Adelaide United fell to a 2-0 defeat against Wellington Phoenix in Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season.
In a match that was played under testing conditions to say the least, both sides took time to adjust to the wet and windy New Zealand weather that caused a few squandered opportunities early on.
And yet even after the sides had adjusted, the defensive solidarity of the teams ensured decisive chances were kept to a minimum.
But United persisted with their game plan and looked to exploit the space opening up on the flanks as much as possible, whilst eagerly bursting through the centre of the park too.
Through Miguel Palanca and Sergio Cirio, who tore holes into the Phoenix wings, the pair created the majority of opportunities for the Reds and were unlucky not to assist in putting their side in front on a couple of occasions.
Cirio had the best chance as the first half came to a scoreless close, as he dashed into the box and sent a curled effort just wide of goalkeeper Glen Moss’ goal.
After the break a rejuvenated Wellington took the field, however it was United looking the most dangerous throughout. And just prior to his substitution, Palanca had a great opportunity to put United in front when Eugene Galekovic set the Spaniard on the counter, but Palanca’s curling effort was collected by Moss.
That was to be his last contribution of the match as he was replaced by Pablo Sanchez who added some much needed fresh legs to the tiring Reds.
In the 68th minute, Cirio found room outside the box and drove a fierce effort towards the bottom corner, which skidded off the slippery turf, but eventually saved by Moss. This set the tone for an open, end-to-end last half-an-hour in which either side sought desperately for the winner.
But it was Wellington who were the first to find a breakthrough when substitute Griffiths desperately attacked the ball from the byline which caused a deflection off Boogaard and went into the back of the net.
Several minutes later and Adelaide’s defence was breached again when Nathan Burns rose highest to head into the bottom corner after a wicked Bonevacia set-piece making it 2-0 to the home side after some sloppy marking.
It wasn’t for lack of trying for the Reds who just couldn’t find the back of the net in New Zealand, and will look ahead to our next match against Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Thursday night.
Saturday, 8 March 2015
Hyundai A-League Round 20
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Griffiths 79′, Burns 82′)
Adelaide United 0
Venue: Hutt Recreational Ground
Wellington Phoenix: Moss, Boxall, Sigmund, Durante, Fenton, Riera, Rodriguez, Bonevacia, McGlinchey (Lia), Burns (Hicks), Krishna (Griffiths).
Adelaide United: Galekovic, Marrone, Boogaard, McGowan, Elrich (Goodwin), Jeggo, Isaias, Carrusca, Cirio, Djite (Mabil), Palanca (Sanchez)