much life in it as the vegetables that go into my fridge crisper for an early demise.
Izzo was forced into a great save to deny Delbridge in the 63rd following a set piece, as the ball was just tipped over the crossbar by a margin as small as the payout for a Winx win.
Isaías went down in the 71st following a Griffiths’ foul and required treatment for a rump bump. Given the absolute prestige of our Captain’s caboose, it was put on ice like a fine wine, to ignite him back into play.
Maclaren sent in a powerful shot in the 75th but again found the post, whilst Mileusnic had the chance to separate the two sides a minute later, but a poor first touch sent the ball into the waiting hands of Eugene.
Late chances were a plenty for both sides as Goodwin’s 87th minute free-kick looked destined for top bins, only for Galeković to anticipate the direction as much as we all anticipate a Bozza rant post bad VAR call. Wales went on a last-minute burst in the 90th, only to be deprived by the finger-tip deflection of Izzo for the 0-0 scoreline to stand.
The result, off the back of Brisbane doing us a huge favour last night (Nix fail Brisbane, that’s umpossible), means we jump into fourth for now and are guaranteed a finals spot. Now please Adelaide, get that home final… otherwise I will be kissing more ass than Schenkeveld’s shorts to try and get time off for an away trip.
By Hayley Routley