It was a frustrating afternoon for Adelaide United who played out a goalless draw away to Brisbane Roar in stifling conditions on Saturday.
After three stalemates, the Reds remain undefeated to begin the season showing they are a difficult side to beat.
But equally they have yet to turn any of those decent performances into wins which is something Carl Veart will be determined to rectify quickly with Melbourne Victory up next.
Stefan Mauk came the closest to scoring for the visitors, while at the other end James Delianov produced a superb double save to prevent a certain goal.
Javi López was then brandished a second yellow card deep in stoppage time for a needless foul on Juan Lescano.
What went right. What went wrong.
What went wrong: Vulnerable in transition
Too often particularly in the first-half, Adelaide surrendered a lot of space to Brisbane and consequently were frequently caught out in transitional moments. Nikola Mileusnić was dangerous and always looked to get in behind, while Jack Hingert targeted Adelaide’s left flank several times. To Josh Cavallo’s credit he made a number of important tackles impeding Roar’s progress into the 18-yard box.
What went right: Mauk dynamic
Captain Stefan Mauk led by example with an all-round excellent display. He broke the lines and had the best chance for the Reds after seeing his composed strike smack the upright on 14 minutes. The 26-year-old may have only completed 71% of his passes but that does not tell the full story. His creativity, dynamism and willingness to press is something that is invaluable to the Reds and is the link between the midfield and attack. Mauk will only continue to improve following off-season leg surgery.
What went wrong: Lacking fluidity in the final third
While the build-up to get into the dangerous areas has been relatively encouraging, the Reds were devoid of consistent quality in the final third. There were too many sloppy touches, while United also failed to capitalise on the half opportunities when they did transpire. The fluency will develop with more matches, but the hope is that that can occur sooner rather than later.
What went right: Toure made an impact
In the eight-minute cameo appearance Mohamed Toure swiftly had an influence on the game. His cut-back to Kusini Yengi should have resulted in a goal, and also had shouts for a penalty correctly waved away. The 17-year-old offers something different to Carl Veart’s team and his skill and trickery is a handful for opposing defences.
What went wrong: Javi sees Red
A red card at any point in the game is never a good thing. Javi López was incensed to receive a yellow card late for what he felt was a good tackle to win the ball. Unfortunately the referee disagreed and so did Javi, resulting in an early shower and a suspension against bitter rivals Melbourne Victory next week. His experience will be missed in a vital clash at home.
What went right: Undefeated to begin the season
Although as mentioned, Adelaide have not claimed a victory this campaign they do indeed remain unbeaten. In his post-match press conference, Carl Veart preferred to look at the positives. He acknowledged that he would have liked to have picked up a couple of wins, but the fact that they controlled the majority of the three games and have not lost is promising. Couple that with the fact that two of the opening three games were the longest trips for the Reds inside Australia in Perth and Brisbane – the latter result yielding a clean sheet – there is reason to be satisfied.
What went right: Delianov the wall
The young goalkeeper produced an amazing save from close range, denying what appeared to be an obvious goal for Luke Ivanovic and then another stop on the follow-up. He was also rapid off his line thwarting a Brisbane counter-attack and made a couple of other strong saves. The 22-year-old commanded his area well and his distribution was also accurate at 88%. It is fair to say Delianov has begun the season rather brightly.
Saturday, 4 December
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Round 3
Brisbane Roar 0
Adelaide United 0
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium