Round 18 – Adelaide City vs Adelaide Blue Eagles match report By Euan James (@euanjames_)
Adelaide City endured their third consecutive NPL draw and ninth of the season, this time at the hands of Adelaide Blue Eagles on Saturday afternoon at Adelaide City Park.
It was Blue Eagles who started the brightest of the two sides, pressing high and forcing City into mistakes. In the 13th minute, they were awarded a penalty after City defender James Boffa brought down Liam McCabe on the edge of the area.
Luckily for City, Joe Gauci was up to the task, producing a brilliant save low down to his right from the Daniel Cockerline penalty.
In the 16th minute, it was City’s turn to press Blue Eagles and force them into a crucial error. Chris Pepe charged down his man on the left and gave him no other option than to play the ball back to the keeper, who had left his net open. The keepers attempted clearance missed everyone in a blue shirt and landed at the feet of Fabio Ferreira. Who, as to be expected, made no mistake and hit the ball on the half volley straight down the middle of the open net to give City the lead.
Blue Eagles looked to respond straight away with combination play in the box that saw Liam McCabe force another great save from Joe Gauci.
In the 37th minute, City were exposed down their left side as Daniel Cockerline was able to burst forward and square the ball, where four Blue Eagles attackers were waiting. After a goalmouth scramble – Hamish McCabe slotted the ball through the tightest of gaps and handed Blue Eagles an equaliser.
As the half drew to a close, James Boffa was booked and then forced off through injury as Haris Vuckic replaced him.
The beginning of the second half saw Stefan Casalbore bombing down the left looking to fashion a chance for his side.
Tom Maricic came close in the 55th minute, although it wasn’t to be as his header was straight into the gloves of the Blue Eagles keeper.
The second half was fairly even and City coach Michael Matricciani handed a debut to youngster, Austin Ayoubi in the final 20 minutes.
Both sides pushed for a winner but despite that, the match ended all square. Up next for City is an away trip to Para Hills Knights as the relegation battle heats up.
Adelaide City 1 (Ferreira 16’)
Adelaide Comets 1 (H. McCabe 37’)
Lineup: 46. Joe Gauci (GK), 19. James Boffa (22. Haris Vuckic 42’), 45. Tomas Maricic, 10. Evan Kostopoulos, 5. Zak Waters, 6. Dominic Matricciani, 48. Marcos Flores (C), 7. Chris Pepe (38. Austin Ayoubi 62’), 20. Fabio Ferreira, 17. Stefan Casalbore (49. Massimo Falco 81’), 9. Anthony Costa
Unused subs: 1. Yanni Delengas (GK), 29. Adam D’Agostino