Melbourne Victory 2 Adelaide United 1
The 2012-13 season of the A-League looks like it will be the most competitive since the new competition kicked-off in 2005, as Melbourne Victory bounced back from two defeats to knock off league leader Adelaide United by two goals to one at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
Melbourne Victory brought back its three internationals, Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas for the game with Adelaide United and Billy Celeski replaced Leigh Broxham in midfield.
Adelaide were without strikers Bruce Djite and Sergio van Dijk. Dario Vidosic and Jeronomio Neumann carried their main attacking threat.
Victory had nearly total control of the first half but no goals to show for its dominance. Billy Celeski was excellent in midfield. For the most part the passing game coach Ange Postecoglou is seeking worked. But the final pass or cross did not find the target. Marcos Flores was booked for simulation in the 8th minute, though television replays suggested he had been tripped. Mark Milligan went down with what looked initially like a very serious leg injury, but he recovered and played on with great effect in both defence and attack.
Adelaide were content to soak up the pressure and strike on the break and should have scored when Jeronimo Neumann picked up an error by Matthew Foschini and sprinted through but shot wide in the 43rd minute.
It looked as if Victory’s ascendancy had been thrown away early in the second half. Celeski had a complete brain fade and handled the ball following a corner kick. Dario Vidosic sent Velaphi the wrong way from the spot kick in the 49th minute. However, Victory hit back instantly when Mark Milligan’s bullet header from a free-kick by Guilherme Finkler flew past Eugene Galekovic in the 52nd minute. Victory resumed its quest for goals and Flores found Thompson in space but as Galekovic came out to narrow the angle, the Socceroo striker fired wide of the goal. Both teams made substitutions in the 65th minute, with Marco Carrusca replacing Neumann for Adelaide and Victory’s number eight, Jonathan Bru coming on for Celeski.
The winning goal came two minutes later. Archie Thompson’s cross was deflected on to his own crossbar by Osama Malik. Marco Rojas reacted quickly though his first effort also hit the bar, but he pounced on the rebound to finish at the second attempt. Jimmy Jeggo replaced the tiring Flores, who came off to a well-deserved reception and in the 73rd minute Foschini, who had put over some wayward crosses, decided to go for goal with a fierce shot on the angle, only for Galekovic to finger-tip it over the bar. A great save by an excellent keeper.
The crowd of 19,174 lifted Victory as the legs tired in the final fifteen minutes. Thompson put another effort over the bar from a pass by Jeggo, but Jeggo himself spurned a couple of opportunities to take an early shot and consequently was snuffed out by the Adelaide defence. Melbourne held on for its first win of the season and Adelaide’s first defeat in this long running rivalry.
Ange Postecoglou thought Victory had been much more committed this week that in the last two games and was delighted that the crowd had been both entertained and exhilarated by the win. John Kosmina’s gamble in leaving out his two main strikers, Djite and van Dijk, backfired in the end as his team created relatively few openings, despite gaining a series of corner-kicks and free kicks in good positions.
Friday, 19 October 2012
Melbourne Victory (Mark Milligan 52’, Marco rojas 67’) 2 Adelaide United (Dario Vidosic 49’)
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Kick off: 7:30 PM
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referees: Hakan Anaz and Patrick Chaplin
Fourth official: Lucien Laverdure
1. Tando VELAPHI, 2. Matthew FOSCHINI, 3. Adama TRAORE, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 5. Mark MILLIGAN, 7. Guilherme FINKLER, 9. Marcos FLORES (17. Jimmy JEGGO 72’), 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Marco ROJAS (16. Theo MARKELIS, 80’), 14. Billy CELESKI (8. Jonathan BRU, 65’), 23. Adrian LEIJER (c)
Unused substitutes: 20. Lawrence THOMAS
Yellow cards: Marcos FLORES 8’, Mark MILLIGAN 52’, James JEGGO 88.’
Red cards: Nil.
1.Eugene Galekovic, 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 19.Jake Barker-Daish, 21.Jeronimo Neumann (8.Marcelo Carrusca 65’),
Unused substitutes: 5.Iain Fyfe, 30.John Hall.
Yellow cards: Dario Vidosic 26, Nigel Boogaard 90’
Red cards: Nil