A Dario Vidosic masterclass piloted Adelaide United to a comprehensive 3-0 New Year's Eve triumph over Sydney FC.
A Dario Vidosic masterclass piloted Adelaide United to a comprehensive 3-0 New Year's Eve triumph over Sydney FC at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Classy Vidosic bumped his season goal tally to a team-high eight with two first-half strikes before Iain Ramsay potted one of the easiest goals of his career, which allowed United to snap their two-match losing skid and enter 2013 on a high.
Vidosic, with the expert assistance of Cassio and Marcelo Carrusca, ran rings around the visitors, whose midfield copped a hiding all evening.
Meanwhile, central defender Iain Fyfe repeatedly took charge in the back third and Bruce Djite was in the thick of all the forward action.
The hamstrung Sky Blues, already missing a host of players, including veteran Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero, were dealt an early body blow when veteran midfielder Adam Griffiths hobbled off in the 12th minute, replaced by Aaron Calver.
After a relatively tame opening, United soon seized complete control and bossed the visitors thoroughly for much of the contest.
Vidosic got the ball rolling in the 18th minute when, from the centre of the box, he nodded home a peach of a Carrusca cross past the outstretched clutches of Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and into the corner of the net.
Ten minutes later, the Reds made it 2-0 after Djite was felled inside the 18-yard box by Sky Blues stopper Sebastian Ryall.
Referee Jarred Gillett spotted the infringement and dead-ball specialist Vidosic made no mistake, rifling the penalty straight down the guts, deceiving a prone Janjetovic.
Adelaide continued to dominate, Carrusca being allowed to do as he pleased, seemingly without an opponent picking him up.
On 39 minutes, Djite almost made it 3-0 when, after evading the attentions of Ryall, the United striker spun around and let fly a low, flat ball, which just missed the target.
Less than a minute later, Evan Kostopoulos pulled the trigger just outside the penalty area with a fierce strike, which was magnificently deflected by Janjetovic before smacking the woodwork.
Epitomising the visitors' plight was Yairo Yau's forward foray in injury time when he almost caught the Reds napping.
The in-form Panamanian worked his way behind Adelaide's defence but ran out of room and without a single team-mate working forward to help him out. The hosts avoided danger and went in at half-time unscathed.
Vidosic should have made it an end-of-year hat-trick on 47 minutes when he lifted a shot over the cross bar following a poor defensive pass from Aaron Calver.
Ramsay made no mistake in the 61st minute when he walked in a gift of a goal, poking one home from the deflection off Janjetovic, who was still semi-prone, having dived to save Djite's shot seconds earlier.
Ramsay almost matched Vidosic's haul when he eluded Sydney's defence only to nudge the ball wide, before Vidosic himself came centimetres away from notching a hat-trick when he expertly curled in a 72nd-minute free-kick, which crashed into the crossbar.
Yet another hat-trick opportunity went begging for Vidosic when, deep inside the box, the star playmaker turned Rhyan Grant inside-out and swept a right-footer from a standing start which struck the right upright.
Defender Nigel Boogaard was subbed out on 64 minutes with an apparent hamstring injury but the Reds would not be stopped in midfielder Zenon Caravella's 100th A-League appearance.
Regular striker Jeronimo Neumann, who was sent on and placed on the wing in the 74th minute, had a ping from long range which sailed fractionally high.
The tireless Djite then dispatched a 90th-minute shot from 16 yards out which hit the right-hand post.
The Reds had put on an attacking clinic at Hindmarsh, which the besieged Sky Blues had no answer for.
Adelaide United 3 (Vidosic 18, 28, Ramsay 61) Sydney FC 0 Bet365.com Man of the Match: Dario Vidosic Should have had a hat-trick at least - Sydney couldn't contain him. @ Hindmarsh Stadium, 31/12/2012 Crowd: 10,934