Hyundai A-League pre-season: Reds make winning start

Three of Adelaide United’s key off-season signings all made an appearance as the Reds kicked off their Hyundai A-League pre-season with a win over Para Hills on Tuesday night.

Danish striker Ken Ilso, compatriot Michael Jakobsen and returning winger Craig Goodwin all saw game time as Marco Kurz’s men showed some encouraging signs in front of almost 500 fans at the Paddocks.

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It took just nine minutes for United to break the deadlock, with Nathan Konstandopolous pouncing on a neat lay-off from Ilsø following a Ryan Kitto cross.

The young midfielder took a touch away from his defender before blasting a left-footed strike into the far, bottom corner, the effort taking a slight deflection as it found its way into the back of the net.

The Reds continued to create a host of chances in both halves but had to wait until five minutes from time before they scored their second.

Young forward Aladin Irabona knocked the ball home following a textbook Carlo Armiento cross to the near post.

“I think after two-and-half weeks training of the pre-season it was a good test,” Kurz said.

“I think in the first-half we had a couple of good chances to score more goals than only one.

“And then after the substitutions in the second-half with a little break, but the young boys they came in and did it well. I’m happy with the test and also with the result.

Marco Kurz
Reds boss Marco Kurz

“The fitness for this moment is okay. I think it’s a very intense time for the boys,” the Reds boss added.

“We trained in the morning also a ninety-minute session and then it’s not easy to play in the evening, a game.

“But it’s normal in the pre-season it’s a normal moment and also it’s good to have the first friendly game. It’s different to play a friendly game than to just train.”

The Reds’ first competitive match comes in the FFA Cup, when they take on fellow Hyundai A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners on Wednesday, August 1.

The match is at Marden Sports Complex and kicks off at 7.30pm AEST.