Wellington Phoenix 2-1 Adelaide United: Hemed seals dramatic win from spot

By Sports Desk April 25, 2021

Tomer Hemed scored from the penalty spot deep into added time as Wellington Phoenix rallied from a goal down to beat Adelaide United 2-1 on Sunday.

Adelaide had lost one of the previous 13 A-League meetings between the teams and knew a win on ANZAC Day would move them to the top of the table, above both second-placed Central Coast Mariners and leaders Melbourne City.

They appeared set to do just that when Stefan Mauk converted a cut-back cross following a run by Ryan Strain down United's right flank, breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute.

However, that lead did not last too long. Ben Waine made it four goals in as many games to get Wellington level, seizing on a loose ball before rounding goalkeeper Joe Gauci to score.

The contest at WIN Stadium appeared set to finish as a draw, only for Wellington to have a chance to win it late when Gauci was adjudged to have fouled Phoenix substitute Jaushua Sotirio during a scramble inside the penalty area.

Hemed held his nerve to convert the penalty in the 97th minute, clinching Wellington – who are on a four-game unbeaten run - a first league triumph over Adelaide since December 2019.

Brisbane Roar had also been due to host Perth Glory on Sunday, but their fixture was postponed following the introduction of a three-day lockdown by the Western Australian and Queensland Governments in relation to the Perth and Peel areas.

Related items

  • Shanahan defends Garoppolo ahead of NFC Championship showdown with Rams Shanahan defends Garoppolo ahead of NFC Championship showdown with Rams

    Kyle Shanahan insists under-fire San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo deserves more recognition for helping his team to the NFC Championship Game.

    The Niners will travel to face NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday as they bid to reach a second Super Bowl in three years.

    They need two straight wins at SoFi Stadium – which will also host the Super Bowl on February 13 – to make history.

    The play of Garoppolo has come under scrutiny in the playoffs despite San Francisco's advance.

    In their two wins over the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, he had zero touchdowns and two interceptions, with passing yard totals of 172 and 131 respectively.

    His future has been in doubt ever since the Niners traded up at huge cost to select QB Trey Lance at number three overall in the 2021 draft.

    But head coach Shanahan believes the public support shown by Garoppolo's teammates such as George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Fred Warner and Nick Bosa speaks volumes for his contribution.

    "It shows what our guys think of him," Shanahan said. "And it also shows our guys probably are on social media [seeing the criticism].

    "They probably feel a need to stick up for him. I know his social media probably hasn't been that great, so I'm glad they're sticking up for him because what they say is the truth."

    Garoppolo also led the Niners to the Super Bowl in the 2019 season, resulting in an agonising loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

    He could only play in six games last season as the whole Niners roster was decimated with injuries but led the team in 15 regular season contests in 2021.

    "Jimmy is one of the main reasons we're here," insisted Shanahan.

    "He's done an unbelievable job. People don't give him enough credit. We win as a team, and that's why he doesn't always have the same stats that some of these MVP candidates have.

    "But Jimmy's a very good quarterback - he doesn't worry about any of that stuff. He doesn't worry about social media. That's why he's a little similar to me.

    "He never really changes, and I think that's what people respect the most about him.

    "He's gone through some ups and downs while he's been here, like most quarterbacks do, but he's the same guy. And that's why people, first and foremost, respect him as a human, as a person.

    "And then the way that he goes and battles on the field, everyone knows how tough he is, everyone knows how hard he'll compete running with the ball and our guys also know he can throw pretty well too."

    Garoppolo, who arrived in a trade from the New England Patriots in 2017, has a similar view about outside critics.

    Asked if he had a strategy to cope, he said: "Well, friends, family, they always seem to remind me of those things, but I don’t know.

    "Just knowing yourself and knowing who you are plays a big part of that, because if you get lost in it and start believing some of those things, it could take you down the wrong road.

    "So I don’t know, I think it’s just about knowing yourself as a player, as a person, and as long as these guys in this locker room have faith in me and belief in me, that is all I really care about."

    The Niners have won six straight games over the Rams in their regular-season series, with a dramatic comeback 27-24 overtime victory over LA in Week 18 getting them into the playoffs as a wildcard team.

    But it is NFC West champions the Rams who go into the contest as narrow favourites having knocked off defending Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round.

    The 49ers, meanwhile, won 13-10 in Green Bay despite failing to score an offensive touchdown.

    They were just the ninth team ever to win a playoff game in that way - NFL teams were previously 8-103 in playoff games without a scrimmage touchdown.

    Avoiding turnovers is going to be critical. The Rams are 8-0 this year when Matthew Stafford does not throw an interception, while the 49ers are 7-0 when Garoppolo does not throw a pick.

  • Australian Open: Fired-up Medvedev sets up Nadal final Australian Open: Fired-up Medvedev sets up Nadal final

    Daniil Medvedev roared into a second consecutive Australian Open final as he downed Stefanos Tsitsipas in a fiery last-four showdown.

    The Russian, who came from two sets down to see off Felix Auger-Aliassime in the last round, triumphed 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 6-1 to set up a final with Rafael Nadal.

    The US Open champion improved his head-to-head record with Tsitsipas to 7-2 in a contest where tempers frayed, mostly on Medvedev's side of the net.

    He accused Tsitsipas' father of coaching from the sidelines and received a warning for his persistent complaining, but the second seed also managed to channel his aggression into a stellar performance.

    The first set went the distance after Tsitsipas, who employed a bold approach in taking the match to Medvedev, fended off three break points when serving at 4-4.

    Medvedev was 4-2 down in the tie-break but dug deep to claim it, underlining his mental toughness when backed into a corner.

    Tsitsipas maintained his positive attitude and broke in the opening game of the second set, only to surrender that advantage in a sloppy sixth game as his accuracy abandoned him.

    It was Medvedev who lost his way at 4-4, though, two double faults and a terribly skewed forehand seeing him lose serve, with Tsitsipas capitalising to seal the set.

    Medvedev lost his cool with the umpire, bemoaning supposed coaching from Tsitsipas' father, but it only seemed to fuel him.

    With Tsitsipas serving to stay in the set, Medvedev showed his range with a drop-shot winner and double-handed forehand bullet en route to a timely break to reclaim the lead.

    And he was at his imperious best in the fourth, producing an array of stunning passing shots as Tsitsipas simply ran out of answers.

    Medvedev now has the chance to go one better than last year, when he lost in the final to Novak Djokovic.

    DATA SLAM: Medvedev clinical behind first serve

    Medvedev had to put a gruelling five-set quarter-final clash behind him on Rod Laver Arena and it did appear to take him some time to find his groove.

    But he applied huge pressure with his consistency on his first serve, winning 91 per cent of those points.

    WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
    Medvedev – 39/28
    Tsitsipas – 35/32

    ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
    Medvedev – 13/4
    Tsitsipas – 5/1

    BREAK POINTS WON
    Medvedev – 4/12
    Tsitsipas – 2/4

  • Argentina's Chile reception irks De Paul Argentina's Chile reception irks De Paul

    Rodrigo De Paul claims Argentina were subjected to some rough off-field treatment from hosts Chile before their World Cup qualifier.

    The midfielder said the Albiceleste were prevented from using the bathroom on arrival, had no air conditioning or water and were made to suffer the sound of sirens during their stay in Calama. 

    It did not appear to derail the visitors, already safely through to Qatar 2022, as they secured a 2-1 win despite the COVID-enforced absences of Lionel Messi and coach Lionel Scaloni.

    "They didn't even let us go to the bathroom when we got off the plane," De Paul told reporters. "They cut off our air conditioners, we had no water and they made sirens sound throughout the stay.

    "I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but, as an Argentine, every team that comes to my country, we have to make them feel as comfortable as possible and we have to win on the playing field where it belongs."

    Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez netted first-half goals around Ben Brereton-Diaz's looping header as Argentina extended their unbeaten run to 27 games.

    The victory improves second-placed Argentina's CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying campaign to 32 points from 14 games, while Chile are battling to reach Qatar 2022.

    After a solid if unspectacular showing, assistant coach Walter Samuel was pleased to see how well the team coped despite being without talisman Messi.

    "Sure there are things to improve, but the team showed character in a difficult environment," he said.

    "Messi is the leader of this team, but we were able to do very well without him. We lacked other guys because of Covid that we wanted to be there, but the team made a great effort and I want to thank them for that.

    "The character of the boys is moving. All the players start from scratch and want to earn a place in the World Cup. There is healthy competition here."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.