Tension and terror

Football can be exasperating and exhilarating. The match can be filled with tension and terror.

Whenever Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory play, it is divinely destined that something happens. A punch-up. Red cards. Interactions between players and the bench. Goals galore. Fruity chants from the supporters.

As the clock edged towards ninety minutes, the whole crowd was on edge. Adelaide supporters urging their team on to an equaliser. Home supporters pleading for their team to hold on. And the Sydney FC supporter next to me was savouring every minute of it. “They’re all suffering, I love it!” he said.

The travelling support was being taunted by three skinny 14-year-old kids. The bloke in the middle doesn't seem to think much of the whole situation.

The travelling support was being taunted by three skinny 14-year-old kids. The bloke in the middle doesn’t seem too impressed with the whole situation.

Adelaide United supporters had filled their corner of the stadium and wasted no time in giving the locals the bird. The police looked on, bemused.

How bemused those police must have been as the game’s momentum swung back and forth. After 3 minutes, Adelaide scored. Melbourne Victory equalised at the 15 minute mark.

With the match finely balanced, both teams battling for possession, Victory’s keeper rushed out of his area to attempt a clearance. It wasn’t a great effort, and a voice from the back of the stand cried out, “BACK IN YOUR BOX, NUMB NUTS!”

Adelaide took the lead again, and the home crowd was left feeling bewildered during the half-time break. Although that could have been due to the half-time entertainment, which involved four un-coordinated people taking pot-shots at Colonel Sanders. Actually, perhaps it was some sort of competition to score goals, either way the Colonel seemed to be getting in the way of the ball.

Ten minutes in to the second half Victory scored an equaliser.

Another ten minutes later, and Victory went ahead.

Unlike his goal against the Canberra Cosmos all those years ago, this one was definitely onside.

Unlike his goal against the Canberra Cosmos all those years ago, this one was definitely onside. Archie Thompson puts Victory ahead.

Yet another ten minutes passed, and Victory scored again, this time through Barbarouses.. The score was 4-2, and the home supporters were jubilant. “Barbarouses is a chance for the World Cup,” a bloke nearby said. That would be interesting, since New Zealand isn’t competing in Brazil this year.

The mood changed, as Victory tried repeatedly to gift Adelaide a goal. In the end the home team succeeded, and the atmosphere became very tense as Adelaide chased a – wait for it – dramatic late equaliser.

4-3 was the final score. Other highlights and notables:

  • No-one was sent off.
  • Players on the Adelaide bench had rugs over their knees.
  • North Terrace sang for the whole game, but their turf behind the goals was occupied by a couple of families.
  • Tom Rogic injured himself. Maybe the Socceroos can replace him with Barbarouses? (See above before sending an angry tweet, please.)
  • Nobody scored during the half-time promotion. The prize was a year’s supply of fast food. “We’ll share it amongst the four of you. That works out to four months of food each!” Well, a lot of calendars have 16 months these days.