R15 Wrap: Adelaide City v Adelaide Comets
Adelaide City’s “Never Say Die” attitude was again alive and well at Adelaide City Park with an impressive 4-2 win over a gallant Adelaide Comets in their PlayStation 4 National Premier League SA Round 15 match.
As they have done numerous times this season, City refused to accept defeat when all seemed lost. They steamrolled a tiring Comets side with some hard running and brilliant football to score three goals in the final six minutes of the game to secure a vital three points; sneaking four points clear of Campbelltown at the top of the League table.
Credit must go to City’s coach Damian Mori who tactically used his bench to turn the game in City’s favour. The injection of Thomas Love, Michael Acton and Mamadi Kamara at pivotal times helped turn the game in City’s favour.
Comets opened the first half looking a little jaded from their mid-week Westfield FFA Cup commitments. City seized the moment in the 3rd minute, when the league’s leading goal scorer Anthony Costa, swooped on a loose ball in the six-yard box to slot home the opening goal past Comets’ keeper Alexander Woodlands.
City had the better of Comets in the first twenty minutes of the half as the same suspects Nicholas Bucco, Jordan Pudler and Nikola Miluesnic were controlling the passage through the midfield, while Paul Belfari was again solid in defence.
To Comets’ credit they were able to slowly wrestle back some momentum, as Jack Bladen, Steven Grelli and Christopher Pepe began to get a hold of more of the ball as the trio worked their way into the game. But for all of their hard work Comets were breaking down up front.
The midfield duel between the respective opponents was what we were all expecting, a skilful, hard at the ball contest.
Both teams had scoring opportunities moving forward, but City always looked the more dangerous around goal with their powerful forward setup.
City went into the halftime break with the goal advantage, and looking the slightly better of the two side.
The second half was full of action from start to finish, with both sides looking to take the ascendancy.
City thought they had a second goal in the 48th minute courtesy of a Bucco strike, but his efforts were judged to be offside.
Comets continued to mount a challenge with more endeavour and were rewarded for their efforts in the 50th minute when Andreas Wiens found Evan Kostopoulos at the edge of the eighteen-yard box with a well weighted pass that the Comets captain blasted past a diving City keeper Ben Moore to put the visitors on level terms.
Comets nearly had second when Wiens’ shot on goal from close range was brilliantly saved by Moore.
Moments later in a similar situation at the other end of the park, Comets keeper Woodlands denied Costa a goal with an equally brilliant save.
Comets had all the he momentum which forced Mori to ring the changes off the bench to try to create a spark to lift his side. He introduced Love and Kamara to give City fresh legs through the middle third.
Comets were dealt a blow when they lost Bladen and then later in the half Pepe from their midfield, but to their credit they continued press high forcing City to defend deep.
In a game with more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie novel, it was Comets who took their chance to steal the game in the 81st minute when Theo Balomonos collected a cross from Kingsley Francis at the back post to slot the ball into the net to give Comets a 2-1 lead to the rousing roar of the Comets fans who saw victory in their grasp.
But City weren’t going to give up without a fight. Pudler, Bucco and Love were instrumental in giving City a pulse. An 86th Penalty awarded when Love was bought down by Grelli in the box saw Bucco step up to put City on parity again.
When a draw seemed a rewarding result for both teams, the play of the day was left to the 89th minute. City mounted an attack that could only be described as poetry in motion when they broke from defence through Love and Joel Allwright with a string of one touch passes to Bucco and then back into the path of the hard running Love who hammered home City’s third goal that gave City the lead.
The momentous result was complete when the unselfish Pudler passed off in the box to Kamara who ran in to score City’s fourth goal of the game.
A very happy Thomas Love said it was an unbelievable feeling after the final whistle. It was a win that showed the character of the playing group.
“After they scored their second goal they sat back, which gave us the opportunity to press high and setup our forward movements. We never stopped believing that we had a chance to get a result. We just fought it out to the end,” Love said.
“It was an unbelievable feeling after that final whistle. It is fantastic to be part of a top team that just believes that they can win every time they step out onto the pitch.”
City will welcome the bye round to freshen up for their tilt at the Premiership Plate.
While for Comets they will now need to turn their focus to next week’s Westfield FFA Cup South Australian Qualifying Grand Final at Coopers Stadium against an inform MetroStars.
Written by: Joe Pangallo 5RTI Sports - 531AM