A blistering second-half display from Adelaide United has eventually overpowered Brisbane Roar to claim a crazy 5-3 win and book a Home Elimination Final.
There were five different goal scorers for the Reds in an action-packed ANZAC Day clash as they twice had to comeback in a game that lacked structure for the majority of the 90 minutes.
Adelaide initially opened the scoring through Nikola Mileusnić but Brisbane had overturned the deficit by half-time.
George Blackwood levelled proceedings to start the second-half before Eric Bautheac slotted a penalty to put the Roar in front again.
However, Adelaide responded with goals from Craig Goodwin, Baba Diawara and Isaías to ultimately secure the vital win.
The equation for Adelaide was simple heading into their final game of the regular season. Win and they guarantee fourth place and a home Elimination Final. Drop points and it would be a nervous wait until Sunday and hope Wellington Phoenix end up empty handed against Perth Glory.
Marco Kurz named an unchanged line-up for the match while Baba Diawara and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos returned to the bench from injury and suspension respectively.
Adelaide got off to the perfect start when Mileusnić headed in Ryan Kitto’s cross on four minutes.
Though Kurz’s men switched off and invited Brisbane back into the contest after a sloppy turnover.
Matt McKay, in his final game, forced Paul Izzo into a save which landed straight into the path of Dylan Wenzel-Halls who smashed in the rebound.
And in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time, Nicholas D’Agostino scored a free header to compound a frustrating end to the half.
The Reds responded in the second stanza with Goodwin exhibiting exceptional wing play before squaring his cross to Blackwood for an open goal tap-in.
But just on the hour mark Brisbane were awarded a penalty when Izzo caught D’Agostino with the subsequent penalty audaciously converted by Bautheac.
Still with time remaining Adelaide continued to believe as Goodwin equalised with an emphatic effort.
The 27-year-old controlled a high ball with a stunning first touch and then cut inside onto his right foot, arrowing his strike into the top corner.
In the 76th minute, Baba Diawara then gave United the lead steering his finish off Scott Galloways cross past Jamie Young in his first league appearance since Round 2.
Isaías then made sure of the three points when he curled his shot into the far post from a half-cleared corner on 85 minutes.
United will now most likely face Wellington Phoenix next Sunday night at Coopers Stadium.
4’ | GOAL! Kitto delivers a cross into the area which is nodded in by Mileusnić at the back post.
35’ | GOAL: McKay’s shot is parried by Izzo but only as far as Wenzel-Halls who rifles in the rebound.
42’ | CHANCE! Blackwood skips past two challenges and then drags his low, angled shot just wide of the far corner.
45+4’ | GOAL: Bautheac swings in the recycled cross from the corner which D’Agostino heads in.
51’ | GOAL! Goodwin beats his opponent on the wing and gets to the byline before squaring for a simple Blackwood finish.
61’ | GOAL: Bautheac nonchalantly scores the penalty to retake the lead.
71’ | GOAL! Goodwin’s sublime first touch allows him to drive forward and smash him finish into the net
76’ | GOAL! Diawara clinically diverts Galloway’s low cross from the right.
85’ | GOAL! Isaías receives the ball back from a short corner and beats his opponent and striking his finish into the bottom corner to make it 5-3.
Thursday, 25 April 2019
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 27
Brisbane Roar 3 (Wenzel-Halls 35’ D’Agostino 45+4’ Bautheac 61’)
Adelaide United 5 (Mileusnić 4’ Blackwood 51’ Goodwin 71’ Diawara 76’ Isaías 85’)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium