Juric at the double as Adelaide shock Brisbane

ADELAIDE United are through to an A-League semifinal with Sydney FC, after breaking Brisbane Roar’s home finals dominance thanks to a double for Tomi Juric.

The Socceroos striker struck twice in the game’s opening 20 minutes, to make light of an injury crisis that deprived United of forwards Craig Goodwin and Kusini Yengi and shock a capacity Brisbane crowd.


Though young star Alex Parsons pulled a goal back in the second half, Adelaide withstood a bombardment from the home side to book their spot in the semifinal at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night.

It was a triumph for the visitors’ smash-and-grab strategy, hitting Brisbane twice on the break and Juric finding a pair of ruthless finishes. It also rewrote the history books, as Adelaide had never won a final outside South Australia in nine previous attempts, while Brisbane had never lost in 10 home finals – winning all but one.

The news that Goodwin and Yengi were both missing having suffered injuries in training seemed to leave Brisbane in a close to impregnable position, and the anticipation was palpable at Moreton Daily Stadium.


But on 15 minutes United produced a textbook example of direct and devastating football. Ryan Strain looked up as he advanced from right back and drilled a penetrating pass long between Brisbane’s centrebacks, where Juric was lurking on the edge of the box.

Trapping the ball expertly on his chest, Juric turned and placed the ball carefully into the bottom corner, across Jamie Young and in.

It was a bad start for Adelaide but worse followed just four minutes later. Ryan Kitto won the ball deep in his own half and quickly passed forward to Juric on halfway – anticipating Brisbane captain Tom Aldred’s belated attempts to shut him down, Juric flicked the ball into space, hared away from Aldred, and scored past Young at his near post.

The lead allowed United to sitback and allow Brisbane huge amounts of possession but little penetration. Halftime came and went, forcing Roar coach Warren Moon into changes. Introducing Parsons quickly paid dividends, the 21-year-old meeting Corey Brown’s freekick with a twisting header back across goal to halve the arrears.


Now Brisbane had the wind in their sails. Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Riku Danzaki missed golden chances from close range, Parsons headed over and late on the substitute Golgol Mebrahtu had a free shot from inside the six-yard box, only to see goalkeeper James Delianov spread himself to make a remarkable block.

Still the crosses came flying in, United hanging on desperately, until finally referee Alex King brought the game to a half after five minutes of injury time. Brisbane’s players slumped to the ground, but United had deserved their win on a day they made history and took a step closer to the grand final.