Adelaide v Power

Round 2 report by Lino Fusco
Adelaide United v Parramatta Power

Adelaide United went into this deferred 2nd round match needing only a single point to claim third spot on the NSL ladder. Parramatta, on the other hand, had little to play for because they would finish 2nd on the table regardless of the results in their last two games. A bumper crowd of 12,125 turned out for this midweek clash.

Adelaide started the game with several attacking moves but it only took Parramatta five minutes to silence the home crowd. Parramatta striker Milicic struck a shot with power from the edge of the area. The shot was hit straight at United goalkeeper Scarsella who struggled with the power of the shot and parried the ball to the feet of the waiting Elrich. The newly capped Socceroo Elrich made no mistake with the easy tap in past Scarsella.

Only a minute later Adelaidešs Alagich almost pulled a goal back for United. Alagich found space on the right, cut in and smashed his shot from 20 metres. Parramattašs Bolton was at full stretch turning the ball just wide of the post for a corner.

Parramatta seemed content with its early goal and played a defensive counter attacking game. This gave Adelaide a lot of possession in the middle of the park but Adelaide was finding it very difficult to turn possession into opportunities.

Adelaidešs flank players struggled to get any space and time on the ball out in attacking positions out wide. Elrich and Beauchamp were well in control down their right flank. The few times Adelaide did get down the flanks they were let down by poor crossing straight into the hands of the very dominant Bolton.

In the 24th minute Milicic saw Scarsella off his line and chipped an effort that was just over the bar. Only a few minutes late Adelaide crowd favourite Agius got on the end of a pass inside the box and his volley was denied by a good save from Bolton.

For the remainder of the half Adelaidešs best opportunities seemed to come from corners. Adelaide won 9 corners in the half. But the corners were terrible and three different corner takers committed the same basic mistake of hitting the ball too close to the untroubled goalkeeper Bolton.

It took only 7 minutes into the second half for Parramatta to seal the result. Adelaide sweeper Aurelio Vidmar was caught on the ball by Milicic as Vidmar pushed forward into the Parramatta half from the back lines. Milicic beat two players and ran half the pitch outpacing the remainder of the Adelaide defence before comfortably slotting the ball past the stranded Scarsella.

Adelaide continued to push forward for the remainder of the half while Parramatta sat back. But Parramatta looked very comfortable, their backlines were not being troubled and they looked the more likely to score on a counter attack.

Adelaide coach Kosmina rang the changes as the half wore on though not even local goal scoring machine Michael Brookes was able to conjure up any magic when brought on for the final 30 minutes.

In the end Parramatta ran out very comfortable victors in a game that gave the impression that there is a big gulf between the top two sides in the NSL and the rest of the league. Parramatta were the better side and thoroughly deserved their victory. Their squad oozed quality even with captain Alvin Ceccoli and midfielder Andre Gumprecht being rested for this game. On this performance Parramatta look certainties to reach the NSL Grand Final.

Adelaide coach John Kosmina would have been disappointed with the below par performance of his side. The crossing and corners were particularly woeful. To their credit the Adelaide players toiled hard all game but were outclassed by their opponents.

Best for Adelaide was Valkanis. Young Agius had a solid first half. Best for Power was goalkeeper Bolton, defenders Elrich and Beauchamp and midfielder Colosimo.