A stunning Awer Mabil goal and an inspired performance by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic has seen Adelaide United snatch a 1-0 win over Sydney FC at a rain-soaked Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Despite being second-best for much of the contest, the Reds snatched all three points thanks to Mabil’s cracker just eight minutes from the end.
The Reds had their skipper to thank for the victory though, pulling off a string of fine saves throughout to keep his side in the contest.
The result sees Adelaide move to the top of the Hyundai A-League – at least until Wellington play Melbourne Victory on Sunday – and well in the hunt for the Premiers’ Plate while Sydney’s chances appear remote now with three rounds left.
WHAT THEY SAID
“It was a very important goal because the ladder is so close this year, so it's a good three points for us. The boys worked hard tonight so thank god for the win!” - Adelaide United's Awer Mabil
“We had a good game plan. I felt the boys played fantastically, we moved it around well. Eugene just had one of those nights where it doesn't matter how big the goal was he would have saved it.” - Sydney FC's Alex Brosque
0-1 Mabil (82’) – A long ball forward by Galekovic was mis-read by the Sydney defence, allowing Mabil to pick up possession on the right wing. He drove at Nikola Petkovic and cut back inside on his left foot before arrowing a shot into the far corner which gave Sky Blues ‘keeper Vedran Janjetovic no chance.
Seven minutes before half-time, Alex Brosque got in behind the Adelaide defence and was surging towards the box only to be hauled down from behind by Nigel Boogaard. Referee Chris Beath opted to show the Reds defender a yellow card when perhaps it could have been red. While Brosque was still some 25 yards from goal, there wasn’t another Adelaide defender close to him and his next touch may have been a shot on goal. It was a huge decision at a pivotal moment that went the visitor’s way and they made the most of it.