Adelaide go fourth after AAMI Park arm-wrestle with City
Adelaide United moved into fourth place after a gritty 0-0 arm-wrestle with fellow top six contenders Melbourne City in Saturday night’s Hyundai A-League contest.
In a game with plenty of tension and chances, neither side could muster enough quality in the final third to create a decisive moment, although hosts will arguably leave the more frustrated following a strong second half performance.
City are now undefeated in their last 11 matches at AAMI Park, but Warren Joyce’s side will need to offer more ruthlessness in front of goal to stake their claim for silverware contention.
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Visitors Adelaide too will lament their lack of cutting edge in attack, despite a commendable showing at what has become one of the trickiest Hyundai A-League fortresses to breach.
Adelaide had only scored two goals in their last 543 minutes of football against City prior to kick off, and perhaps this influenced coach Marco Kurz to deploy his travelling Reds in an attacking 4-4-2 formation spearheaded by George Blackwood and Jordy Thomassen.
The visitors took a while to find their groove as City offered the attacking impetus early on, with Tottenham Hotspur loanee Shayon Harrison and Kearyn Baccus – who cracked the crossbar in the second minute - keeping Adelaide custodian Paul Izzo on guard.
But Adelaide finished the opening half with a flurry of activity inside the City area. Having replaced the injured Thomassen, Nikola Mileusnic nearly broke the deadlock with his first involvement, unleashing a shot which clipped the legs of Ritchie de Laet before bouncing off the post.
Eugene Galekovic then got low to Blackwood’s effort from point-blank range, while the follow up from Ben Halloran was also tipped away by the veteran shot stopper.
Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Izzo produced a remarkable acrobatic save from Harrison Delbridge’s header early in the second half.
And City continued to create the better opportunities in the second stanza, with Izzo required to tip Jamie Maclaren's drive onto the post, while the Caltex Socceroos striker – now goalless in three straight matches – also sent a headed opportunity wide.
The final chance to break the deadlock fell to Adelaide’s Craig Goodwin, but the Reds talisman saw his free kick pushed over the bar by Galekovic.