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I watched this game last night on Fox Sports with great interest. Besides being a United fan I really wanted to see how they came up after the mid week game against Kosima Antlers in the Asian Champions match. United looked very sluggish and off-key. A commentator made a remark as to how much of the on field performance by the Reds was in the mind as opposed to being physically tired. Playing 15 games in 25 days is a new experience for Australian teams. It is acknowledged that now Australia is in the Asian Confederation the benefits for football include more than a direct route to the World Cup for the national team if they win the playoffs.
Australian cliubs now are having to lift their efforts and manage teams in styles akin to European football clubs who play a greater number of games. This season the A-League has started a second tier competition for each club to develop their junior squads. In simple terms this is to enable the clubs to have player depth. The goal of FFA is to establish a quality national competition and this is begining to happen, particlarly with the international club competition in the Asian conference of football.
The only obstacle (if it can be called that) is the $1.9 million player salary cap.. This will keep clubs out of teh overspending and going broke trap. On the other hand the premium quality players are tempted to sign up with international clubs to advance their careers.
I am travelling this morning. Due to lack of time, have pasted a sample of the match reprot from The FOX Sport site instead of writing my own.
Reds defeat undermanned Jets (FROM FOX SPORTS WEB SITE)
Full Match report at URL:
"September 27, 2008 BRAZILIAN striker Cristiano notched a second half double as Adelaide United wore down 10-man Newcastle Jets to win 2-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The victory kept up Adelaide's perfect A-League home record this season and sent them back into third position to keep them on a high after qualifying for the Asian Champions League semi-finals three days ago.
However, reigning A-League champions Newcastle fell foul of injuries and found themselves down to 10 men from the 55th minute when midfielder Jason Hoffmann had to leave the pitch.
Coach Gary van Egmond could do little as key pair, brothers Adam and Joel Griffiths, succumbed to leg injuries before half-time and Dane Jesper Hakansson was forced off in the 51st minute.
Cristiano ensured Adelaide cashed in late with strikes in the 72nd and 89th minutes in front of 8,111 fans, to take his season's goal tally to four after an earlier double against Wellington."
Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff