Football 3 years ago

Adelaide still not perfect despite win

  • Adelaide still not perfect despite win

Adelaide Unitedís push for top spot continued through a hard fought 2-1 win over cellar dwellers Western Sydney Wanderers, but questions still remain over the Redsí execution.

It was the visitors who scored first through Labinot Haliti and Adelaide could not find a response until the second half.

With 17 shots to ten, the Reds again had far more chances up front than their opposition, but with seven on target to the Wanderers six, the game was far closer than the stats show.

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Coach Josep Gombauís game plan saw the Reds dominate possession once again, 58% to 42%, and their tiki-taka style saw 208 passes completed to 155.

Again, though, the stats did not convert to comfortable domination, and they struggled to convert.

Miguel Palanca had little impact during his time on ground, and go-to man Sergio Cirio should have had the ball in the back of the net several times before his injury time winner.

The goal was Cirioís sixth for the season, likewise for Bruce Djite who scored the equaliser earlier in the game, and with the two in fine form and the likes of Awer Mabil and Pablo Sanchez providing depth there are plenty of outlets for goals.

For Adelaide their main undoing was poor shot choices, with Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic making too many easy saves of tame shots.

Luckily Eugene Galekovic was a perfect match at the other end, keeping out some good shots and ensuring there was no heartbreak.

More concerning is the potentially serious injury to key defender Osama Malik.

Malik came out of a tackle clutching his ankle and had to be substituted at half time, with Gombau switching the formation to three down back and signalling he intended for a much more attacking second half.

The move was a masterstroke and when Mabil came on for Palanca shortly after the Reds clicked into gear and were on the attack for most of the second half.

A late yellow card to Matt Spiranovic, his second of the night, did help Adelaide as the loss left Western Sydney open in defence, and it is hard to say whether the Reds would have finally scored otherwise.

This win has eased the pain on some recent poor results but the loss of Malik could be a serious blow, while the role of Nigel Boogaard seems unclear after he was left out of the side, days after a Newcastle move was announced.

For the team two away games now await, against Melbourne City and Wellington, and they should be confident after the come-from-behind win they can return with maximum points.

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