“Not convincing but a win is a win.”
After Adelaide United’s win against Central Coast on Sunday, those were the exact words my brother sent to our soccer WhatsApp group – named Florina Chat in memory of our much loved, but now defunct, amateur soccer team.
And if you can forgive the lack of commas in his message, it is the perfect summary of the game.
Sometimes to get a win in the beautiful game, you have to play ugly. It was definitely that way on Sunday afternoon in Gosford.
Whilst tiki-taka is great to watch, there is nothing wrong with a dire, snatch-and-grab away from home, especially if you consider the fortnight Adelaide United have had.
Central Coast had some really good patches and were unlucky not to score but the win was what Adelaide United players needed.
It was no surprise that the person to secure the three points was none other than our inspirational leader Isaias. A few weeks back, we had a discussion on Soccer on 531 about who would make Adelaide United’s Mount Rushmore.
The question was: if you had to carve four faces into Mount Lofty to commemorate the Reds, who would they be? Everyone who called or messaged the program said Isaias was locked-in.
He is Adelaide United’s greatest import and arguably Adelaide United’s best ever – though I personally believe Eugene Galekovic is on par.
Isa is Adelaide United. It often feels like he’s the only one fighting the good fight.
If you indulge me a geek moment, the way he plays reminds me of this epic scene from Game of Thrones:
We were all interested to see how the team would respond after the last few weeks and, apart from a few heated exchanges between the players over bad passes or missed runs, and Craig Goodwin’s obvious displeasure at being substituted (not that I blame him, it was another strange substitution), everyone was on the same page.
But the real litmus test comes this Sunday against a re-born Wellington Phoenix – pun intended.
Under Mark Rudan, who is certain to be coaching Western United next season, the ‘Nix have been superb. On Saturday, they made light work of the Newcastle Jets who had a lot to play for. They are now in fourth and Adelaide is fifth.
Therefore, this week’s game is hugely important and not just in the battle for fourth, which would provide a home final. It is just as important to avoid finishing sixth.
Finishing in sixth spot would mean an away date against Melbourne Victory or Sydney FC in the first round of the A-League finals – a very hard task indeed.
For Adelaide to have any chance to pull off a miracle in the finals, they must finish fourth (home final) or fifth (away final against fourth). If you get through that, then anything is possible.
So here is my battle cry for every Adelaide United fan out there: our team needs us. Get behind them this Sunday. Buy a ticket and get to the game. Let’s be united.
This week is shaping up as one of our biggest games of the season and together we can get the result we need. And we all know what happened in that scene from GoT…
The Magic of the Cup
Congratulations to Tea Tree Gully Soccer Club from the South Australian Amateur Soccer League who beat NPL side West Adelaide in the FFA Cup last weekend.
It is arguably one of the greatest giant-killings in South Australian Cup history.
An insider has told InDaily that celebrations went on long and hard in the Gully clubrooms on Sunday night and that the “club was full after, bar got smashed all day”.
Soccer clubs rely on the hard work of volunteers, the kindness of sponsors and the takings in the canteen and bar – so it sounds like a perfect day all around for Gully.
Spiro Karanikos-Mimis is co-host of Soccer on 531, which can be heard Saturdays from 9am – 11am on Radio Italiana 531am.
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