Saturday, December 27, 2008

Perth 0-1 Adelaide

This was probably not a match for the purists, but it was definitely entertaining. There was plenty of running and attacking from both sides in an end-to-end encounter in front of Perth's largest crowd since the first season of the A-League.

Perth's fans have had a lot to get excited about this season, with Dadi and Rukavytsya providing an excellent strike partnership with creative support from the likes of Pellegrino, Trinidad and the now-injured Amaral in midfield. This game also saw the debut of former Dutch international Viktor Sikora, who showed enough in half an hour to suggest that he'll be a very important player for the purple shirted ones in the run in to the finals.

The night was one of missed opportunities for the Glory, with Dadi particularly wasteful of some good chances. Adelaide, who moved to a 4-3-3 with Younis and Dodd supporting Cristiano up front and Cassio at left back once Jamieson came off injured, got the only goal of the night when Sarkies latched on to a poor Perth clearance after some neat buildup play from Adelaide. In fact Kristian Sarkies, despite my merciless rubbishing of his form a little while ago, was a standout performer throughout the whole game. He actually ran at defenders, passed well, and played with some purpose - I had heard rumours that the kid could play football but until this match I never believed them.

The goal:

The other high point in Adelaide's showing was a superb save in the last minute of injury time from Eugene Galekovic. Harnwell, only a couple of metres out from goal, nodded down a cross and for a moment it looked like a certain goal - but Gene Genie reacted immediately and dived down low to his left, dragging the ball from the goal line onto the post and to safety. Probably the best A-League save I've ever seen. You can see it towards the end of this Fox Sports match report video.

A neutral supporter would have been slightly disappointed with this game, because on the balance of play Perth certainly deserved at least a point from it, especially in front of such an impressive crowd. But I'm not a neutral supporter, so Perth can get knotted for all I care. A great way to cap off the year for Adelaide, and a win that holds us in good stead for the Adelaide Oval match against Sydney next weekend. As for winning the A-League premiership... we can dare to dream.

No comments: