Big Moments: James Delianov’s penalty save


In the latest instalment of the Big Moments series, James Delianov reflects on his pivotal save against Brisbane Roar last season.

Heading into the May 16 clash at Coopers Stadium, the Reds were without a win in their previous five matches.

Craig Goodwin fired Adelaide into the lead inside 23 minutes courtesy of an angled finish.

But United’s slim advantage would be threatened before half-time when the referee pointed to the spot after intervention from the VAR following a handball on Ryan Kitto.

“I remember (Ryan) Kitto sliding across to block a shot and thinking he was going to give the penalty to be honest,” Delianov recalled.

“So I was preparing mentally to face a penalty.”

Joe Champness stepped up but the 21-year-old goalkeeper denied him, guessing the correct way with a low save to his right and parrying the ball away to safety.

It would be a decisive moment as it helped Adelaide preserve its 1-0 win and secure a much-needed victory.

“I didn’t saying anything verbally to him,” he continued.

“It was just gut feeling really – that he was going to go to my right which he did. I was lucky he did and was happy to make the save.

“It was important for us at that point in the season we needed the three points.

“I guess it was like scoring a goal for a striker, we live for those moments and really happy that I was able to make that save.”