Hyundai A-League - 2012/2013 - Season 8

Wellington Score Deserved
Draw With Adelaide
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 22
4:30pm, Sunday 24 February, 2013
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Wellington Phoenix FC 2
(Jeremy Brockie 31’, Corey Gameiro 80’)
drew with
Adelaide United FC 2
(Tomi Juric 20’, Marcello Carrusca 34')

Bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix showed some welcome fight and resolve in their quest to climb the Hyundai A-League table at Westpac Stadium on February 24, twice coming from behind to score a deserved 2-2 draw with Adelaide United in front of a season-low crowd of 4,892 fans on a gloriously sunny summer’s afternoon.

The home team almost found themselves trailing inside the first minute of play, Tomi Juric sending Iain Ramsay through the inside left channel for the utility player to get to the by-line before directing a low cross into Dario Vidosic’s stride.

Glen Moss saved bravely at his feet, and instantly launched a counter-attack which culminated in Jeremy Brockie sending a shot careering across the face of Adelaide’s goal seconds later.

That set the tone for proceedings, although there was no question that Adelaide were the stronger side in the early stages. Only scrambling Wellington defence prevented Vidosic and Marcelo Carrusca capitalising on a seventh minute opening, while the former’s thirty-yarder fizzed narrowly over the angle on the quarter hour.

Adelaide deservedly opened the scoring in the twentieth minute with a super goal. Carrusca sent the overlapping Cassio careering away down the left to the by-line, from where he picked out the late-arriving figure of Juric with an angled pull-back.

With exquisite execution, the striker swivelled and smashed a sizzling volley past the helpless figure of Moss - 1-0 Adelaide, with a peach of a goal, the first of three fine strikes this game was to witness.

Wellington responded strongly to this setback, Louis Fenton spurning a glorious chance to level the scores from eight yards out just two minutes later. Paul Ifill then let fly straight at Eugene Galekovic on receipt of a splendid cross-field ball from Vince Lia.

On the half-hour, the Barbados international volleyed over from just outside the goal area after Corey Gameiro had caught Antony Golec in possession and linked with Brockie, who neatly controlled the ball before setting up Ifill.

Wellington didn’t have long to wait for their equaliser, however. From the resulting goal-kick, Golec and Galekovic sold themselves short with their passes as Gameiro prowled with all the subtlety of a fox in a hen-house. Cue a blunder by the goalkeeper, and the loan signing swooped, dispossessing Galekovic and gifting Brockie an open goal into which he rolled his twelfth goal of the season.

Buoyed on by their fans, the locals pressed for a second goal, with Galekovic forced to keep out a Gameiro effort seconds later. But the ‘keeper promptly sent Cassio storming down the left once more, the wingback holding off two challenges before checking his run and steering the ball inside towards Carrusca.

The midfielder deftly controlled the pass with one touch, then fair hammered a quite unstoppable rising twenty yard half-volley into the net via the underside of the crossbar, the ball bouncing down and back up in to the roof of the net to restore Adelaide’s lead - a sure fire “Goal of the Season” contender if ever there was one!

It silenced the natives, but they were soon urging Wellington on again as the cellar-dwellers set about pursuing a second equaliser. Gameiro forced a couple of quality saves from Galekovic within three minutes of Carrusca’s 33rd minute snorter, while the home team had penalty claims turned down four minutes before half-time when the already booked Osama Malik nudged Brockie off-balance in the area.

While Adelaide enjoyed the better of the early first half exchanges, it was Wellington who bossed the same period in the second spell, Lia setting the tone with a twenty-five yarder which fizzed over the bar after Fenton had pounced on a Golec clearance.

A timely Ben Sigmund challenge thwarted Awer Mabil’s efforts to extend Adelaide’s advantage in the 54th minute, before the home team began piling on the pressure. Brockie played the ball wide to Ifill, who darted between two opponents before looking to set up Gameiro at the near post, rather than shoot himself.

Galekovic was wise to this threat, but from Ifill’s resulting corner, Wellington were appealing for a penalty once more, Fenton’s header striking the arm of a United defender. Referee Tim McGilchrist, who made a few eyebrow-raising decisions in just his second A-League fixture, again ignored their claims, so play continued.

Nigel Boogaard and company were fully stretched in their efforts to contain their rivals’ numerous raids, with Ifill in particular showing signs that a return to his best form isn’t far away.

He set up a chance for Fenton which was blocked to safety in the 65th minute, before former Wellington star Jon McKain handed his old club a lifeline by committing his second bookable offence three minutes later, thus reducing the under-siege Adelaide combination down to ten men for the duration.

Briefly, Wellington were unable to take advantage of their numerical superiority, but were given a sharp reminder of what was required of them in the 77th minute, when the ten men went close to increasing their lead, Vidosic and Carrusca combining for substitute Evan Kostopoulos to go desperately close to making it 3-1.

Instantly, Wellington pressed once more, Ifill’s corner being cleared to Leo Bertos, whose ball into the danger zone invited Brockie to unleash a ferocious volley. Much to Galekovic’s relief, the ball was struck straight at him - either side, goal!

Ten minutes from time, the equaliser Wellington coveted finally materialised. Bertos’ free-kick picked out Sigmund, who headed the ball back to substitute Stein Huysegems. He headed it down to Gameiro, who rifled a thunderous twelve yard half-volley past Galekovic before the ‘keeper could even blink! 2-2.

That set up a grandstand finish, with Adelaide temporarily reduced to nine men during this period following a collision between Ifill and Malik. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, with Moss plunging to his left to prevent Vidosic from firing Adelaide in front for a third time, in the 84th minute.

But it was largely Wellington hot on attack, only for Galekovic to produce two stupendous saves. He firstly tipped Gameiro’s thumping twenty yarder over the bar before thwarting Ifill with a magnificent reflex denial after the striker had drifted inside past three opponents before letting fly.

From the Bertos corner which resulted from that effort, Sigmund sent a downward header bouncing up and over the bar from six yards, while in stoppage time, the central defender headed another Bertos corner past the post, seconds after Brockie had wrongly opted to go it alone when Huysegems was far better placed and could well have clinched all three much-needed points for the bottom-of-the-table team.

As it was, Wellington had to settle for a single point, one which leaves them six points off the play-off spots with five games to play, and so far off the pace that they can no longer catch Adelaide, who moved into third place on goal difference thanks to this draw.

2012/2013 Hyundai A-League - Round 22
4:30pm, Sunday 24 February, 2013
at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Wellington Phoenix FC 2
(Jeremy Brockie 31’, Corey Gameiro 80’)
drew with
Adelaide United FC 2
(Tomi Juric 20’, Marcello Carrusca 34')

    Crowd: 4,832


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    20.Glen Moss (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill, 11.Jeremy Brockie, 16.Louis Fenton (12.Tyler Boyd 83’), 17.Vince Lia (10.Stein Huysegems 75’), 18.Ben Sigmund, 22.Andrew Durante (c), 23.Corey Gameiro

    Substitutes not used: 1.Mark Paston (rgk), 21.Dani Sanchez

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Manny Muscat 58'
    Red Cards: NIl

    Adelaide United FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca (18.Fabian Barbiero 83’), 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 17.Iain Ramsay, 24.Awer Mabil (23.Evan Kostopoulos 74’), 25.Tomi Juric (14.Cameron Watson 64’)

    Substitutes not used: 20. Paul Izzo (rgk)

    Coach: Michael Valkanis

    Yellow Cards: Osama Malik 8’, Jon McKain 5’, 69’, Nigel Boogaard 79’, Evan Kostopuolos 90+1’'
    Red Cards: John McKain 69’

    Referee: Tim McGilchrist 4/10

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Corey Gamiero (WP)
    2. Marcello Carrusca (AU)
    1. Paul Ifill (WP)

    Pitch rating: 7/10 - they played eggball on it the previous evening ...

    Game rating: 7/10

    Match report and ratings: By Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here are as attributed.

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