Marco Kurz believes had Adelaide United taken their chances in the first-half they would have increased their odds of collecting three points against Melbourne City.
Instead, the match ended in a goalless draw with City largely dominating the second-half in an entertaining game for the neutral at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
Former Red, Eugene Galekovic, produced a double save to deny George Blackwood and then Ben Halloran approaching half-time in what was arguably Adelaide’s best opportunity to take the lead.
Speaking to the media after the match, Kurz was ultimately proud of the performance.
“It was a very good game from both sides,” he said.
“I think we played a very good first-half, the only issue was that we didn’t score goals.
“I think if we scored one or two goals, it makes for an easier second-half and in the second-half City was the better team.
“They were better in the game and they created a couple of chances but our defending was brilliant.
“The aim before the game was to pick up the three points and travel back to Adelaide, but in the end it was a good game and we played against a very strong team.”
Paul Izzo was also immense in goal for the Reds, pulling off three spectacular saves in the match, and highlighted by a stunning instinctive stop to parry Harrison Delbridge’s close-range header onto the crossbar.
Despite not collecting maximum points, the result lifts Adelaide into fourth place on 38 points and one point clear of Wellington Phoenix – and indeed City – after the former’s loss to Brisbane Roar a day earlier.
For Adelaide to hold onto fourth spot until the end of the regular season, they must win their remaining two matches or risk relying on favourable results to fall their way.
Kurz said while they want to secure fourth spot and play the first round of the Finals Series at home, the team’s overall objective has not changed.
“We’ve a clear goal and that’s to reach the final,” he said.
“And now we’ve the chance to reach the final and the whole squad is very hungry to reach this goal, and we’ll see if we’re good enough or not.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 19 April at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACST. Gates open 5.50pm.