semi-final – 16th March 2012

Adelaide University (3) vs (2) Bosna

Football may not have won tonight, but the Blacks have. A game which was tarnished by
controversy and bookings throughout ended 3-2 in the Blacks favour, seeing them
through to the pre-season cup final. Goals for Chris, Robbie and Olly gave Uni
the edge after coming back from a 2 goal deficit early in the first half.


Starting Line up                     Bench

            Andy                                         Greg (sub 69′)
            Nick                                         Terry
            Sam                                         Luke
            Russ                                         Namat (sub 54′)
           Olly                                          Chris (sub 29′)
           Tim (sub 29′)
            Javi (sub 69′)
            Michael (sub 54′)


A 7.00pm kick-off was scheduled again for tonight’s game at Kilburn,
and things got going on time. A few half-chances fall the Blacks way early with
a headed effort and a quick free kick both gathered comfortably by the Bosna
keeper. Uni definitely have the early run of play but are failing to make it
count in their attacking third. 10′ minutes gone and a cross from Russ
falls to Javi who finds space enough to put Paul through into the Bosna penalty
area. Paul’s shot comes tantalisingly close to finding the back of the net but
comes off the bar to be cleared by the Bosna defence. The missed chance proves
to be an early turning point as Bosna gather themselves and attack down the
left flank. A communication mix up leads to a foul wide on the left, leaving
Bosna with a free kick in prime position to whip in a cross. The cross finds
the boot of a Bosna player at the back post who volleys toward goal, Andy saves
but the rebound is poked in and the Blacks go behind. Minutes later, it’s a
distinct sense of deja vu as another free kick is given away on the left flank
and once again, the subsequent cross is converted with a well flicked on header
that beats the Uni keeper. 0-2 to Bosna, but the Uni keep up the
positive talk as they re-focus and kick-off. It’s clear the game is far from
over. Uni come out fighting but are struggling to create chances. It’s another
blow for the trailing team as Tim is forced to make way for Chris due to a
lingering injury. The play resumes with a free kick taken from deep inside uni
half. The long ball finds Chris on the edge of the area and he blasts a shot
into the Bosna defender. The ball cannons back off the Bosna player, only to
ricochet off Chris into the far corner of the net. There was luck in the
pinball-like finish but the awareness and run from Chris straight off the bench
was definitely first class. It’s just the lift Uni need and it’s now 1-2 29′
in. The momentum is clearly in Uni’s favour and Javi is looking
composed on the ball, making multiple short passes and linking up well with
Michael up front. At the 37′ minute mark Olly is away down the right,
beating 2 and putting a great cross to the back post which finds Robbie who
continues to dominate in the air and heads the ball home to put the Blacks
level at 2-2. It’s hard to see the Blacks not taking this game from
here, but it’s vital that the Uni players maintain composure and stay in
control into half time. Bosna respond to the equaliser with higher intensity
and the game is beginning to heat up. As a result,  3 yellows are issued before the whistle goes
for half-time. A shove off play sees the Bosna striker and captain see yellow
and Robbie goes into the book for a studs up tackle. Going into half-time, the
ref is making his presence felt but decisions are going both ways and it’s fair
to say the decisions are consistent.



Adelaide Uni (2) – (2) Bosna


The second half kicks off and both teams are trying hard to keep the ball
on the deck and play out from the back. The first chance falls to Barry as
a long throw from Paul finds him in space on the edge of the area but the
shot is well over the bar.  With the second half barely started, Michael
limps off after sustaining an injury chasing down a long ball. It’s a costly
blow to lose the leadership and attacking impetus from the in form striker. At
almost the same moment, his opposite number for Bosna makes a terribly mistimed
tackle in the middle of the park and picks up his second yellow. With both
captains making way, the Blacks send Namat into the fray to spearhead the
effort to find a winning goal. Uni need to settle, control possession and show
class in their attacking third to make the most of their numerical advantage.
This point is pressed home when some lax defending from the Blacks sees Bosna
come off the post, and a close range shot forces another great save from Andy. 66′
in now and a well weighted cross from Paul is whipped in from the
left flank but none of the Uni attackers flooding to the back post can deflect
the ball goal-ward. Paul has another effort on goal from the edge of the area
but Uni are thus far unable to press their advantage. The score is still equal
as Greg replaces Javi. The last 10 minutes has seen possession firmly seated in
the Blacks attacking half. At last the Uni goes ahead as Greg holds the ball up
well to find Barry in space in front of the Bosna back four, getting his head
up, Barry plays a perfectly weighted through ball to meet Olly’s run as he’s
through one on one with the keeper. Olly’s first touch doesn’t let him down and
the calm finish to the keepers right puts the Blacks ahead 3-2 with
20 minutes left.
Spirits are high in the Uni camp at this point and the
Bosna response is equally passionate, but the possession game they were
attempting to play early in the half has undoubtedly fallen by the wayside. If
the first half was heated, the 10 minutes that follows the Uni goal can only be
described as a match which threatens to boil over into a very dirty affair
indeed. In a confusing incident deep in the Uni defensive half, Barry is issued
a yellow card for time-wasting, before the card being seemingly rescinded after
the referee clarifies his position with the lineswoman. There is uncertainty
from the sidelines and the Bosna bench feels slighted. Unfortunately for the
quality of the game, Bosna’s substitute striker who’s played less than 20
minutes is given a straight red card for throwing an elbow whilst jostling for
position with Barry on the half-way mark. Unfortunate as it may be, there is
nothing serious to be said in defence of the behaviour of the Bosna player.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, the hope is that Uni can hold on to the
lead without further disciplinary action being taken by the referee towards
either side. These hopes are dashed when Uni are awarded a penalty after the
Bosna keeper and Namat come together as the Blacks striker chases down a
bouncing long ball. Namat showed courage in attacking the ball as the keeper
bore down on him. The referee adjudges the goal-keeper to have made no attempt
at the ball and is shown a yellow card for disputing the decision. Namat
settles over the ball and attempts to place the ball into the bottom right of
the corner of the Bosna net, but is thwarted by a good save from the
goal-keeper. Disappointment is brief for the Blacks as the referee orders a
retaking of the penalty as a result of the keeper leaving his line before the
penalty was taken. Match reporting must end from this point on, as the scuffle
of players disputing the referees decision sees further red cards issued and
the game ends prematurely with minutes remaining with the Uni team leading 3-2.

From tonight’s game, the
Blacks can draw positives from periods in which they held possession well and
demonstrated higher pass rate and completion than the previous weeks game. Set
pieces again proved costly, but the four centre backs (Russ, Sam, Nick and Tim)
were otherwise stalwart at the back with their strong defensive work limiting
the open play chances Bosna enjoyed. Reflecting on the high rate of bookings
throughout the match, all the Uni players ought to be commended for continuing
to focus on factors inside their control, and conducting themselves with
restraint and integrity.


Adelaide Uni (3) – (2) Bosna

T. Gissing