Round 16 – Adelaide v Port Adelaide: Two codes, one city and over 107,000 people.

Port Adelaide v Adelaide

July 19th, 2015

RD 16

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

 

Adelaide, a city still trapped in the country town syndrome that has held it back for decades, finally awoke from its slumber on the weekend to see just how good the other half live.

 

On Sunday afternoon, a Showdown was played with a backdrop of high emotion. Both Port Adelaide and Adelaide honoured the memory of Phil Walsh by putting on a fast, flowing game of football with high scores and high drama.

 

That Adelaide won through in the end was justice in a match that Port seemed strangely lethargic from the opening bounce, and really only got going when the game was almost done and dusted. To get within three points in the end showed character, but like much of Port’s season this year it was left to a handful to really pull Port out of a potentially embarrassing loss.

 

For Port it was the usual suspects yet again who dragged the team back into contention. Wines, Gray, Ebert, Broadbent, Wingard and Boak. Ryder was great in his best game for the club. But elsewhere Port were really lacking. Bafflingly, Adelaide were harder at the football and the body, tackled harder and moved the ball quicker and with more precision. Knowing the fragility of Adelaide, Port put a well-needed foot down in the last quarter and the inevitable buckling by the Crows occurred, but time was the enemy.

 

The night after, another 50,000 people saw a different type of spectacle, as Liverpool Football Club took on Adelaide United in a pre-season friendly. This was an opportunity to see a different type of game, and different type of atmosphere. You can understand why English soccer crowds go bananas when a goal is scored, how infrequent they can be. This was a game of skill, tactics and patience. Too much patience for the AFL infiltrated crowd? Possibly. But for the majority who were purists (and actual soccer fans) it was a glorious night, full of near misses and the occasional brawl in the stands.

 

Having Liverpool in Adelaide was a coup no question. Playing Adelaide United less so. I can understand why, but with Manchester City, AS Roma and Real Madrid all in Australia at the same time surely a matchup between one of those and the Reds would have been better.

 

In the end it didn’t really matter, as the 50,000 plus fans had a ball, spilt their beers, sang their songs and witnessed seeing a champion team in little old Adelaide. How often can anyone in Adelaide say that currently?

 

CHRIS MICHAELS

 

@cargoartmag

Comments

  1. Dave Brown says:

    Was an amazing two days of football, Chris. I think someone made up a record for it: biggest combined crowd for two consecutive days of different sport at the one venue or some such. Sunday’s match was a cracker and well done to Port Adelaide for putting on such a great game day. I am still blown away by getting 53,000 people to a friendly soccer game on a Monday night. Shows the hold that the EPL has over people’s imaginations

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