Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Photo:  Adelaide United coach John Kosmina was very confident when his side led 2-0 [PlessPix]

(Asian Champions League, Quarterfinal first leg, Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide, Wednesday, 19 September 2012)

Adelaide United 2 (Ramsay 7, Kostopoulos 18)

Bunyodkor 2 (Khasanov 44, Salamov 75)

HT: 2-1   Ref: Al Hilali Abdullah (Oman)

Adelaide United: Galekovic  -  Bowles, Fyfe, Boogaard, Watson  -  Barbiero, Vidosic (Golec 53), Cassio  -  Kostopoulos, Djite (Van Dijk 74), Ramsay (Neumann 81)

Bunyodkor: Nesterov  -  Shorahmedov, Karimov, Gafurov, Filiposyan  -  Kozak (Salamov 66)  -  Karpenko (Shomurodov 84), Ibrokhimov, Hasanov, Turaev  -  Murzoev (Soliev 76)

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Photo:  Adelaide United were rocked by the send-off and lost their way [PlessPix]

Adelaide United seemed to be running away with this match when they led 2-0 after just 18 minutes.

They were playing intelligent, attractive and effective football and visitors Bunyodkor seemed completely outclassed.

How Adelaide must have wished that Djite’s shot following a corner by Vidosic on the half-hour had gone in rather than come back off the crossbar.  That would have made it 3-0, which might have been crucial in the end.

And, they were denied a clear penalty earlier for a handball.  The assistant referee must have seen it, but he did not flag.

Then, with a minute of the first half remaining, Adelaide had Boogaard sent off for a cynical foul on Turaev.  Omani referee Mr Abdullah correctly sent the United defender off as he had been the last defender and denied the attacker a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

That was the turning point of the match.  Hasanov scored a beautiful goal from the free-kick from inside the D to make it 2-1 at the interval and the home side never recovered.

The Uzbekistan side dominated the second half against a tiring, desperate and resolute home side, who conceded a second goal to make it 2-2 at the end.

Only some brilliant goalkeeping by Galekovic prevented a defeat for Adelaide, who travel to Tashkent on October 3 for the return leg.  Two away goals will give Bunyodkor plenty of hope in terms of qualifying for the semi-finals, although Adelaide have won in Tashkent before.

Ramsay put Adelaide ahead in the 7th minute when he slid the ball home at the far left-hand post after Vidosic’s mis-hit shot carried across the face of goal.

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Photo:  Dario Vidosic had a fine game until being replaced early in the second half because of a hamstring strain [PlessPix]

In the 17th minute, Ramsay almost added a second, but goalkeeper Netserov beat out the shot.

A minute later, Netserov produced an outstanding save when he turned Barbiero’s shot against the upright and out for a corner, which proved decisive.  Nesterov could only flap at the corner and presented Kostopoulos with the ball at the far post.  His initial shot crossed the line before being cleared by a defender, but he pounced on the rebound and forced the ball home to make it 2-0 and end any controversy.

Vidosic was showing plenty of vision and skill in support of the strikers and, in the 25th minute, his magnificent diagonal ball from right to left put Barbiero in with a chance, but he shot high over the bar.

In the 28th minute, an Adelaide free-kick was cleverly flicked into the air by Ramsay to tee up a volley for Vidosic, bit it was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Netserov for a corner.  It was from the corner by Vidosic that Djite struck the crossbar.

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Photo:  Adelaide's Brazilian import Cassio became an Australian citizen recently and is hoping for a call-up for the Socceroos [PlessPix]

Boogaard was dismissed in the 42nd minute and, when the free-kick was taken two minutes later, Hasanov hit a curling and dipping left-footed shot over the wall and inside Galekovic’s left-hand post to make it a goal the difference at half-time.

Adelaide reverted to a 4-4-1 formation for the second half and it was all hands to the pump as Bunyodkor dominated possession and repeatedly got behind the Adelaide defence and set up chances.

Galekovic was at his best and thwarted Turaev on at least three occasions when goals seemed certain.

With 15 minutes remaining, Adelaide conceded the softest of goals to make it 2-2.  Gafurov whipped a low cross in from the left and both Fyfe and Watson completely missed the ball, which fell to substitute Salamov.  The ball came off his shin and he lunged at it for a second touch, but without success.  But, the ball had enough momentum to carry over the line, almost in slow motion, to the dismay of Galekovic and his fellow defenders.

It was a cruel blow for a brave home side, but it could have been worse.  Galekovic saved brilliantly from Turaev in the final minute to ensure his side of a draw.


Adelaide United

Bunyodkor

11

Goal Attempts

17

9

Shots on Target

11

4

Corners

4

10

Fouls Committed

12

0

Off-Sides

5

2

Yellow Cards

2

1

Red Cards

0

Comments   

-4 #1 Anonymous 2012-09-20 06:33
Walter, watching this game and the effect the send off had not only on the outcome but on the quality of the game, I wonder whether the send off rule needs reassessing.

The rule hasn't had the desired effect. Defenders still commit fouls when they are last man. All the rule does is hand an unfair advantage to the other team and often kill the game as a spectacle.

Other options are post match suspension (ala AFL) and sin bin (ala rugby league) OR the player could be ejected from the game but replaced by a SUB OR the ref could just award a goal.

I think violent conduct is another issue but the effect that tackle had on the game, which was pretty innocuous other than being last man, was out of context.
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