Reds get winning feeling
Fabian Barbiero scored the only goal of the night as Adelaide United kept its season alive through a hard-fought 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
A goal from Fabian Barbiero has kept Adelaide United's Hyundai A-League season alive and dented Brisbane Roar's hopes of a making the top six, the Reds recording a 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Barbiero broke the stalemate when he headed home 15 minutes from time, but a late charge from Brisbane forced heroics from goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, who produced a stunning save to deny second-half substitute Massimo Murdocca.
Returning from a two-week touchline ban, coach Aurelio Vidmar made five changes to Adelaide's squad.
Daniel Mullen, Francesco Monterosso, Inseob Shin, Lloyd Owusu and Michael Marrone all got the nod while defenders Mark Rudan and Robbie Cornthwaite were dropped along with midfield-pair, Lucas Pantelis and Adam Hughes. Kristian Sarkies rounded-out the changes, missing through injury.
The Roar looking to edge its way into the top six, saw coach Ange Postecoglou give Michael Zullo his first start of the season, replacing the injured Tommy Oar on the left.
With neither side able to break the deadlock in the first half, Cassio stated Adelaide's intentions early in the second, when he forced Roar stopper Griffin McMaster to save, after volleying from close range
Moments later McMaster was nearly un-done after he mistimed a Scott Jamieson long-ball to Matthew Leckie in the box. Luckily, defender Josh McCloughan was on hand to clear after Leckie managed to get a shot on goal after reaching the ball first.
With the Roar feeling the pressure and having a string of missed chances, Adelaide countered, Leckie again finding himself in the area.
After holding the ball up well, the young striker crossed to the back-post, Barbiero making no mistake, heading home his first goal of the season.
Not to be out-done, a spirited Brisbane tried to find an equaliser, Henrique and Luke Devere having opportunities to put the Roar level, but it was second-half substitute Massimo Murdocca who had the best chance.
After receiving the ball just out-side the area, Murdocca un-leashed a venomous shot that looked destined for the top right-hand-corner. But diving at full stretch, Galekovic produced a stunning save, turning the ball around the post for a corner and ending the Roar's chance of earning a point.
With Brisbane having the better first-half, the Reds' custodian produced a string of saves, firstly denying Sergio van Dijk and Mitch Nichols before managing to get a foot to Henrique's shot right before the break.
Speaking after the match, Vidmar praised Adelaide's effort but acknowledged there is still a lot of hard work ahead of the Reds this season.
"I thought in the second half our boys were outstanding, (we) really changed the game and with a bit of luck we might have had a second on the counter. I can't fault their endeavour and passion, a lot of people really stood up."
"If we lost tonight it would of made it extremely difficult (to make the finals), but there is no way we are going to quit ... with the result today, it's a very good step but we cant get carried away, we have a lot of hard work ahead of us." Vidmar said.
Roar coach Ange Postecoglou was frustrated with the outcome, given that a win would have granted Brisbane a great chance to make ground on the top six.
"It's frustrating, I can't say I'm disappointed. We created opportunities, we just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net,"
"Obviously it was a fantastic opportunity to make up ground (on the top-six teams) but you can't fault the players,"
"From my point of view I thought the players were fantastic and they did everything we asked of them." Postecoglou said.
The win is Adelaide's first since beating Sydney back in Round 11 and now moves Aurelio Vidmar's men onto equal points with Brisbane, with both sides now left propping up the table on 20 points.
Brisbane Roar 0 Adelaide United 1 (Barbiero 77) Crowd: 5,801 at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium