A last-minute goal to substitute Bruce Kamau has seen Adelaide United snap their Melbourne Victory hoodoo with a 1-0 win at AAMI Park on Friday night.
A scrappy and stop-start affair looked headed for a goalless draw until Kamau slammed home a winner – with the help of a deflection – to give the Reds their first win over Victory in their last nine attempts.
The win sees Adelaide jump to within two points of league-leaders Brisbane Roar and extended their unbeaten run to 12 games.
0-1 Kamau (90’) – Craig Goodwin’s run through the heart of Victory’s defence set up Stefan Mauk on the edge of the box. His cross found its way to Kamau at the far post and his shot deflected off Scott Galloway and beat Danny Vukovic at his near post.
With neither side looking like breaking the deadlock, Gui Amor through on Kamau with 16 minutes left to try and spark his side.
And the youngster – in just his 20th A-League game – came up big for his side in the right place at the right time to give them a valuable win.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
*The defeat was Victory’s first at home in their last 11 matches.
*It was also Adelaide United’s first win over Victory in Melbourne in more than five years.
*There was 36 fouls in total in a contest that could never get any rhythm.
There aren’t many strikers of a dead ball in the A-League than Gui Finkler and he showed his talent seven minutes before the break.
Standing over a free-kick 30 yards from goal, the Brazilian let rip with a crunching shot which had Eugene Galekovic beaten, only for the ball to cannon onto the crossbar and away to safety.
While it wasn’t a goal, it demonstrated Finkler’s wonderful technique and ability to generate power and dip at the right time.
Unfortunately though, for the second week in a row, he got no reward for a superb free-kick.
THE FINAL WORD
The defeat means Victory’s Premiership defence looks all but over now. They could end the weekend as many as nine points off top spot and with a gruelling schedule ahead with the start of the ACL this week, it looks too much ground to make up. They host Sydney FC in the final Big Blue of the regular season next Saturday night.
What a great result for the Reds. While it wasn’t their most fluent performance of the season, it ends their hoodoo, they have maintained their unbeaten run and were simply immense at the back. If they can just tweak a few more things in the front third, they are serious title threats over the next few months. It will be a massive clash next weekend when Brisbane Roar comes to Adelaide.
Melbourne Victory: Vukovic (gk), Geria (Georgievski 61’), Ansell (Mahazi 81’), Delpierre, Galloway, Broxham (c), Bozanic, Thompson (Pain 70’), Finkler, Ben Khalfallah, Berisha
Adelaide United: Galekovic (gk) (c), Marrone, McGowan, Elsey, Elrich, Isaias, Carrusca (Dugandzic 88’), Mauk, Goodwin, Cirio (Kamau 74’), Djite (Sanchez 83’)
Scorers: Kamau 90’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Geria 21’, Elrich 84’, Mahazi 85’
Conditions: 17C, Cloudy
Attendance: 18,924 @ AAMI Park