Finally, there were a few Ziga Zaga Ziga Zago Oi Oi Oi’s being belted from the Cooper’s Stadium changerooms as Adelaide continued their unbeaten form against the Nix this season with a 3-1 win. Adelaideans turned back the clock early Sunday morning to see off daylight savings, and United appeared to keep turning theirs all the way back to form reminiscent of Season 15/16 to give the home fans that winning feeling.
Even going down to 10-men wasn’t enough to keep United down. Mainly because we haven’t played with a striker for the whole season, so having one sent off in the opening half just meant we were business as usual…back to the ol’ status quo.
Following Strain’s injury against the Mariners last week, Kurz’s hand was again forced to come up with another creative line-up from those we have remaining not cursed by injury or suspension. I would love to see what this man could turn my $2 bank account balance into. Kitto, Jakobsen, Marrone, and Galloway completed the back four, whilst Nikola made a return to the bench following re-signing for another 2 years mid-week.
The opening half saw Apostolos go from zero to 100…letters in his name and in his game. AP played a central role in Adelaide opening their account in the 10th through winning United a corner that was beautifully taken by Goodwin, to find the head of Marrone for his second ever A-League goal.
7 minutes later United doubled their lead with a clever Halloran back heel finding Galloway, and then AP for Red’s fans to start questioning just what was unfolding before their eyes. Goodwin tried to get his name on the board in the 23rd with a bicycle kick attempt, whilst Wellington were gifted several chances in the closing minutes of the first 45; initially Cacace in the 33rd following our backline stuffing around, and again having another go in the 41st, only to be denied by the goal-line clearing header of Galloway.
AP went for the early birthday present in the 44th- he shares his birthday with a great TLL Adelaide fan, *cough* me…we’re fiery Aries, which probably played a role in what followed. AP’s brace saw the ball just cross the line by a margin as small as my patience for slow walkers. Kurto attempted to play this one as cool as a NZ winter but it wasn’t enough to fool Barreiro, to chalk up Adelaide’s 3rd.
Having anxiety about the rest of the boys seeing him in the shower, AP then put in one hell of a reckless challenge on Mandi in the 45+1 to initially see yellow, but KGJ wanted blood red with the original decision overturned. I feel for AP as he is not a dirty player and you can sense he had about as much intent with this challenge as the creator of the eggplant and peach emoji’s intended for them to be used as representations of the human anatomy. But it was dangerous, so off he went. Even with a three-goal advantage, I was two Red Bulls deep and this was not the stuff my heart rate needed right now.
Adelaide didn’t make an immediate change post send-off and were gradually pushed deeper and deeper in the second half. The Nix returned fire with their own reckless challenge in the 60th, with Lord Golec seeing yellow for his shin tickle on Halloran (if you’re reading this Ben, I really like your new haircut).
Sheridan had a huge chance in the 61st as he was one on one with Izzo, but decided to send it to Williams who could not find the back of the net the entire night. Even Diawara would have scored that one.
The man who shares his names with a sheet company soiled Izzo’s clean sheet in the 73rd from a corner; his initial attempt found the post but he managed to clean it up on the second effort for his first ever A-League goal.
Adelaide were somewhat rattled after conceding and Izzo continued to be tested as Williams was denied in the bottom right corner in the 84th by the gloveman. Only moments later it seemed that this game would get interesting as Wellington again found the back of the net, but the AR had other ideas with the goal eventually being scrapped due to offside.
So, with that result, the race to be in the league’s top 40% is on! Wellington currently have Adelaide pipped for fourth thanks to the enormous goal difference obtained during their absolute pelting of the Coast in Round 21. It also means that WSW can no longer mathematically make finals (excluding some bizarre 3-point deduction in the remaining rounds- sorry Chrissi). Adelaide next face Melboring City away whilst Wellington may have the easier route against the Roar on Friday night.
By Hayley Routley