Finals Series Week 1 Wrap: Adelaide Blue Eagles vs. Adelaide Comets
Adelaide Blue Eagles progressed through to the second PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia Elimination Semi-Final after a 3-2 win over Adelaide Comets on Saturday night.
The home side came from behind to take the win, after a deflected shot from Jack Bladen gave Comets the lead.
Samuel Tesfagabr and Mattia Perrotti bagged goals in the space of 5 minutes to be a goal up at the half, with substitute Anthony Dimas adding a third late in the second.
Captain Evan Kostopoulos brought Comets back to within a goal with a well taken free-kick, but time was against the visitors as Blue Eagles held on to go through.
Goal scorer Samuel Tesfagabr said it was a tough and tense encounter between the two sides, and was pleased with his sides’ performance.
“I think the scores refelected the game,” he said.
“We both had chances we missed but were fortunate enough our guys came through with some opportunities which were created by our strong midfielders lead by our captain on the night Alemayo (Kebede).
“I thought both teams played really well considering the pressure going into the game, Comets have been in good form lately and we have a number of injuries.”
Now on a three game winning streak, Tesfagabr said Blue Eagles were full of confidence heading into another do or die clash next week against West Torrens Birkalla.
“Obviously yes, 3 wins in a row gives us confidence and we feel positive leading into our next game," he said.
“We have our Captain Christopher (Atsikbasis) and midfielders (Fortunato) Filetti and (Damien) Crettenden returning this week which helps strengthen our team even more.
“We are really looking forward going in to the next game and giving the supporters a good game to watch.”
Comets coach Theo Tsiounis said it was a “disappointing finish” to their season.
“I didn’t think it was our best game,” he said.
“They have a couple of dangerous players like Boyokino and we struggled to contain him and didn’t stop the supply into him, but on the flip side we had a number of players that had off games so it was just one of those games where it wasn’t happening for us.
“It was unfortunate but we’ll take a fair bit out of the season and look to improve for next year.”
Comets started the better of the two sides, putting the Blue Eagles back four under pressure from the get go.
Striker Andreas Weins looked a threat, but was closed down before he could get his shots away.
Keeper Pedram Sorjani almost gifted Comets the lead as he left his box to attempt a clearance, but a miskick was blocked by Weins but the moment passed as he was closed down out on the left wing.
A shot from Zac Waters on the angle forced the best out of Sourjani to keep the scores at zero, and some nice work out on the right by Vasilis Carapanayiotis had Blue Eagles feeling the pressure.
Comets eventually got the break through after Weins layed it off to Bladen on the edge of the box, with his shot taking a slight deflection on its way to goal.
Blue Eagles began to put their stamp on the contest after going down, and seven minutes later they were back level.
A free-kick out on the right wing from Chris Christofilos met the head of Tesfagabr who guided the ball into the back post with the slightest of touches.
Five minutes later, the home side found themselves a goal up just before the end of the first half, as a brilliant ball out the back from Adam Harris was met by Perrotti.
Reaching the ball at the byline, Perrotti turned the ball back inside and somehow managed to finish at the far post on the tightest of angles.
The second-half was all Blue Eagles as they pushed for another to extend their lead out to a comfortable position.
Yvan Boyokino looked dangerous out on the wing as the Comets defence allowed him too much time and space on the ball, but his final ball was slightly off when it mattered.
Comets pressed high up the pitch in an attempt to win back possession and to go level once again, but their high line had the back four stretched and allowed Blue Eagles plenty of space to hit them on the counter.
The home side could have easily been up by more had the final ball not been lacking, but the third did eventually come.
Substitute Dimas laid it off to Boyokino on the wing, who worked his way to the byline and cut it back into a dangerous area in the box where Dimas was waiting for an easy tap in.
Blue Eagles had looked to have the game wrapped up, but a free kick on the edge of the box in the dying minutes gave Comets a lifeline.
Kostopoulos stood over the ball and directed the dead ball underneath the wall and into the near post to bring them back to within one with 5 minutes of added time to come.
Comets pushed for another to take it to extra time, and it nearly came on the counter but the shot was pulled inches wide of the post as hearts where in mouths for the Blue Eagles faithful at Marden.
However, the advantage remained for Blue Eagles as they progressed through to next week’s Elimination Semi-Final.
Written by Brendan Simpkins - @RealSimpkins
Photo by Adam Butler