Adelaide City succumbed to a last-minute 2-1 loss to Adelaide Comets at SA Athletics Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in Round 21 Playstation 4 National Premier League SA action.
By Michael Barbaro
The defeat meant that City’s minor premiership celebrations were put on hold for yet another week, as a draw would have sealed top spot for the club.
It was a typical winter’s day at Mile End in wet and windy conditions and the game was sure to be a scrappy one.
City started off the affair with a spark, with Nic Bucco sending a free kick millimetres over the bar in the fifth minute.
Three minutes later, Evan Kostopoulos opened the scoring.
Bucco raced into the 18 yard box and was brought down; referee Rick Schneider subsequently had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Kostopoulos made no mistake with the conversion and set Alexander Woodlands the wrong way from 12 yards, refusing to celebrate against his former club in the process.
It was a rather lacklustre remainder of the half; not a whole lot of chances were created by either team.
But City almost doubled their lead in the 34th minute.
Kostopoulos went on a run, before giving the ball to Tom Love.
Love released the ball to Anthony Costa, as the striker slotted coolly past Woodlands.
However, the celebrations were cut short as the assistant referee had her flag raised, thus disallowing Costa of his 20th goal of the year.
The Black and Whites went into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead, and looked good value for the three points.
However, the second half seemed like a different game, and City were immediately on the back foot as they were against the wind.
The Comets dominated most of the possession of the half, while not allowing City any real chances.
However, City’s best chance of the half saw Bucco’s second free kick attempt of the encounter go close; the midfielder struck the upright as he was within inches of extending City’s lead.
The game was scrappy and uneventful for the remainder of the half, but right at the death the Comets equalised through Nathan Andijanto, who slotted past Ryan Veitch to appear to snatch a draw from his team in the 90th minute.
However, Comets weren’t done and in the third and final minute of injury time, they snatched a winner through Lewis Farquhar, who tapped in from within six-yards.
The loss means that City must at least draw next week to ensure a clear top spot on points, and head into the first week of the finals with a choice of playing home or away against MetroStars.