Home crowd to give Reds the edge against Gold Coast

Tomorrow’s elimination final may be Adelaide United’s last home game of the season, but the Reds have no thoughts of it being the end to their season as they prepare to take on Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Tomorrow-s elimination final may be Adelaide United-s last home game of the season, but the Reds have no thoughts of it being the end to their season as they prepare to take on Gold Coast United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The Reds are planning to make the most of their home ground advantage as a near sell out crowd is expected to greet the Gold Coast. The Hyundai A-League-s other ‘United- team played in front of just over 3,000 fans in their win over Melbourne Victory last weekend, and while a place in the Preliminary Final already provides more than enough incentive, Reds Head Coach Rini Coolen says a large vocal home crowd at Hindmarsh will spur his players on even further.

“I really believe in my team but I also really believe in our supporters who have been fantastic and always supported us in every game,” Coolen said.

“They were fantastic turning up in the rain last week and I-m sure they will be there in full voice to help us get over the line again tomorrow, so we-re determined to make sure this isn-t our last game.”

While the Reds- build up leading into their second cut throat final has not been without its share of dramas, Coolen says they created little if any concerns among the squad and that the team could not be in better shape heading into the match.

“For us as a team and me as a coach, we didn-t feel any turbulent situations,” Coolen said.

“We solved the problem with Reidy before the week started, there was real small problem with Cassio but I don-t think that was an issue for us. We worked how we prefer to work, we are focused and we are definitely ready for this game.”

After being in doubt all week with a groin injury, midfielder Francisco Usucar proved his fitness this morning and has been included in the squad to face Gold Coast. Coolen hinted the Uruguayan, who has not joined the main group at training until today, is likely to start on the bench, meaning Paul Reid is set to come into the starting eleven after missing last week-s win over Wellington.

“He-s in the squad tomorrow,” Coolen said of Usucar.

“We worked with him the whole week, a lot of individual sessions, so before training we knew that he should be ok…he feels good so he-s in the squad.”

Just as the wet and windy conditions in the Reds- match against the Phoenix last weekend may have suited the team from Wellington, tomorrow afternoon-s forecast of temperatures hovering in the mid thirties could be considered to favour the visiting Gold Coast.

But regardless of what weather confronts the teams tomorrow, Coolen says the Reds will be up for the challenge and are firmly focused on ensuring there is a Preliminary Final against Brisbane Roar or the Central Coast Mariners to look forward to.

“I don-t think it (the conditions) is something to use as an excuse. The boys are used to playing in this heat, you don-t know how it is tomorrow of course, it could be a long game…I hope not, I hope we can decide the game in a little bit more than 90 minutes, so we-ll see what happens but I don-t see it as an issue,” Coolen said.

Two draws and a narrow win to the Reds in the teams- three previous meetings this season suggests tomorrow will be another tense affair that could come down to a single moment of brilliance.

Marcos Flores produced it last weekend as he instigated a slick Reds counter attack which led to Travis Dodd-s winner, while defender Dino Djulbic proved the hero for the Gold Coast with his injury time goal from a corner against Melbourne Victory.

Coolen believes the result could again come down to a single defining moment as the stakes continue to increase.

“I think the goals in high level games will mostly come from short transition moments and set pieces,” Coolen said.

“If you see our last game we scored a fantastic goal in transition, they (Gold Coast) scored the winning goal from a set piece and I think the levels from the clubs will see the games mostly decided in these ways.”

However the goals come tomorrow, Coolen will just be hoping it is the Reds that are the ones with their noses in front when it counts.

Kick-Off is at 5.00pm (ACDT) with gates open at 3.30pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au).

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Final Series – Week 2 (Elimination Final)
Adelaide United FC v Gold Coast United

Sunday 27 February 2011, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 5.00pm ACDT (5.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 3
Radio: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Digital and online at abc.net.au/adelaide

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andy SLORY, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Dario BODRUSIC, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Osama MALIK
*two to be omitted*

In: Paul REID (promoted), Osama MALIK (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee – season), Joe COSTA (knee – season), Joe KEENAN (leg – season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – season)

Gold Coast United: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bruce DJITE, 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.John CURTIS, 27.Chris HAROLD, 33.Peter PERCHTOLD
*three to be omitted*

In: Bas VAN DEN BRINK (return from ankle injury), Andrew BARISIC (promoted), John CURTIS (return from shoulder injury)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Jason CULINA (knee injury – season), ROBSON (hamstring injury – 1 week), Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury – indefinite), Matt OSMAN (knee injury – season)

Adelaide United vs. Gold Coast United – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 6 – 1 win, 4 draws, 1 loss

2-Feb-2011… D 0-0… 2010/11 Midweek (Skilled Park)
26-Nov-2010… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
17-Oct-2010… D 0-0… 2010/11 Wk 10 (Skilled Park)
9-Jan-2010… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 22 (Skilled Park)
20-Nov-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 15 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
21-Aug-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 3; Adelaide United 1, Gold Coast United 1, Draws 1

Last time they met
2-Feb-2011 Midweek, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Skilled Park
Gold Coast United 0
Adelaide United 0

Adelaide United last three results
Final 1. 18-2-2011… W 1-0… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Hindmarsh Stadium)
Wk 27. 11-2-2011… W 2-1… vs. Melbourne Victory (Adelaide Oval)
Wk 26. 5-2-2011… L 0-1… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Hindmarsh Stadium)