Big Moments: Joe Gauci’s incredible reflex save

On his home debut, Joe Gauci produced arguably the greatest save in the Isuzu UTE A-League last season.

Holding a slender 1-0 lead over Sydney FC with just over a minute left before stoppage time, Gauci would endear himself to the home faithful after a jaw-dropping stop.

The Reds had not beaten the Sky Blues in the league in almost five years and the visitors were throwing everything at Adelaide.

Kosta Barbarouses swung an inch-perfect cross into the box which found the head of Patrick Wood.

But remarkably Gauci was equal to it, throwing his arm up and denying the young forward with a reflex stop.

It was so spectacular that it ended up being voted the Adelaide United Moment of the Year at the Club’s end of season awards night.

Gauci admitted he had no time to think about the save, acting purely on instincts.

“It was a big game for me personally it was a home debut,” he said.

“So I was really excited to play in front of my friends and family at Coopers Stadium.

“I had a quick glance into the middle and saw they had one striker in between our two centre-halves.

“I felt pretty comfortable with the situation but knew it would have to be a perfect ball to put it on his head.

“It was a great cross in and it was just a case of drop back and hope you can get a hand on it and just react. There’s not much thought behind those sorts of saves.

“It’s just reactions and part our training we do every day – I was just pleased that I could get a hand on it and get it over the bar.”

Gauci said he could not take a moment to celebrate the save, with his focus immediately shifting to the ensuing corner.

“To be fair I was just trying to organise for the corner,” he said.

“It was pretty late in the game and the boys seemed to get around me which was nice. There was a great cheer from the crowd which was unbelievable to have the Red Army right on my back at that moment – it couldn’t have been any better.

“But I was trying to organise for the corner. We were only 1-0 up and there was another chance after that so just had to get everyone organised because the job wasn’t done yet.”

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