October 18, 2013

Horse 1555 - Victory Is Fleeting

The seeds of death are sown at conception.

Adelaide United 2 - Melbourne Victory 2
Cirio 22' (pen)
Neumann 25'
Guilherme 79'
Troisi 93'

When you buy a murder mystery novel, you're pretty well assured of two things before you begin: a) that there will be a murder and b) that someone will solve the case. Sometimes this isn't the case but most of the time you can be reasonably sure that that's what will happen.
When you watch a football match where two sides begin with identical formations, you can be reasonably assured that the two sides will tend to cancel each other out. What we saw tonight at Hindmarsh Stadium also ran pretty well true to type but didn't start out that way.

Adelaide appeared to start the match with a 3-5-2 whereas Melbourne Victory began with a pretty orthodox 4-4-2. Initially this meant that Adelaide were able to play far higher up the park than Melbourne did and for a great deal of the match, were constantly able to trap the Victory offside. I expect that up until about the 70th minute mark, the number of offsides will appears something in the order of 10:1 in favour of Adelaide.
Largely because Adelaide had a wee bit of an overlap, they were able to play a higher line than Melbourne and whilst Cirio's opener did come from a penalty, it was Jeronimo Neumann's strike in the 25th minute which proved the effectiveness of playing more positive football.

The problem with playing so far up the park is that in those times that coming back to defend is a requirement, it opens up the space at the back and Adelaide got progressively leakier as the second half wore on.
Reverting to a 4-4-2 at about the hour mark, Adelaide soon found that Geria, Milligan and Troisi were able to slice deep into the corners. In fact there were passages of play late into the second half where it was only the work of Adelaide's keeper Eugene Galekovic and their central defender Tarek Elrich which stopped the ship from sinking. Galekovic in particular was constantly having to bail out the mistakes and leaks that his back four were letting through.

Sometimes two sides will cancel each other out. Adelaide will be ruing the fact that they squandered a two goal cushion and Melbourne will be livid that they didn't kill off a side who towards the end appeared to be dead on their feet. Melbourne spent the bast part of 9 minutes camped in and around the 18 yard box but could find no openings.

With Archie Thomspon looking dangerous (and at one point hitting the crossbar from a shot within 10 yards), Melbourne finally found an opening with a cutback and the strike of Guilherme, 11 minutes from time off a corner.
But it was James Troisi's burner across the deck which finally gave Melbourne the equaliser. I'm pretty sure that poor old Galekovic would have had no time at all to sight the shot after it had passed under and in between at least 5 sets of legs.
Adelaide scrambled at the death to win a string of corners but time had simply escaped. 2-2 was all that was left in the match and both sides will come out of this, pretty disappointed at taking home only a single point each.

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