Adelaide United has lost 2-1 against Western Sydney Wanderers in a crucial match for the Reds, which saw their chances of a top-two finish fade away.
A goal from Sergio Cirio just before halftime wasn’t enough to beat the Wanderers, who came back to win the match 2-1 after Nigel Boogaard was sent off.
The match itself started at a rather slow pace considering which teams were battling it out at Pirtek Stadium, but the Reds were definitely the better of the two sides by the end of the first half.
In a first 45 minutes where the Reds had numerous chances to take the lead – and seven first half corners – they were unable to put he came to bed prior to the break.
Craig Goodwin, Isaias, Pablo Sanchez, and Sergio Cirio were the standout performers, and it was the latter who managed to get on the score sheet just before the halftime whistle. A brilliant run from Tarek Elrich from the right wing, in conjunction with a clever one-two with Cameron Watson, saw Elrich cut the ball back for Cirio, whose strike sailed past Ante Covic and into the far corner of the net.
After the break, though, and on the stroke of the hour, the game was turned on its head when Nigel Boogaard was sent from the field for fouling Mark Bridge, who was through on goal, just inside the 18-yard-box. The resulting penalty was converted by Tomi Juric.
Yet, despite being down a man, the Reds continued to play their flowing football – but in the 73rd minute conceded by the feet of Bridge.
For the remainder of the match, United were lively and deserved a goal for their efforts – the introduction of Miguel Palanca benefiting their cause – but the match would end 2-1.
Following the game, Reds coach, Josep Gombau, chose to focus on the positives from the match, stating that he was happy with his side’s performance considering the circumstances they faced and noted the importance is now on the next match and the finals.
“Honestly, I am happy with my team and the way that we played,” Gombau said.
“Sometimes you win doing nothing, and sometimes you lose playing well. Today I think that our performance was good and I am satisfied with this because, in the end, it’s important.
“Now the finals are coming and we played well and we have more chances ahead of us.
“But (being unable to finish in the top two) is disappointing because it was an objective that we’ve had.
“Now we have to have another (objective) because you can’t lose focus. Now our focus needs to be next week and the finals.”
Saturday, 18 April 2015
Hyundai A-League Season 2014/15 – Round 26
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Juric 63’, Bridge 73’)
Adelaide United 1 (Cirio 45’)
Venue: Pirtek Stadium