The Blacks performed well despite questionable officiating during a tight affair at home against a strong Gleeson side.
SAASL Division 3 Round 9
Adelaide University Black 1-1 Gleeson
Goal: Lucas Bragagnolo
The Blacks were eager to set off on the right foot after a two week break from competition.
Early in the match, a Gleeson striker took a shot from an acute angle and forced ‘keeper Jacob Davey to push the ball away from goal onto the post.
Gleeson continued their early attacks with a counter and their winger took a shot that sailed past the right corner of the goal.
At 18 minutes, Gleeson attacked down the right and slid a ball across the goal-mouth but their shot was blocked by a sturdy Blacks defence.
A freekick over the defence escaped out to the left and the Gleeson player took a shot but Davey saved.
At 38 minutes, Gleeson crossed the ball and Davey eyed it up as it sailed towards goal but misjudged the path of the cross and the ball hit the crossbar.
There was confusion at 41 minutes as the referee decided that Davey held onto the ball longer than the regulation 6 seconds after quelling a Gleeson attack and gave away an indirect freekick.
The Gleeson attacker laid the ball off to a teammate from the freekick and blasted it into the wall of Blacks defenders.
In the final minute of the first half, Lucas Bragagnolo took a long freekick from inside the Blacks defensive half and it was on target as the ball hit the crossbar and bounced down into the goal.
Attacker Joe Henderson was on the scene to follow the ball in to leave the Blacks lead without doubt.
At half time the referee confirmed it was Bragagnolo’s goal from the initial freekick.
The half ended 1-0 to the Blacks.
At 56 minutes, a Gleeson striker knocked forward a through-ball and their player attempted a shot but Davey stood in the way.
In their next attack, Gleeson crossed the ball into the box, the Blacks defenders missed it and their player followed in to score but the flag was raised.
The referee consulted the linesman, decided to overrule the initial decision and awarded the goal to level the score line.
Shortly after the hour mark, Gleeson sent in a cross and the header from their striker flew just over the bar.
At 63 minutes, a corner was cleared to the edge of the box by the Blacks defence where it was knocked back in by a Gleeson player and the ball deflected into the goal.
However, this time the referee signalled for offside.
At 73 minutes, Blacks midfielders Gianluca Nardi and Tom Macura were driving forward through traffic as Macura was brought down and a freekick was awarded to his team.
In a late onslaught, the Blacks brought the ball out wide before hitting it back into the centre as Macura shot and scored but the referee blew the whistle for offside.
However, the linesman indicated Macura was onside and a brief altercation ensued.
The Gleeson linesman said the goal was legitimate, which would have put the Blacks ahead, but the referee overruled the linesman once more.
The score remained one-all.
To provide more late drama, Gleeson attacked and scored but the goal was deemed offside by the linesman and this time the referee agreed with the sideline official.
The match ended 1-1.
‘This was the best game we’ve played all season,’ Blacks coach Mohan Karthigeyan told his team after the match.
‘Solid defensively; unlucky not to snatch the win,’ Blacks player Henderson commented.
Main Photo: William Chau