Our execution was a bit off admits Stenta

Adrian Stenta

Adrian Stenta conceded Adelaide United’s lack of execution resulted in its 2-1 semi-final loss to Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

Playing in in their inaugural final, the Reds fell behind before Nano Sasaki responded three minutes later with a sublime free-kick which caught the Victory goalkeeper by surprise.

But Adelaide’s goal was breached for the second time on the day after half-time.

Stenta believed his side were not able to play to the level that they had shown throughout the season.

“I didn’t think we were at our best today and I think Victory came with a good plan and executed well,” he said after the match.

“But in saying that, I felt like we created enough opportunities to win the game, we were just a bit wasteful in the final third and probably didn’t hit the target and make the goalkeeper make as many saves as we needed to.

“And got caught out on a couple of occasions as well. I think if we were at our best I was confident we were going to be able to get the result today but unfortunately we were just a little off.”

Stenta refuted suggestions the magnitude of the spectacle affected the tentative start to the match, stating that the approach was fine but rather the execution was found wanting at times.

“I don’t feel like the girls were overawed by the occasion and they wanted to come out with a real point to prove,” he explained.

“I was happy with their mentality, I was happy with their work rate and their effort. I just think our execution was a little bit off today.”

While it was the Club’s most successful campaign to date after a maiden top-four finish, Stenta wants the narrative to change around his squad moving forward.

“I’m really proud,” he said upon reflection.

“The season has been positive, but I still think there’s a bit of a stigma associated with our team that we need to shake.

“So for now I’d like to see the conversation shift from making finals to being successful in finals.

“Disappointing to lose today, but in the context of the season I understand why people would see it as a positive season.”