Preview: Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix
Be United in victory. Make your presence felt at Hindmarsh this Saturday as The Reds aim for vitals points
Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix Saturday 5th February 6:30pm
Be United in victory. Make your presence felt at Hindmarsh this Saturday as The Reds aim for three vitals points against Phoenix.
It-s time to stand up and be counted. United may have fallen short in the big games lately - home defeats to Roar and, crucially, to second-placed Central Coast Mariners have been costly - but there is still silverware to be won. A game against a team that perpetually struggles on the road presents the perfect opportunity to secure three points as the Reds jostle for the best possible position as the finals approach.
There is so much drama still to come in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, starting this Saturday night, so get along to Hindmarsh and get right behind your side. Last weekend-s crowd of over 12,000 may have gone home disappointed, but you can be sure they-ll be out in force again, and, as always, will be hugely vocal as they cheer their team towards the finals.
A repeat of the last time Phoenix made their way to Hindmarsh would do very nicely thank you for The Reds this Saturday. Back in October, the then ladder leaders ripped the New Zealanders apart in a stunning six minute period midway through the second-half.
Sergio van Dijk and Marcos Flores struck within the space of 90 seconds to send the 11,206 fans wild with delight. When substitute Travis Dodd added a third a couple of minutes later, the crowd was practically turning cartwheels.
However, a word of warning to United and a sliver of encouragement for travel-weary Phoenix comes from the fact that the scoreline actually flattered Rini Coolen-s men on that day. In the first-half, Wellington were perhaps even the better side, and were unlucky not to be ahead before they capitulated over six mad minutes.
If they can play for the full 90 the way they did for 60 last time they visited, they might just come away with something. Further hope for the visitors will come from joyous memories of the last time the sides met, in Christchurch in December. Then, a huge and noisy crowd saw defender Ben Sigmund head home a dramatic 94th minute winner after Tim Brown had equalised Sergio van Dijk-s early strike.
Like United, the side from New Zealand have everything to play for as the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season draws to a close. Last weekend, a first-half goal from Dylan Macallister gave them a slender win over 10-man Newcastle Jets in Wellington and kept them in the mix for a finals place. Make no mistake, Wellington will be anything but pushovers on Saturday, no matter how poor their away form is.
However, they-ll be without Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat after the pair picked up their eighth yellow cards of the season in the win over Jets on Sunday. On a more positive note, this weekend-s match is a landmark in that it marks Wellington Phoenix-s 100th in the Hyundai A-League.
Once again, it-s up to Reds fans to help their side raise their game. With next week-s match being played at the Adelaide Oval, it's the last game that Hindmarsh will host in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season for United, so make it count with non-stop noise from first whistle to last. Play your part in the thrilling live drama!