Oh how we have missed the A-League, after an off season which felt as though it would never end, the 15th edition of our domestic competition kicked off in Adelaide on Friday night and it was the most perfectly A-League game you could have ever asked for.
The hosts Adelaide United almost seemed to be caught up by the new season finally beginning as the reigning champions Sydney FC flew out of the box at Coopers Stadium.
The Sky Blues were rewarded for their early dominance when VAR (if you had 20 minutes in the VAR lottery congratulations!) picked out a handball on Michael Jakobsen.Embed from Getty Images
Adam Le Fondre opens the scoring at Coopers Stadium from the penalty spot
As much as many would hate to admit, under the new interpretation of the handball rule, Kris Griffiths Jones was spot on, thus avoiding the full wrath of Sokkah Twitter.
Adam Le Fondre netted his first ‘sausage roll’ for the season from the spot and quickly followed it with a second goal after a pinpoint cross from recruit Alex Baumjohann.
With Adelaide (and most neutral fans) beginning to get the sense that Sydney was about to kick off their title defence with a big win Nikola Mileusnic gave the home crowd some hope with a free kick that even Trent Alexander-Arnold would be proud of.Embed from Getty Images
Pick that one out! Nikola Mileusnic strikes the perfect free kick to light up Coopers Stadium
Adelaide’s impressive end to the half perfectly teed up what to expect from the second half with plenty of drama to come, because you know, it wouldn’t be an A-League game without some drama.
New kid on the block Al Hassan Toure brought the reds level, or wait, did he? Yes he did!
After more VAR drama, Toure was deemed to be onside by the finest of margins lining up a grandstand last 30 minutes.
The reds then somehow withstood two giant sucker punches in the space of a few minutes with Ryan Strain sent off for bringing down Adam Le Fondre and then Kosta Barbarouses having a goal disallowed for offside only three minutes later much to the joy of Melbourne Victory fans everywhere.
However, just as the game seemed to die down towards a quiet finish, Ryan McGowan popped up with a header from a corner with three minutes to go to secure a 3-2 win for the Sky Blues to begin their title defence in the best way possible.
If that game was anything to go by buckle up everyone because the A-League is back! And we are in for a crazy and entertainment filled season.