Adelaide United took on Premier League giants Manchester City as a warm-up to City’s International Champions Cup tournement against Roma and Real Madrid over the next week.
The Reds were downed 2-0 with second half goals to City youngsters Brandon Barker and Bruno Zuculini.
It was an eery atmosphere at an empty Cbus Super Stadium — with the match being played behind closed doors.
Adelaide began the match with a near full strength side and took the game to their more fancied EPL opponents.
One man who was there was Adelaide CEO Michael Petrillo and he told foxsports.com.au the cagey first half was due to both sides trying to keep possession.
“It’s been pretty even, to be honest,” said Petrillo, keeping us a little bit in the loop. “There’s been a couple of chances to both sides. We’ve held our own.”
But that didn’t translate into the second half as a slew of substitutions, as is common in these pre-season hitouts, broke up the rhythm of the Reds.
Youngster Zuculini forced a save from Adelaide skipper and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic with his dipping shot on the half hour mark.
And it wasn’t too long after until City took the lead through Brandon “he scores when he wants” Barker “who slalomed down the left and thrashed the ball across Galekovic and into the far corner,” says Manchester City’s match report.
More substitutions followed and City goalkeeper Richard Wright was called upon to deny a “superb solo equaliser” from Adelaide’s Craig Goodwin in the 82nd minute.
But just as it looked (to those present) as if Adelaide would put one in the back of the net, just two minutes later Zuculini tapped the second goal in to seal the win.
Yet Petrillo was optimistic about the performance, saying they gave City a good game.
“I just spoke to their CEO (Ferran Soriano) who was very complimentary about the way our boys played,” he said. “He said he was pleasantly surprised, that we were well organised and played good, attacking football. They were happy with the hit-out.”
He added: “I thought (Dylan) McGowan was good at the back. (Osama) Malik was strong before he came off and Sergio Cirio and Goodwin played well. We had good shape and passed well. We put quite a few kids on in the last 20 minutes.
“They scored a couple of goals in the last 15-to-20 minutes. We had a couple of chances to score, but couldn’t quite get it done. The quality of their finishing was very good. Obviously their depth is at another level.”
© 2015 Fox Sports | This article first appeared in Fox Sports on July 16th 2015.