Five moments from Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory in Round 2 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season
1. Lacklustre beginnings
For the most part, last night’s contest didn’t quite live up to some of the unforgettable matches which have come to define the United Victory rivalry. The pre game fireworks didn’t extend into the start of match itself as a cagey contest emerged, with both sides deciding to approach the opening half with caution. But what it did show, was the level of quality of these two sides and amount of respect they have for each other.
2. So close
That isn’t to say that both teams didn’t have their chances.Cirio found Djite during the second half, whose shot slid agonisingly across the face of goal. Among other ventures forward, Carrusca also attempted to find Djite, bursting along the goal line before having his ominous cross stopped by Victory keeper Nathan Coe.Melbourne’s best chance which went begging came when Kosta Barbarouses sent a cross just millimetres over Besart Berisha’s blonde spikes, as the striker ran into what looked to be near certain goal.
3. Late goals
Just as we seemed to be heading for a 0-0 draw, Sergio Cirio broke on the left wing, turned Mark Milligan inside out and slotted a beautiful goal from a relatively tight angle, prompting hysteria in the stands and another classic Gombau celebration. The ecstatic United faithful were still processing what they’d just seen when four minutes later (at the 89 minute mark), Victory substitute Ben Khalfallah fired a fantastic volley home to salvage a point, cross courtesy of Guilherme Finkler.
4. Gombau vs Muscat
Josep Gombau and Kevin Muscat’s verbal jousting continued when their mutual disagreement with a referee decision prompted the two to exchange further pleasantries mid game. Gombau motioned for the Victory boss to ‘ssshhh’, while Muscat also made his thoughts known.
5. Record Crowd
The Adelaide Oval crowd of 33,126 was a record crowd for football in South Australia. A sea of red took over the city pre game, with Reds fans invading bars, restaurants, streets and every conceivable form of public transport. The Red Army marched along North Terrace, complete with police escorts and an enormous ‘Josep We Can’ banner. United had taken over, fans were painting the town red. It was almost a carnival-type atmosphere inside and out of the ground, a festival of football capped off with two thrilling goals right at the death.