GCU draws with Adelaide
GOLD Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg declared his side’s get-of-jail draw with Adelaide on Saturday as justice served after being stung for a point by the Reds in similar circumstances back in November.
Gold Coast marksman Shane Smeltz’s extra-time header off a Jason Culina cross gave the home side a 1-1 draw and left the Reds anchored to the bottom of the A-League table.
“Just from memory I think we’ve had more comebacks than any other team in the A-League,” Bleiberg said.
“You want to call it a great escape, I agree with that.”
Bleiberg still has fresh memories of a November 20 match at Hindmarsh Stadium where Mathew Leckie scored an injury time goal to snatch a 1-1 draw.
The shoe was literally on the other foot on Saturday night.
“We had 10-men in Adelaide and we conceded a goal in the 93rd minute, so upstairs there is justice somewhere,” Bleiberg said.
“I believe they got back what they deserved.”
As devastated coach Aurelio Vidmar pointed out, the Reds had enough chances to win two matches, but they failed to land the killer blow.
It was the one that got away, and Vidmar knows it.
“We were desperate for the three points,” Vidmar said.
“We have to believe that was a pretty good platform for us to finish off the season.”
Adelaide skipper Travis Dodd and Leckie had tremendous games.
“I was on the bench last week and that was a bit of a wake-up call to get my act together,” said Dodd, who scored the opening goal in the 20th minute after fine lead-up work by Brazilian Cassio.
“It was good to get on the score sheet but I’m gutted.
“We thoroughly deserved to win. To play like we did and concede right at the end, it’s gut-wrenching stuff.”
Bleiberg is hoping the great escape will inject confidence and momentum into his side, which takes on Newcastle tomorrow, and competition leader Sydney FC on Sunday.