Ben Halloran admits it was “all a bit of a blur” when he scored the winning goal to send Adelaide United into the semi-finals against Melbourne City.
The versatile attacker slotted a dramatic 119th minute goal with a cool side-footed finish from Baba Diawara’s pass, sealing a 1-0 extra-time Elimination Final victory at Coopers Stadium.
It was the 26-year-old’s fourth goal of the campaign in all competitions since joining the Reds in the offseason.
His clinical finish sparked scenes of jubilation as the crowd erupted while Halloran ran off in celebration before being swamped by his teammates.
“It’s all a bit of a blur but I think in the end we deserved the win, but it’s a pretty dramatic way to finish off an elimination final,” he said to reporters.
“I’ve never really scored a late winner like that in a packed Coopers Stadium it was just so dramatic.
“It was just pure elation I just ran off, I’ve never done a slide celebration before so I didn’t really know how to go for it.
“So I just slid into the corner and got suffocated for a couple of minutes.
“… We’ve an amazing group of players here and it was a moment I will never forget.”
Capped six times by the Socceroos, Halloran had the composure to place his finish past goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic instead of opting for power.
“I typically try and go for a side foot finish,” he explained.
“In the dying moments there a lot of players might kind of snatch at it and just try and blast it, but I feel like I connected well with it and it snuck in.”
Adelaide now have a very quick turnaround before their semi-final clash against Perth Glory in Perth on Friday night.
Halloran agreed the Reds will go into the massive game as underdogs, given the travel, short rest, and the fact Tony Popovic’s side won the minor premiership.
However, he believed the momentum they have created these last few weeks will count for something.
“The goal was at the start of the season to win the league,” he said.
“Perth is undoubtedly the strongest team in the competition but I think going in as underdogs we can use that.
“All the pressure is on them, we don’t go there with nothing to lose because we still want to obviously win the game.
“But I think carrying this kind of feeling and momentum into the game is really important for us.”
Adelaide United face Perth Glory in a Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Semi-final on Friday, 10 May at HBF Park. Kick-off is at 8.00pm ACST. Live on Fox Sports, 10 Bold and streamed on the My Football Live App and Kayo Sports.