Saturday, January 23, 2010

Adelaide's slim finals hopes extinguished by Victory

Photos (Top to Bottom): Adelaide United's Travis Dodd and Aurelio Vidmar cannot seem to beat Melbourne Victory; Melbourne Victory supremo Ernie Merrick allows himself a rare smile as his side regains top spot on the A-League ladder; Melbourne Victory defender Adrian Leijer held the rearguard together with Kevin Muscat [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory returned to the top of the A-League standings this evening with a 2-0 win over bottom-side Adelaide United at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

A goal after just 24 seconds gave Melbourne the lead and their second goal came with the last kick of the match, a penalty in the 4th minute of stoppage time.

It was Melbourne’s ninth consecutive win over Adelaide.

For Adelaide, it was their ninth straight loss in the league this season.

With Melbourne’s first attack of the game, Archie Thompson crossed towards the far post from the left, where Tom Pondeljak’s first shot was turned against the near post by goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

The ball rebounded to Pondeljak, whose second effort flew into the net through the keeper’s legs and off his heel to make it 1-0 for the home side.

Melbourne should have added a second goal on the hour when Thompson set up Robbie Kruse, but the youngster missed a sitter, shooting wide of Galekovic’s left-hand post.

Adelaide did create some chances, but their shooting was way off the mark.

In the fourth minute of stoppage time, Melbourne won a penalty when Thompson went down with Alemao and Robbie Cornthwaite in close attendance but seemingly innocent.

Cornthwaite received a yellow card for complaining and became the sixth Adelaide player in the game to be cautioned. This will mean a fine for the club.

The attendance was 20,361, which took Melbourne’s attendances this season to the quarter-million mark.

The defeat means Adelaide can now not qualify for the finals.

Melbourne is level with the Gold Coast on 41 points, but Melbourne’s better goal-difference puts them on top.

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