Adelaide United triumph over Melbourne City in elimination final thriller

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Adelaide United has triumphed 1-0 over Melbourne City in one of the classic A-League finals thanks to Ben Halloran’s winner.

Ben Halloran managed the first realistic chance of the game thanks to a inch-perfect pass, beating Galekovic all ends up only to see the ball thunder into the crossbar.

Melbourne City were prepared to sit back and defend early, often seeming to wait for an Adelaide United to make an error but United were content in pushing possession from side-to-side until an opportunity presented.

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Melbourne City started to create chances as their wingers sat wide on the touchline which stretched United’s defence like when Shayon Harrison managed to pick out Berenguer but United’s mass of bodies allowed them to clear.

Half-time bought welcome respite to a tedious affair as things livened in the second half when George Blackwood gathered the ball in transition before sliding a pass to Craig Goodwin inside the box only for his shot to be blocked.

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As the game lulled, Harrison almost created a chance from nothing following a mazey run which spilled out to Riley McGree and Harrison Delbridge who found Berenguer on the turn but poked his shot wide, inches away from being the opener.

With time ticking away, Riley McGree was found in an attacking transition at the point of the 18-yard-box and afforded way too much time to shoot to which he obliged forcing Paul Izzo into action for the first time with a top draw save.

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In the embers of extra time, Baba Diawara displayed all his craft to hold-up and switch the ball to Halloran, who fired near-post as Galekovic saved and only just avoided the ball trickling over.

Ben Halloran and Baba Diawara combined again as the latter played in the former off the edge of the box to allow Halloran to drive the ball home for the winner and break City’s heart in the process.

United will progess to play Perth Glory in the semi-final next week.

Adelaide United1 (Halloran 119′)

Melbourne City 0

Coopers Stadium

Adelaide United Squad:  2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY,  7.Ryan KITTO (23.Jordan ELSEY 120′), 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 11.Craig GOODWIN, 14.George BLACKWOOD (33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS 122′), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (9.Baba DIAWARA 75′), 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 31.Mirko BOLAND (6.Vince LIA 122′)

Unused Substitutes: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk).

Melbourne City FC squad:  2.Ritchie DE LAET, 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE (3.Scott JAMIESON 115+1′), 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 8.Riley McGREE, 9.Shayon HARRISON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 22.Curtis GOOD,  26.Luke BRATTAN (7.Roystn GRIFFITHS 102′), 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (19.Lachlan WALES 94′), 29.Jamie MACLAREN (10.Dario VIDOSIC 116′)

Unused Substitutes: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk).

Referee: Kurt Ams Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo
Assistant Referee 2: Nathan MacDonald Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Feature image credit: Phil Radoslovich

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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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