Wednesday night saw Perth Glory host Adelaide United in the final instalment of the mid-week, non-public holiday triple-header, where the final score was tied up a glory-hole a piece.
The final day of Round 15 of the Summer of Football was threatened to be overshadowed by the earth-shattering announcement of the retirement of Usain Bolt from professional football. Although we were all rocked to our core, we managed to pick ourselves up for a 6- hour football binge-fest that we all complained about. All this despite our usual Wednesday nights probably involving watching Netflix until we felt ashamed, then moving to bed and sitting on our phones into the early hours of the morning anyway. The very idea of the Summer of Football seems largely counterintuitive to Aussie culture; although it contributes to us not knowing what the hell the day is, an Aussie summer is usually personified by doing sweet FA until you suddenly realise it’s almost February and you have made no effort to change despite promising to do so…okay maybe there are more similarities to the A-League than I realise.
Popa continued his summer of more on-field player ch ch changes than Bowie. His rotation policy, inspired by Bolt’s everchanging career choices, saw the on-field K/Cardashian trio split up as Keogh and Castro were benched, with Chianese starting alongside Brimmer and Santalab. Adelaide saw a reshuffle to replace the suspended Jakobsen, with Konsta, Strain, and Marrone all on the field.
The opening half saw an even contest between the two teams, in what was one of the more fast-paced games that we have seen over the past few weeks. Both sides had several half-chances, starting with a Chianese shot in the 9th blocked by Lia after Marrone gave away possession. Reddy was nearly caught out by Halloran chasing him down in the 19th but managed to brush it off. Santalab attempted a bicycle kick to clean up a free-kick effort in the 24th but sent the shot well over the crossbar. Djulbic had a long-range shot from 35 yards out in the 33rd to provide Perth with their best chance of the half, but the ball was safely parried out by Izzo. Goodwin sent it straight to the keeper in the 42nd, with Halloran unable to convert his clean up attempt. Santalab had Izzo beat in the 45th but became tangled in his own feet to miss the shot that would have later been called offside anyway.
And just as the teams were about to enter the sheds for a half-time spray, both Kersey and VAR missed what appeared to be a clear foul on Isaías by Juande in the box. Juande appears to miss the ball completely, impeding Isaías by stepping on his foot and blocking any goal-scoring attempt. Adelaide’s referee-decision luck from last round appeared short-lived as Kersey, who throughout the game had been sucked into non-existent/soft fouls quicker than my Nanna to a Saudi prince scam, waved all protests away. If you had been sticking with the VAR series for the earlier two episodes of the day, the actions of VAR (that being not looking at the foul at all) were unsurprising.
Both teams entered the second half looking for a break-through bigger than the invention of a weight loss pill that truly works. However, what we mostly saw was more corners than Ikea as Adelaide finished with 11 to their name.
Izzo appeared to struggle with distribution, as he was under added pressure to assist the CB role with Jakobsen missing. So for shits and gigs, Adelaide players continued to pass back to him anyway. Adelaide had a chance to go one up in the 75th but Goodwin’s shot off a Halloran assist was blocked by the body of Djulbic.
And as to almost make a complete mockery of the concept of the Summer of Football, the rain began to pour down in the final five minutes more than Sokkah Twitter’s reaction to Robbie Slater’s #invitegate. Both teams had a final chance to seal it in stoppage time, with Kitto missing a prime opportunity in the 93rd, whilst Chianese couldn’t quite get a toe to tap in a Davidson cross with 40 seconds to go.
With the score line ending at the same point as people’s interest in mid-week triple headers, Perth remain top of the league, whilst Adelaide was able to grab a valuable point away from home to jump Wellington into 5th following their earlier loss to SFC whilst we were all still at work.
By Hayley Leedham