If ever there was a first day of summer to set a new hottest day on record, this was not it. Conditions were much more akin to what the rest of us play football in, grey skies and rain.
Adelaide United fans came into the game feeling quite confident with four wins in a row and playing against a bottom team, the players however didn’t seem to come out with this same confidence and self-belief on the other hand Wellington had their first win of the season last weekend and this seemed to provide them with the boost they needed.
It was Wellington who fired the first shot in the opening minute when Piscopo managed to get his head to the ball but Izzo comfortably made the save. From this first minute, things looked shaky for Adelaide, with more fouls than a chicken farmer, and looking heavy on their feet. In the 29th minute things heated up (not with the weather) when Wellington were awarded a penalty for a push in the back by Maria on Sotirio. VAR review however showed it was outside of the box and Wellington were awarded a free kick.
So it turns out VAR can get things right…. Approaching half time, United continued to give away fouls whilst Wellington had shots on target. Half time came with a 0-0 scoreline, a game as flat as the crowd numbers and Wellington certainly the better team. I think those over at Adelaide oval were seeing more action in a cricket game! Half time saw United make two changes, Toure off for Opseth and Halloran making way for Blackwood.
The first ten minutes of the second half didn’t see much different play from United and Wellington were seemingly able to read our play every time. I said “I’m not going to have much to write about in my article.” Turns out that’s like using the word “quiet” at work and a can of worms always opens up! In the 57th minute against the run of play somehow Mileusnic controls McGree’s header to put a lovely volley past the keeper! If you haven’t seen the footage, go and find it! This surely must be a contender for goal of the year!
Just when you thought we were firing on all cylinders finally, Sotirio manages to find Ball who even though has himself placed between two United players, find himself unmarked enough to take the cross and send Izzo to his right, but it goes straight into the back of the net. It’s 1-1.
Only two minutes later Blackwood is seen to be holding Cacace, who goes down in the box and a penalty is awarded. Contentious? Yes, but a lot of penalties are. However, in these situations the forward often has the upper hand, because it takes a lot for VAR to overturn close calls where the penalty has been called by the ref. If this had been played on and then sent to VAR for review, the penalty may not have still been awarded, but I’m not a ref….. Ulises Davila steps up and converts the penalty.
From this point Wellington seem to park the bus and are masters at time wasting, just enough to get away with it. United still find it hard to get into the groove of the game, and that penalty seems to have taken any last breath of air out of their sails.
In the 95th minute the ref finally has enough of this time wasting and gives away the first card of the night, a yellow to Cacace. United are given one last chance in the final minute with a free kick, but it’s too little too late. Final score 1-2. Not every week can be your week, here’s to coming out with more spark next week.
By Michelle Reid