McGowan mistake gets Adelaide United going

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Dylan McGowan, the Adelaide United defender, may have reversed his side’s fortunes in the most serendipitous of ways.

By tripping Adam Parkhouse in the box and gifting Wellington Phoenix a penalty on Sunday evening, he managed to lift the heads of his downtrodden comrades and help drag Adelaide United to its first win of the season.

How? Good question. Goalkeeper and captain Eugene Galekovic saved the penalty – an ordinary effort from Roy Krishna nonetheless – and the score remained 0-0. But Adelaide puffed their chests and by the end of that half of football were two goals ahead. How many did Dylan McGowan score? None.

But don’t underestimate the value of this saved penalty he caused – for which some credit should probably go to Galekovic, he did actually save it – because this was the moment Adelaide’s performance changed. This was the moment the reigning premiers looked like reigning premiers.

Acting Adelaide head coach Pau Marti agreed, saying in the post-match washup that Galekovic’s save was an uplifting moment for his players.

“I think it was good for us that that happened in the end, because it was a wake up,” Marti said

“Even before the penalty we had a few chances, and maybe could do better with them, but of course I think to save the penalty was an extra strength for us.

“[The saved penalty] shows that if you don’t score, everything can change, so that’s why it was very important for us,” he said.

Wellington’s coach Ernie Merrick agreed, conceding that his side’s confidence dropped when Galekovic finished off McGowan’s signature ‘foul-in-the-box-stop-the-penalty’ move.

“I thought we started off well, we were pretty solid at the back, our midfield was gaining control and we pushed Adam Parkhouse forward on the left-hand side, which finished up getting us a penalty,” Merrick said.

“When we missed the penalty, I think that lifted the Adelaide boys and some of our boys dropped their heads a little bit,” he said.

This time last year Adelaide United won its first game of the season. That win was the catalyst for a storming run to top of the ladder and the Reds ended up being crowned league and finals premiers. It’s far too early to suggest that those efforts will be mirrored this season, but finally Adelaide fans have something from which they can gather some hope.

Credit to you, Dylan McGowan. Your mistake may have given your team the lift it so desperately needed.

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