Adelaide could not, as Layton Hewitt would say, find a way to win. Man of the match Angelo Costanzo took Thompson and Allsopp out of the match. And Adelaide dominated, particularly in the second half. But rarely looked close to scoring. Good passing game. Won the mid-field. Diego looked good without dominating. Fred was right out of the picture. I even saw Thompson doing a bit of defending.
Five yellow cards were the main feature. All seemed pretty right. You don't carry cards from the home and away season. But two yellow cards and you miss the next finals game. And some key players picked up their first in what could be three more games that could lead a player to miss the grand final. Adelaide: Spagnuolo, Costanzo and Djite (for kicking Melbourne goalie Michael Theoklitos in the head). And Melbourne: Vargas
This puts the advantage to Melbourne for the next leg. Home crowd advantage. 30,000 plus? 40,000 plus? And yet the Adelaide home crowd is an interesting bunch. We watched them hit Liam Reddy in the head with a coke bottle after he trod on Fernando a few weeks back. Today, together with about with 1,000 plus from Melbourne, they packed and shook Hindmarsh. About 15,575 in total. As good as it gets in this stadium. They booed Muscat. They called for penalties and fouls. They made a noise for Melbourne goal kicks. Still 0-0. Reminded me of the Roar fans frustration at Lang Park when Adelaide hung on for 0-0 - and then for Adelaide to win an easier battle on another day.
It's finals time and Australia's 3 top refs are in Asian at a conference. It reminds me of stories of the old national soccer league when Australia's top soccer journalist took his holidays on finals day. Anyhow, the ref didn't have much influence on the Adelaide v Melbourne outcome.