Impressive Reds thrash woeful Jets in Adelaide
Newcastle Jets’ Premiership hopes have taken a major hit after they were crushed 5-2 by Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium in the opening game of Harmony Round on Friday night.
The Reds were sensational against a shell-shocked Jets, who finished the match with 10-men after Jason Hoffman was sent off late in the second half.
But the damage was already done as a first-half brace to Daniel Adlung was backed up with further goals to Ryan Kitto, Johan Absalonsen and Dzengis Cavusevic after the break.
Ben Kantarovski scored a brace for the Jets but it was nothing more than consolation for Ernie Merrick's men.
While the Jets’ Premiers Plate hopes are now hanging by a thread – they are five points behind league-leaders Sydney FC, Adelaide have given their finals hopes a huge boost.
The Reds will end Round 24 in fifth spot and look to have found their scoring boots at just the right time.
STORY OF THE GAME
OFF THE WOODWORK: From an early free-kick just outside the box, Ronny Vargas curled his effort up and over the wall, with the ball skimming the crossbar as it went just over.
GOAL! Adlung arrived in the box at the right time to put the Reds in front on 15 minutes.
CHANCE: Nathan Konstandopoulos drags a shot just wide of the post after the Jets failed to clear Ben Garuccio’s looping cross on the half-hour mark.
JETS GROUNDED: The visitors struggled for fluency in the front third, as Adelaide’s defence were dominated the opening half.
GOAL! Right on the stroke of half-time it’s Adlung again, this time from a free-kick.
HALF-TIME: Adlung’s brace has the Reds in control leading 2-0 as the two sides went to the sheds.
GOAL! A lifeline for the Jets as Ben Kantarovski pulls one back to halve the deficit.
GOAL! Kitto restores Adelaide’s two-goal lead with a neat run and finish midway through the half.
GOAL! A stunning volley from Johan Absalonsen sends the Reds fans into raptures.
TAREK’S BACK! Almost a year after suffering an ACL injury, Tarek Elrich returns for the Reds, replacing Absalonsen with 17 minutes left.
RED CARD: In his 100th game, Jason Hoffman saw red with 13 minutes left for a second bookable offence after bringing down Garuccio.
GOAL! Cavusevic bags his first Hyundai A-League goal with a clinical finish with 11 minutes remaining.
GOAL! Kantarovski salvages a little respectability for the visitors with a late strike.
Daniel Adlung: Adelaide United 15’ 1-0
The Reds’ imports combined with Isaias releasing Johan Absalonsen down the left, with the Danes low cutback falling perfectly into the path of the German who finished neatly past Jack Duncan.
Daniel Adlung: Adelaide United 45’ 2-0
Adlung’s in-swinging free-kick from the left looked like falling on the head of Dzengis Cavusevic but evaded everyone – including the keeper – to sneak in at the far post.
Ben Kantarovski: Newcastle Jets 62’ 2-1
Nikolai Topor-Stanley rose highest to head Riley McGree’s corner towards goal, with Kantarovski getting a slight touch on the ball at close range to help it get over the line.
Ryan Kitto: Adelaide United 68’ 3-1
Just minutes after coming on, Ryan Kitto raced onto Cavusevic’s pass, getting behind Topor-Stanley before his low shot snuck under Duncan and into the net.
Johan Absalonsen: Adelaide United 71’ 4-1
Michael Marrone floated a cross to the far post, with Absalonsen showing wonderful technique to produce a sublime left-footed volley into the top corner. A cracking strike!
Dzengis Cavusevic: Adelaide United 79’ 5-1
Konstandopoulos’ classy run and pass found Kitto who got to the byline before cutting it back for the Slovenian to slot home from close range.
Ben Kantarovski: Newcastle Jets 89' 5-2
From another corner, Kantarovski was on hand from close range again to poke the ball through the legs of Paul Izzo and into the net.