Muscat’s men hand Adelaide first loss of season
By Agron Dauti:
Hyundai A-League Season 10 – 2014/15 – Round 8
7:40 pm, Friday 28 November 2014 – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Victory FC 3
(N. Boogaard (OG) 7’, S. Cirio (OG) 16’, L. Broxham 32’)
Adelaide United FC 2
(A. Mabil 14’, M. Carrusca (PEN) 37’)
Melbourne Victory has now won eight consecutive matches for the first time in its history after defeating Adelaide United 3-2 in what proved to be an intense and high-pressure encounter at AAMI Park on Friday night. Muscat’s men have escaped with the three points during the club’s official 10-year-anniversary game, consigning Adelaide United to their 13th defeat from 17 away games against the Victory.
The clash pitted two of the A-League’s strongest sides against each other and was billed as a Grand Final preview with many expecting the game to be a high-quality encounter – and they weren’t wrong, with the game being contested right until the final whistle.
It was Melbourne who opened up the scoring in the 7th minute with an unlikely goal coming from Adelaide’s Nigel Boogaard who headed a Gui Finkler cross into his own net after some miscommunication with goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic who rushed out too far in front of his goal.
The visitors hit back quickly with Reds attacker Awer Mabil powerfully slotting home a Craig Goodwin cross after sprinting forward and leaving Daniel Georgievski for dead to equalise from the back post in the 14th minute.
It was Nigel Boogaard who would help Victory get the lead back in the 16th minute after his attempted clearance of a Gui Finkler pass struck Sergio Cirio, went past Eugene Galekovic and into the back of the net – much to the delight of home supporters.
Melbourne’s constant pressure and attacking prowess paid off as the Victory extended their lead in the 32nd minute when Leigh Broxham got a clear free header in the box and easily slotted home a Fahid Ben Khalfallah cross to make it 3-1.
Josep Gombau’s side thought to have got their second goal in the 35th minute as Craig Goodwin weaved a beautifully-struck direct free kick over the wall and in between Coe and the near post but referee Kris Griffiths-Jones whistled for a foul and cancelled out Goodwin’s spectacular effort for reasons known only to himself.
Griffiths-Jones was the centre of controversy a minute later when he paid a penalty for Adelaide United after Sergio Cirio went to ground with seemingly minimal contact from Adrian Leijer – with Marcelo Carrusca stepping up to the mark and striking the ball into the centre of the goal to make it 3-2.
The second half was similar to the first, with both sides creating well-worked chances and coming close to goal. Craig Goodwin almost levelled the scores in the 62nd minute but his free kick from outside the box sailed just over the crossbar.
The Reds were almost rewarded for their pressure on the Victory and it was up to Bruce Djite to nab Adelaide’s third in the 67th minute but his effort from inside the box flew right of the mark and out for a goalkick.
Despite Adelaide’s constant pressure in the second half, the visitors were unable to impact the score line and the Victory were able to keep the Reds at bay long enough to escape with the three points and notch up their fifth win of the season and hand Adelaide its first loss of the season.
Melbourne Victory will travel to Gosford to face the Central Coast Mariners at North Sydney Oval on Friday with kick-off scheduled for 7:40 pm.
Crowd: 22, 334
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan Coe (GK), 5.Mark Milligan (Captain) 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Gui Finkler (10.Archie Thompson 75’), 8.Besart Berisha, , 9.Kosta Barbarouses, 14.Fahid Ben Khalfallah (16.Rashid Mahazi 85’), 15.Daniel Georgievski, 21.Carl Valeri, 23.Adrian Leijer, 24.Scott Galloway (4. Nicholas Ansell 70’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Lawrence Thomas (GK), 11. Connor Pain
Coach: Kevin Muscat
Yellow Cards: K. Barbarouses 11’, A. Leijer 69’, D. Georgievski 83’
Red Cards: Nil
Adelaide United squad: 1. Eugene Galekovic (GK), 2. Michael Marrone (7. Pablo Sanchez 66’), 3. Nigel Boogaard, 5. Osama Malik (4. Dylan McGowan 60’), 8. Isaias, 9. Sergio Cirio, 10. Marcelo Carrusca (18. James Jeggo 65’), 11. Bruce Djite, 16. Craig Goodwin, 17. Awer Mabil, 21. Tarek Elrich
Substitutes not used: 30. John Hall (GK), 22. Fabio Ferreira
Coach: Josep Gombau
Yellow Cards: Isaias 55’, T. Elrich 70’, A. Mabil 83’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Kris Griffiths Jones 5/10
Assistants: Luke Brennan, Jonathan Barreiro; 4th official: Patrick Chaplin
BOTN Player Points:
3. A. Mabil (Adelaide United)
2. L. Broxham (Melbourne VIctory)
1. F. Ben Khalfallah (Melbourne Victory)
Pitch rating: 10/10
Game rating: 8/10
By Agron Dauti