Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau believes too much intrinsic on-field familiarity with old acquaintance Melbourne Victory was a primary factor behind the lack of spectacle that was Friday night's 1-1 draw between the two arch rivals at Adelaide Oval.
A South Australian A-League record-breaking crowd of 33,126 witnessed a dreary affair which only came alive in the last five minutes of regulation when the Reds and Victory traded goals.
For the previous 85 minutes, the two camps dodged, weaved and stagnated, but rarely seemed willing to land anything resembling a killer blow.
Gombau refuted suggestions the match was 'boring' but conceded spark was absent from the contest with the two teams knowing each other's games too well, effectively cancelling each other out.
"My opinion is they know us a lot, we know them a lot," Gombau said. "Both sides played thinking this.
"We don't do this because they do that, they don't do this because we do another thing. It is normal. It is a big game.
"For me it was not a boring game - it was a good game of football.
"Everybody can have their opinions.
"Both teams know what they are doing; it's not that they play football and just share the ball. Both sides tactically are ready and are doing their job very well."
Despite the fact Adelaide had more shots (14-4) and corners (9-5), Gombau felt the 1-1 verdict was fair.
"We had better chances to score in the second half," he said.
"The game is to put the ball in the net - and we didn't put the ball in the net, so then the result is fair."
Gombau had no qualms with the slick, sometimes slippery nature of the low-cut Oval deck which saw several players lose their footing.
He even suggested he'd be happy with United playing more matches at the storied city venue if that was what Reds management wanted.
"The pitch is perfect - we can't complain," Gombau said.
"This is more quick and fast (compared to Coopers Stadium), but it's the same for both sides.
"We had the biggest crowd in football (history) in South Australia.
"This is positive - 33,00 people watch our football.
"In the end I want what's best for the club and if that is to play here - come on ... come here and play."comments