City hit Toure trouble as Reds take the ALM points

Adelaide United young gun Mohamed Toure’s late goal on Tuesday night has lifted his side to a 2-1 win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park and up into third place on the A-League Men table. 

Locked at one actual and multiple disallowed goals apiece as the contest entered its final stages, Toure moved rapidly to intercept a haphazard backpass across the face of goal by Carl Jenkinson with five minutes remaining in the contest and was rewarded for his endeavour; the teenager sliding a shot past Tom Glover to secure the goal for the Reds – securing both the win and his first goal of the campaign.  

“It’s something the boys have done all season. They never give up. Their spirit is fantastic and you saw it again tonight, they kept fighting,” said Veart.

“The first half we weren’t at our best. We improved in the second half with our ball movement, it was a little bit better in the second half.

“The boys have shown all season that they fight right to the end and I’m so pleased for [Toure] to get his first goal for the season.

“He’s put a little bit of pressure on himself because he hasn’t been scoring goals and to get that goal tonight, the winner, I’m very happy for him”

Albeit having played one more game than them, the three points earned by coach Carl Veart’s side are enough to see them leapfrog Sydney FC into third-space on the table. 

City’s opportunity to take back first place from Western United and secure a three-game winning streak, meanwhile, has gone begging. The defending champions will be forced to lick their wounds and recalibrate ahead of Newcastle Jets visit to Melbourne on Friday. 

“We managed to get a point against Wellington on Saturday and then to come here, to the champions and get three points, it’s tremendous,” said the Reds boss.

“We’ve set ourselves a target of what we need to get to and once we get through these three away games, we can set ourselves up because then after that we’ve got eight home games out of the 12 (remaining matches).

“So we’re really looking forward to a big push in the second half of the season”

Belying the disappointment of what was to come, City had started their night off in promising fashion.

Caught off balance by a quickly taken free-kick over the top from Scott Jamieson in the 11th minute, a calamity of miscommunication between defender Lachlan Barr and goalkeeper Joe Gauci led to neither properly moving to clear the ball and, instead, allowed Jamie Maclaren to nip in and take the ball. 

The Socceroos striker made no mistake with the absolute gift that he had received and fired home to give his side the lead. 

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The advantage, however, would last less than ten minutes: Javie Lopez found on the corner of the penalty after a lovely bit of work from Bernardo Oliveira and sending in a cross-cum-shot that sailed over the head of Tom Glover and nestled in the back of the net in the 20th.

Playing against the side he had previously represented at youth level, the son of former United star Cassio had another strong performance for the South Australians before making way close to the hour mark for fellow youngster Nestory Irakunda. 

City thought they had retaken the lead in the 31st minute when Aiden O’Neill charged down a rather substandard attempted clearance from Gauci and, falling as he did so, laid the ball off into the path of Maclaren. 

Alas for Patrick Kisnorbo’s side – the City coach returning to the sideline on Tuesday evening after recovering from COVID – the A-League Men’s leading goalscorer’s finish would be ruled out by the linesman’s flag. 

Three minutes later it was the turn of the Reds to rue what might have been when Goodwin burst in on goal, only to also look up and see the flag raised upon his successful finding of the net. 

Three minutes into the second stanza City again were denied satisfaction when Curtis Good’s headed effort from a Jamieson free kick was called by referee Shaun Evans after he determined that the defender had infringed on Craig Goodwin in winning it. 

Introduced in the first half after winger Marco Tilio suffered a knock in a rare start, Stefan Colacovski had a chance to break the deadlock in the 65th minute when he worked his way into the penalty area and fired off a shot that Gauci deflected away with a strong palm. 

Kisnorbo would later declare that Tilio had been suffering from calf tightness, while Jamieson, who was also forced off, had endured a “tweak”.

Seeking to make amends for his earlier error, Barr had a point-blank header at the end of a rare stretch of second-half territorial dominance by the visitors in the 79th minute but the former NPL SA defender could only head the ball over the bar. 

In the end, however, Toure was able to spare his teammate the blushes.

Becoming increasingly frustrated at their efforts coming to no avail, City would push to try and find a late leveller but were left wanting.

“I thought we dominated,” said Kisnorbo.

“They had two shots. One was a cross, the other one was a back-pass from us.

“We had a lot of possession but we were creating a lot of chances in good areas. Obviously, we need scoring but these ones, it’s a little bit hard to take especially when you dominate the game for ninety minutes and you end up losing.

“I think there’s a few saves[Gauci made]. Curtis [had a] goal disallowed for I have no idea what for.

“We had chances where either side of the goalkeeper they’re in but it wasn’t to be tonight.

“I’m really happy about how they went about it, especially after we’ve had a couple of weeks and we’re still creating some very good chances in some good areas. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. Tonight they didn’t.”

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Header Image Credit: Melbourne City

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