Blackwood breaks Victory resolve as Adelaide edge Original Rivalry
Adelaide United boosted their bid for Elimination Final hosting rights as George Blackwood's towering late header sealed an attritional 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night.
Blackwood nodded in Isaias' cross in the 81st minute to snatch a battling three points that puts Marco Kurz's men on the cusp of a return to Coopers Stadium in the first week of the Finals Series.
Opportunities were otherwise rare in a tight contest which leaves Victory resigned to a third-place finish behind Sydney FC.
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Victory lost James Troisi to a hamstring problem after the 30-minute mark and struggled to find any fluidity going forward until deep into the first half.
Terry Antonis, on in place of the injured Troisi, drove a deflected shot narrowly past the right post, before Ola Toivonen curled a first-time effort around the same upright.
The Swedish striker began to threaten more regularly after the interval, but the deadlock remained unbroken as the clock ticked beyond the hour.
James Donachie eventually had the ball in the net from Keisuke Honda's corner, only for the goal to be disallowed due to a foul elsewhere in the penalty area.
That left the headlines up for grabs and striker Blackwood rose to the occasion, climbing high to head in his captain's right-sided cross.
Adelaide, having secured successive wins over the old enemy for the first time since 2013/13, are now four points clear of fifth-placed Wellington Phoenix, who host Melbourne City on Sunday.
Recap all the action as it unfolded in the live blog below!