Adelaide City succumbed to a second successive loss as they fell to West Torrens Birkalla 3-1 at Adelaide City Park on Saturday afternoon in Round 18 PlayStation 4 NPL SA action.
By Michael Barbaro
City were unable to bounce back from last week’s disappointment at Polonia Reserve and subsequently had their lead at the top of the table cut down to four points, after MetroStars claimed a victory over Para Hills at The Paddocks.
It was a lacklustre opening to the affair with both teams making too many turnovers in the midfield with no real chances created.
City’s first chance came through Anthony Costa in the 10th minute; the striker unleashing a drive which was saved well by Birkalla’s Joe Gauci.
Both teams failed to capitalise on defensive vulnerabilities in the opening half, as the teams went into the break locked at 0-0.
The second half started at a frantic pace, and it took City just seven minutes to finally break the deadlock.
Anthony Costa’s crunching tackle in the midfield won him the ball, before offloading out wide to Mamadi Kamara.
Kamara went on a scintillating run; he skimmed a defender before slotting the ball past Gauci and finally giving his team the lead.
However, the City celebrations were cut short and Birkalla equalised within four minutes.
A Jordan Pudler backpass was intercepted by ex-City man Fumiya Suzuki, as the winger slotted the ball past Ryan Veitch.
Both teams pressed in search of a late winner with City unable to break down the Birkalla defence.
But it was the latter who found the winning goal in the 72nd minute.
Suzuki’s cross into the 18 yard box wasn’t dealt with by the City defence, and Lawrence D’Arrigo was able to tap in from inside six yards, with Veitch unable to reach it.
The visitors weren’t done, and were able to put the game beyond doubt in the 88th minute through midfielder Jake Monaco.
Monaco collected the ball and unleashed a curling shot from 25 yards into the top left corner, sending Birkalla into raptures and sealing the three points for his side.
It was a disappointing day for the Black and Whites, who hope to bounce back next week against bottom-placed and already relegated Cumberland United at A.A. Bailey Reserve while Birkalla host Campbelltown as they look to solidify their top-six aspirations.