After scoring a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser against Melbourne City on Tuesday night, Ben Halloran was proud of the team’s endeavour, particularly from the young players.
Adelaide United fought back from two goals down to rescue a 2-2 draw and remain unbeaten since the restart with interim Head Coach, Carl Veart, in charge.
Halloran said regardless if they make finals, which appears unlikely given Western United need just one win from three games, the fans should be immensely proud of their commitment.
“We’re pretty used to having fanatic finishes with Adelaide,” Halloran told Fox Sports after bending his low strike into the bottom far corner.
“We showed tremendous spirit tonight, I think mathematically we might still be in trouble to make the (top) six but I’m so proud of this group.
“We’ve had our backs against the walls for the back end of this year, but we really think we’ve done the Club proud.”
It was the 28-year-old’s fourth goal against City this season in all competitions and fifth overall since joining the Club in 2018.
The winger has now scored a total of 12 goals this campaign, a career-high.
Halloran went on to say a change in mentality at the break sparked an improved performance in the second-half.
“I think just the mentality, that was potentially the last 45 minutes of our season,” he believed.
“We may never play with this group again, so I think this whole time we’ve been playing for one another.
“We haven’t looked too much at the table, because it’s a pretty bleak situation to take massive pay cuts going into a hub.
“You know you’ve to enjoy it and I think we’ve enjoyed all the games we’ve played so far and that’s the most important thing.”
He also attributed the momentum shift to the young players that made an impact off the bench.
Al Hassan Toure and Pacifique Niyongabire in particular both caused Melbourne’s defence problems in the second stanza with their dribbling ability and pace.
Indeed, it was Niyongabire who won his side a penalty which Kristian Opseth converted that got United back into the game after a red card to Craig Noone.
“I think you can tell with the young boys that we have here, they’re never going to play within themselves,” he said.
“They changed the game for us in the second-half and I think they really led the way and pushed all the boys to get back into the game, so really proud of the young boys tonight.”