Round 22 of the Hyundai A League saw Saturday afternoon football return to Coopers Stadium as Adelaide hosted new boys Western United. With both teams just hanging into the top 6, it was always going to be a tense affair as finals football soon approaches.
The match started promising for both sides and the intensity was high for both teams, as they showed early promise, until in the 13th minute when a nasty collision between Western Melbourne keeper Kurto and Durante left Kurto concussed and he was replaced with Ryan Scott who would go on to have a top class game, making several saves from shots and corner attempts.
The deadlock was broken in the 18th , when Risdon on the right crossed it into the centre square and Berisha, does what he specialises in against Adelaide, putting it into goals!
A mere seven minutes later and Riley McGree would hit back with a thunder strike from his left foot to net his 10th of season and nullify Western United’s lead.
Diamante would return the lead to Melbourne in the 32nd as he was setup by Risdon and dribbled past Izzo to give Melbourne a 2-1 lead.
Six minutes would pass and this time Burgees would head in a goal, from a Risdon header across the face off goals that was set up from a Berisha cross initially, Melbourne would cement a commanding lead of 3-1 going into half time.
After the mid time break, surely Adelaide would’ve made some defensive changes, but Coach Ver Beek subbed out Melusnic for Ospeth, when one would’ve thought Maria would’ve been shown the boot and perhaps a more defensivesub brought on, after a comedy of Adelaide defensive mistakes in the first half.
In the 48th minute Connor Pine would find the bottom of the net from a Diamante assist and in the 56th Berisha would show his ugly face again, a strike from outside the six yard box from another Risdon cross.
That match would finish 5-1 a home match humiliation for the Reds, did they give up, freeze or simply get caught sleeping too many times in defense, that’s one for the after match evaluation gurus to figure out.
Man of the match goes to Josh Risdon, the former Socceroo being involved in virtually every goal and for the second week in a row Western United have managed to score more than 5 goals in a match to cement their spot in the top 6 and commence a finals charge, for Adelaide they drop out of the top 6 and need to regroup and build some momentum because they can make finals football, only if they believe they can play the way they know they can!