Kurz praises never-say-die attitude as Reds suffer agonising loss
His team were a kick away from making the Hyundai A-League Grand Final but Adelaide United head coach Marco Kurz isn’t letting the result get him down.
The German, in his final game in charge of the Reds, watched his side come from 2-0 down through goals to Baba Diawara and Ryan Kitto to send the semi-final against Perth Glory into extra-time.
The Reds would again concede before Michael Marrone popped up to ensure penalties would decide who would be first the qualify for the Grand Final.
Adelaide were on the cusp of triumphing but Perth goalkeeper Liam Reddy pulled off four saves, eclipsing Reds custodian Paul Izzo’s three for a final spot kick score of 5-4.
A gracious Kurz addressed the media after the match at HBF Park and praised his troops for their fighting effort.
“We all are disappointed but in the end we played a fantastic season and I’m so proud to be the coach of these boys,” he said.
“A penalty shootout is always a lucky game and at the end Perth was the lucky winner and congrats and all the best for the final.”
It was a breathtaking 120 minutes of football, a feat made all the more amazing given Adelaide had needed the same amount of time to vanquish Melbourne City in the Elimination Final five days earlier.
Kurz said he always knew his team would find it within themselves to fight to the end.
“That is the quality from the group,” Kurz explained.
“They never give up they always believe and trust and fight to the end. It’s a high-quality group and they are fantastic.
“The boys know that we never give up and we always believe in our quality, that we can always score a goal.
“We saw that Perth’s players were also a little bit tired and we gave some tactical instructions but it’s not easy for the players in this situation when they are so tired.”