Western have stored the majority of the squad that obtained them to inside one recreation of the grand last final season, with solely two new gamers – Victor Sanchez Mata and Lachlan Wales – within the beginning line-up for this season-opener.
It was the youngest on the Adelaide group sheet, Dukuly – who returned to his dwelling city after spending two seasons within the Melbourne Metropolis youth growth system – who made a mark early.
The 17-year-old regarded snug on the ball and ran at opponents when given the prospect, drawing an early save from Western goalkeeper Filip Kurto as Carl Veart’s aspect made the early working.
Western barely obtained out of their very own half within the first ten minutes earlier than their key man, captain Alessandro Diamanti, started to exert his affect, spraying trademark left-foot passes across the Geelong floor.
He linked up properly with Dylan Pierias, who has are available in at right-back to switch the injured Socceroo Josh Risdon, always seeking to exploit Pierias’ tempo because the full-back sprinted down the flank.
However Adelaide continued to press ahead, midfielder Joe Caletti discovering Pressure, who fired over.
The Reds’ new goalkeeper James Delianov was at Western United final season and is aware of the methods and strikes of his former teammates properly.
He obtained right down to foil Pierias whereas on the different finish Adelaide’s new striker, former Socceroo Tomi Juric, arrange Dukuly however the teenager’s shot was blocked.
Juric had the perfect likelihood to interrupt the impasse within the first half when he was performed by way of by Elsey’s lengthy ball, his lob beating Kurto just for Western defender Tomoki Imai to get again in time to clear the ball earlier than it may bounce into the web.
Delianov in opposition to stood up when wanted six minutes earlier than the interval to dam Diamanti’s drive, making certain each side went to the interval with clear sheets.
Juric, starting his second spell at Adelaide after 5 years in Europe, was giving his group a goal and discovering area properly; he almost broke the impasse within the 52nd minute when he obtained away from a marker and flashed a drive huge from exterior the world.
This was not a defensive recreation: each side have been pushing ahead and seeking to discover an edge. Nevertheless it was undoubtedly a recreation that was in want of a purpose because the clock ticked to the hour mark.
And it almost obtained one 5 minutes later when Juric once more acted because the Reds’ level man, shielding the ball after which taking part in a go by way of to Ben Halloran to shoot. His effort beat Kurto however Aaron Calver obtained again to clear off the road.
Delianov once more rescued his aspect because the ball flashed down the opposite finish of the pitch, blocking Connor Ache’s well-hit drive from inside the world whereas Kurto needed to stretch as he watched D’Arrigo’s free kick float simply previous his submit.
Michael Lynch is The Age’s chief soccer reporter and likewise reviews on motor sport and horseracing