Adelaide United have booked a meeting with Sydney FC in the Semi-Finals, and have won an away final for the first time in the clubs history, after an emphatic win over Brisbane Roar in the second elimination final in Redcliffe’s Moreton Bay Stadium.
After a slow start out of the gates from both sides, it was the visitors who drew first blood in the Elimination final with Adelaide United’s Tomi Juric opening the scoring in the 15th minute with an emphatic strike to give Adelaide United a 1-0 lead.
Only four minutes would pass before the former Socceroo stunned the home crowd and made the lead 2-0, after a brilliant counter attack, where he glided past the Roar’s captain Tom Aldred with ease, who had come into this match under a huge injury cloud with a cool finish slotting the ball past a stranded Jamie Young.
The Roar almost replied immediately with a great chance to Josh Brindell-South only moments later, but found it incredibly difficult to break down the strong defence of Adelaide despite controlling possession for most of the first half.
Brisbane Roar would dodge a bullet and keep the score at 2-0 in the 42nd minute as Adelaide’s winger Ryan Kitto went through on goal to be one-on-one with Roar keeper Jamie Young, only to attempt a looping header over Young and send it wide, after two minutes of stoppage time, Adelaide went into the break with a 2-0 lead, much to the displeasure of the home crowd.
Brisbane Roar’s manager Warren Moon would signal his intent after the half time break, Bringing on Jack Hingert and young star Alex Parsons, his side would come out of the blocks strong with Dylan Wenzel-Halls firing his shot just wide of Delianov’s post in the 50th minute.
Moon’s substitution would turn out to be a masterstroke, with Alex Parsons heading home a pinpoint cross from Corey Brown, who continues his incredible form this season.
In the following 15 minutes, Adelaide United looked absolutely rattled, as Brisbane Roar piled on attack after attack, with the away side hanging on by the skin of their teeth.
Brisbane Roar continued to pile the pressure on the visitors, with the home side coming excruciatingly close to finding the equaliser twice in three minutes, with first, Wenzel-Halls unable to hit his close-range shot past Delianov, then Riku Danzaki’s shot dribbling just wide of the post, while Adelaide’s defenders were only able to watch helplessly.
Adelaide United would show incredible resilience to hold off wave after wave of Brisbane Roar attacks, with the home side absolutely dominating the attacking play and possession in the second half, but ultimately were unable to find the equaliser in the end despite constant pressure on the goal of James Delianov.
The closest chance coming in the 87th minute, when a Golgol Mebrathu shot was cleared off the line by Louis D’Arrigo, before his shot from close range was saved by Delianov just seconds later
Un the end Adelaide United were able to seal a meeting with last year’s A-League champions Sydney FC.
A GOOD-WIN FOR ADELAIDE, DESPITE MISSING STAR
The absence of star Adelaide United player Craig Goodwin was a big talking point in the lead up to the game, with fan’s and pundits questioning how and if United would cope without him, after he went down injured in the dying moments of their training session on Saturday.
However, despite missing their key player, Adelaide United showed the real strength and depth of their squad, with a really good team performance in their victory over Brisbane, should Goodwin be fit for the Semi-Final against Sydney FC, Adelaide United will look even more dangerous as a unit.
TOMI JURIC SHOWING HIS WORTH
A player who often divides the opinion of fans, Tomi Juric has helped lead his side to a semi finals appearance with an emphatic performance, scoring two first half goals, showing his real prowess in front of goals.
Juric, now 29, was a big name signing this season for Adelaide United, coming from a disappointing stint in Bulgaria for CSKA Sofia, and despite a strong start to life at Adelaide, with four goals in his first seven starts, he would have a stop-start rest of the season, with injury and fitness woes causing havoc on his season.
He showed his real strength in big game situations today with a monumental performance for Adelaide United, which surely would silence any doubters.
ALEX PARSONS, THE X-FACTOR
Undoubtedly one of the stand out young stars of this season, Alex Parsons, who started the game from the bench, would turn the game on it’s head after coming on after half time.
With a brilliant headed goal in the 55th minute, Parsons brought his side back into the contest, and then from there, it seemed like every positive play for the Roar would come through Parsons, with the home crowd cheering on his every touch and errupting into applause every time he had the ball.
Adelaide United looked like they had no answer for the young Brisbane Roar star, who almost single-handedly shifted momentum for the Roar.
Brisbane Roar (Alex Parsons 57m) 1 Adelaide United 2 (Tomi Juric 15m, 19m)
Referee: Alex King
VAR: Chris Beath
Brisbane Roar: 3-4-1-2
21. Young (gk), 2. Neville, 6. Gillesphey, 5. Aldred (c) (27. Trewin 79m), 16. Brindell-South (19. Hingert 45m), 25. Akbari, 26. O’Shea, 3. Brown, 10. Danzaki, 11. Champness (34. Parsons 45m), 23. Wenzel-Halls (17. Mebrathu 83m).
Unused Subs: 1.Freke, 15. Daley, 29. Courtney-Perkins.
Yellow Cards: Tom Aldred
Red Cards: None
Adelaide United: 4-2-3-1
1. Delianov, 4. Strain, 23. Elsey, 22. Jakobsen, 21. Lopez, 6. D’Arrigo, 28. Juande (18. Caletti 69m) , 26. Halloran, 8. Mauk (c) (27. Caletti ’76), 7. Kitto (24. Niyongabire 69m)(2. Marrone 95m), 9. Juric (35. A. Toure 76m)
Yellow Cards: Aldred (Brisbane Roar) ’65, D’Arrigo (Adelaide United) ’67.
Red Cards: None
Unused Subs: 33. Ochsenham, 3. Timotheou.
Images Supplied: Adelaide United/Jordan Trombetta