Adelaide United has started its A-League campaign in style with an entertaining 2-1 win against a 10-man Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
An own goal in the second half from the Roarís James Donachie secured the win for the Reds, who had less possession overall but more shots on target than the reigning A-League champions.
[quote]Matt McKay was sent off in the 72nd minute for dissent, receiving a straight red from referee Ben Williams after already being booked with a yellow, and will miss the Roarís next match against Perth Glory.[/quote]
Matt McKay was sent off in the 72nd minute for dissent, receiving a straight red from referee Ben Williams after already being booked with a yellow, and will miss the Roarís next match against Perth Glory
The home team didnít give in despite McKayís loss, however, and it was a tense finish to a match in which Brisbane nearly produced an equaliser in stoppage time.
Henrique was honing in on what looked like a certain goal at the death before Reds defender Tarek Elrich slid in with a match-winning tackle against the Brazilian that sealed the perfect start for Josep Gombauís team.
Gombau praised Brisbane after the match, saying the game was a spectacle because both teams came to play free-flowing football.
It certainly was that, with players from both sides attacking early and forcing desperate defence from their opponents.
The Reds nearly scored first, with a Sergio Cirio cross in the fourth minute zeroing in on the head of Marcelo Carrusca, only for Roar keeper Jamie Young to tip the Argentinianís touch over the bar.
Brisbane got on the scoresheet first in the 20th minute when Thomas Broich showed his class with a free kick from out on the left that threaded its way through a host of players and into the back of the net to put Brisbane 1-0 up.
United would not be outdone, however, with a Bruce Djite strike in the 33rd minute that left most spectators breathless and Reds fans in raptures.
Djite received the ball 25 metres from goal, turned in a split-second on a 50-cent piece and fired a left-foot missile straight past a bewildered Young to level the scores at 1-1.
It stayed that way until the 56th minute, when Donachieís clumsy attempt to clear a cross resulted in the Brisbane defender slotting it into the back of his own net.
No doubt Gombau and his players will be ecstatic to have begun the season with an away win against the defending champions and will be looking to consolidate when they host the Melbourne Victory at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
Judging by the way the Victory played against Western Sydney in the opening match of the round, it promises to be another spectacle.
What did you think of the Reds performance against the Roar?