Adelaide United again gave up an away lead to lose a second consecutive match on the road, as the Reds crashed 2-1 to Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.
Adelaide’s Kristian Opseth scored the opener in the seventh minute – just his second goal of the campaign.
Marco Rojas equalised against a patched up Adelaide which allowed the All Whites international to ghost into a goalscoring position when United had the numbers to quell the danger inside the box in the 57th minute.
Andrew Nabbout kept Victory’s top six hopes alive with a brilliant injury time winner.
He smacked the ball into the top corner from 20m just seconds after teenage sensation Mohamed Toure was so close to giving the Reds a go-ahead goal in the 89th minute.
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Andrew Nabbout celebrates a big win for the Victory. Photo: AAP Image/George SalpigtidisSource:AAP
KURZ CURSE IS OVER
Victory’s knee jerk reaction to sack former Adelaide United boss Marco Kurz before he could put his stamp on the side was the best decision the club has made for all rival clubs benefit, perhaps until last night.
Interim coach Carlos Salvachúa from Madrid didn’t appear to be the answer as the club lurched, the players weren’t responding until Nabbout sunk Reds hearts to give the Spaniard his first A-League win.
Victory even showed how badly organised they are when centre back Michael Jakobsen was allowed to run 50m with the ball before releasing George Blackwood who thumped the leather against the crossbar early in the second half.
Blackwood again smacked the ball against the crossbar in the 70th minute from a sublime James Troisi assist.
McGree looks destined for bigger things. Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
MCGREE IS TOO CLEVER FOR THIS LEAGUE
Adelaide United’s Gawler Eagles junior Riley McGree is streets above everyone attacking midfielder in this competition.
Surely it won’t be long before the Reds again lose the prodigy.
European football is beckoning but this time the 21-year-old is more than ready to make his mark.
His exquisite no look pass to Norwegian striker Opseth which led to the Reds opening goal is not out of place at Old Trafford, San Siro, Camp Nou or Juventus Stadium.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold potentially adding McGree to the Copa America squad in June will put him a huge shop window before he is expected to get a call up for the Tokyo Games.
He has copped a barrage of goals at inept times but Paul Izzo’s 22nd-minute save from a Nabbout point-blank volley should have been season defining but his men in front let him down in the end.
It came at a time when Victory threatened to find a first half equaliser, a reaction to what has become a melancholic story for a club which has been largely the shining light – on and off the park – of the A-League since 2005.
Izzo also made more classy saves from Marco Rojas and Elvis Kamsoba efforts.
Jets spark Glory at home
A-League: Goals from Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Roy O’Donovan meant the Newcastle Jets outdid the travelling Perth Glory on Saturday.
GRAND FINAL HOSTING AND 2021 CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FOR GRABS WHO WANTS IT?
Providing runaway leader Sydney FC – on track to claim the premiership in a canter – doesn’t win its semi final, second spot, hosting a grand final and 2021 Champions League is on offer.
But which club really wants it?
Perth Glory blew its chance to streak three points closer to cementing second place when it lost to second last Newcastle Jets 2-1 away on Saturday.
Adelaide knew before its clash that a win over Victory would put the club on equal points with the second-placed reigning premier but it cracked at the death.
MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Marco Rojas 57m, Andrew Nabbout 91m)
ADELAIDE UNITED 1 (Kristian Opseth 7m) at Marvel Stadium
Victory (3-4-3): Thomas, Gallifuoco, Donachie, Hoogland, Nabbout, Basha, Broxham (Lestiotis 58m), Traore (Lauton 46m), Kamsoba (Athiu 88m), Toivonen, Rojas
Adelaide (4-3-3): Izzo; Marrone (Boland 46m), Elsey, Jakobsen, Maria; D’Arrigo, McGree, Troisi; Blackwood, Opseth (Yengi 68m), Mileusnic (Toure 78m)
REFEREE: Chris Beath
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
YELLOW CARDS: Victory: Toivonen, Thomas, Broxham
Originally published asReds cough up victory to old rivals
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