Adelaide United have succumbed to a dramatic Andrew Nabbout strike to suffer a 2-1 loss against Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
Kristian Opseth’s second goal of the season courtesy of a tidy finish was cancelled out by Marco Rojas after half-time and Nabbout’s stoppage time screamer.
James Troisi’s returned straight back into starting line-up in what was the only personnel change made by Gertjan Verbeek from last weekend’s defeat. George Blackwood shifted out to the wing in Ben Halloran’s absence.
Adelaide made a lively start to the game, implementing a high press which helped force Giancarlo Gallifuoco into a poor header.
Riley McGree duly capitalised on the loose ball, reversing an incisive pass to Opseth and the Norwegian curled a beautiful finish into the bottom corner.
The Reds had to absorb a substantial amount of pressure for the remainder of the half and were indebted to Paul Izzo for several big interventions and some fortune.
Izzo repelled a point-blank volley from Nabbout and then saved Rojas’ low attempt, before Ola Toivonen somehow misguided his guilt-edged header just before the interval.
Adelaide appeared to settle after the re-start and George Blackwood’s emphatic hit was denied by the crossbar on 56 minutes.
A minute later, Victory would make Adelaide pay as Rojas caught the United defence napping and was quickest to react from Tim Hoogland’s swift cross from a throw-in.
In a case of déjà vu, Blackwood was again thwarted by the woodwork, after cushioning Troisi’s cross and firing his half-volley against the crossbar in the 69th minute.
But as the Reds appeared destined to earn their first draw of the campaign, Nabbout produced a moment of individual brilliance to seal the win.
7’ | GOAL! Opseth dispatches a clinical finish beyond Thomas from McGree’s pass after Gallifuoco’s stray header.
22’ | SAVE! Izzo stands tall and parries Nabbout’s volley from close range.
43’ | CHANCE: Izzo deflects Kamsoba’s shot across the face of goal before the ball is recycled back into area and Toivonen misses an absolute sitter.
56’ | CHANCE! Blackwood’s strike cannons off the crossbar.
57’ | GOAL: Rojas is alert to the early cross and slides his finish past Izzo.
69’ | CHANCE! Blackwood is denied again by the crossbar with a thumping half-volley after expertly controlling Troisi’s cross on his chest.
90+1’ | GOAL: Nabbout cuts inside and unleashes a scream which scrapes the underside of the crossbar and goes in.
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season – Round 21
Melbourne Victory 2 (Rojas 57’ Nabbout 90+1’)
Adelaide United 1 (Opseth 7’)
Venue: Marvel Stadium