Saturday, August 8, 2009

Adelaide United beat Perth Glory :Matchday One

Adelaide beat the Socceroos 1-0

Adelaide got off to a great start kicking off season five of the A-League by beating the Socceroos filled Perth Glory side 1-0, in front of a packed boisterous Hindmarsh Stadium, on a glorious Friday evening in Adelaide.

The match was played in a high tempo and both teams showed a good level of intensity. The game was also scattered with moments of quality play, nice inter-passing and strong challenges. Last season beaten grand finalists Adelaide United took the lead after 31 minutes with a disputed penalty that was given away by Socceroo defender Chris Coyne. The Socceroos defender tugged on Robert Cornthwaite’s shirt. Giving Travis Dodd Adelaide’s captain the chance to slot the ball past Tando Velaphi the Glory keeper, 1-0 Adelaide United.

The talk of the A-league off season was the return of the three amigo’s Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns and Chris Coyne. The three returning Socceroos have had long careers in Europe and their return to play in the A-League had got people excited about the Perth Glory again.

In truth Adelaide was well organised and made sure to be first to every challenge. Iain Fyfe a capture from Sydney FC is going to make the loss of man mountain Sasa Ognenovski less painful.

There is no doubt that Adelaide United two campaigns in the Asian Champions League have helped the side gain experience and an understanding of how to close games and wear sides down. An appearance in the World Club Championship were they finished fifth has also given the Reds a taste of international competition most A-league clubs would dream of.

You could say Adelaide United is the most experienced football side in the A-League.

Perth Glory will take time to gel considering the amount of new faces that are in the squad. Even though this is only the first game of the season if the wins don’t start coming Perth will feel the pressure more that the others because of the high profile names they have signed.

Good on paper does not mean good on the park. Perth has gained experience and quality all over the park but they lost something that cannot be coached and that is raw pace. Former Perth speedster Nikita Rukavytsya is now at first division Dutch side FC Twente and his explosive running will be missed for sure.

Ex Colchester defender Chris Coyne must have the angriest face in the A-League and not just because he gave a way the penalty that lead to the goal. I don’t think I have seen him smile once.

Perth will look better when they get back midfielder Wayne Srhoj (injured) and when the new players have time to gel.

Adelaide will also look better once they have all their players fit; midfielder Fabian Barbiero (injured) Ghanaian Striker Lloyd Owes (flu) will make the Reds even more competitive once they get fit.

The Reds had a youthful bench for this game with only two A-League appearances between Joe Costa (17 min sub), Michael Marrone (58 min sub) and Francesco Monterosso (unused sub) who were all products of Adelaide United’s Youth side last season. The two subs that did come on showed that they were not overawed by the occasion.

Another of the Reds players who impressed on debut was hard working midfielder Adam Hughes. Hughes is 27 and is originally from Lismore and has been playing in the Irish league the last couple of years.

An impressive start on matchday one should see the Reds full of confidence as they travel to Sydney next week to face the Sky blues while Perth will hope to get their first points of the campaign when they fly over the ditch to meet the Wellington Phoenix.

Match Details

Adelaide United FC 1 (Dodd 31’ (pen))

Perth Glory 0

Referee: Craig Zetter

Crowd: 13,847 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS (17.Michael MARRONE 17’), 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 12.Paul REID (23.Joe COSTA 58’), 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON

Substitutes not used: 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO, 30.Daniel GODLEY (gk)

Yellow Cards: Cassio 65’, Dodd 83’

Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE (17.Todd HOWARTH 39’), 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Eugene DADI (11.Branko JELIC 64’), 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO (23.Andrija JUKIC 79’), 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk)

Yellow Cards: Velaphi 29’, Burns 29’, Sikora 82’

Red Cards: Nil

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