Adelaide aiming for A-league grand final

January 21, 2007
By Cameron Tomarchio

Last year Adelaide United claimed the A-League minor premiership and choked.

The Reds lost both the semi and preliminary finals and missed the decider altogether.

This year midfielder Ross Aloisi has vowed his side will not let it happen again ahead of Sunday's major semi-final first leg with Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

"We finished top last year and unfortunately we didn't go to the grand final," said Aloisi, the older brother of Socceroos World Cup hero John Aloisi.

"This year when we knew we couldn't get our first objective we wanted to get second spot, the double chance and its unfinished business. We want to get to the grand final and hopefully win it."

Melbourne Victory will be at full strength for the meeting, while Adelaide has been stung by the loss of suspended midfielder Greg Owens, who picked up a fourth yellow card late in last night's 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.

Owens started on the bench, coming on late in the game in what coach John Kosmina felt was a safe move.

"Greg needed some game time. We figured for 20 minutes he could keep himself out of trouble," Kosmina said.

"It was a stupid card, really stupid. Greg might suffer by not being available for selection next week, but it hurts the team as well."

All of a sudden Adelaide is the form side going into this major semi, having picked up two wins on the run.

Minor premier Melbourne, on the other hand, is coming off back-to-back losses, its lowest moment coming in a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of the Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

"Our last four or five games we've been playing some good stuff, more consistently than we have all year, so it's not a bad time to maybe be finding some form," Kosmina said.

"We've had an up and down season.

"We've played a lot better football than I think we did last year, obviously with not the same results.

"Second was the best we could get and we're happy that we got second."

The winner of the major semi goes through to a home grand final on February 18.

The loser meets the winner of the Newcastle Jets-Sydney FC minor semi in a one-off preliminary final on February 11.