‘Madness’: why the A-League needed the Adelaide and Brisbane classic

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As Marco Kurz nestled into the chair for the post-match press conference and question time began he was greeted with the rarest of occurrences. Silence.

It may have only been fleeting, only for a second or so, but it was entirely noticeable. After all, what does one say after the most bewildering game? A game that defies conventional wisdom and dismisses regular football parlance, leaving in its wake a tangled web of excitement, frustration, euphoria and sadness.

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Perhaps Darren Davies put it best as he searched for an answer to what will be one of the A-League’s all-time great games.

“Madness,” he said.

“Good entertainment for the neutral, (it’ll) bring fans through the door, good viewing for the [television], for the neutral, that’s another positive,” he said.

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Is that to undersell Adelaide United’s achievement which saw them down and out at 3-0 down in the 41st minute, only to rally and turn the game on it’s head to be 4-3 up some 56 minutes later?

The truth is both stories are true and probably intertwined; United were valiant to keep going when others may have tried to save face amidst the overwhelming likeliness of defeat. For the second consecutive week, Adelaide has won a game in the final moments which as Marco Kurz alluded to shows their mettle for the fight.

“I said look the first half is away now we must start in the second one and the goal is to win the second one but you must trust, you must believe, you must have the body language…at the end it was a present for the team for their hard-work,” he said.

“The team is fantastic, the character is fantastic I am very proud of them, I hope we learn that we can concede early or respect a hard decision, but you cannot stop to play

“That’s a result for the hard-work,” he said.

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And that character, at least in part, is why the A-League is something special, something worth nurturing and worth the effort. The beauty of the league lies within the fact Brisbane, having a purgatory season filled with controversy and drama, can take it up to a finals-bound Adelaide and look like world-beaters, while Adelaide against all the odds, carve out a win despite any number of statistics showing they cannot or should not be victorious.

So much has been made of how the A-League is on a downhill trajectory, but if you ever need a reminder of exactly what the A-League has to offer the table in a sport-centric summer line-up, this would be the game to package up and market to the world.

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It wasn’t a flawless tactical performance, VAR did create drama, but no one could say they regretted the price of admission or left disappointed.

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That was peak A-League.

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Adam Daunt
Adam Daunt
A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster

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