Five-star Adelaide crush Glory to boost Finals Series hopes
Adelaide United have sent an ominous warning to the rest of the Hyundai A-League with a 5-3 drubbing of Perth Glory on Thursday night.
The Reds set up their win with a stunning four-goal burst in the space of 18 minutes to extend their unbeaten run under interim manager Carl Veart to three games.
Michael Jakobsen, Lachlan Brook, Kristian Opseth and Ben Halloran all found the net in a crazy first half, which also included a missed penalty from the Reds’ Riley McGree and a Glory goal to Kristian Popovic.
The end-to-end nature of the contest didn’t slow down after the break as Pacifique Niyongabire scored his maiden Hyundai A-League goal for the Reds in just his second appearance.
Glory added two goals late – through Bruno Fornaroli and Juande to add some respectability to the score but it was mere consolation on what was a statement performance from Veart’s side.
It could prove to be a crucial three points for the sixth-place Reds, who have opened up a four-point lead to Western United FC in seventh, but having played three games more.
They have also drawn level on points with Glory (fifth), who have now lost back-to-back games and will be looking over their shoulder over the final few games of the regular season.
McGree wasteful from the spot
After starting the match on the back foot, the Reds had the perfect chance to take the lead when Ben Halloran won a dubious penalty after a slight tangle with Jacob Tratt.
Adelaide star Riley McGree, who has never scored against the Glory, took the responsibility from the spot but couldn’t beat Liam Reddy.
McGree’s low shot to Reddy’s left lacked power, with the veteran gloveman getting down easily to snap up the ball.
Skipper stands up tall for Reds
McGree’s blushes were spared soon after, with Jakobsen coming up big for Adelaide from a set piece.
Teen midfielder Taras Gomulka delivered an inviting corner from the left, with the big Dane getting up highest to plant a header past a stranded Reddy.
Brook nets first Hyundai A-League goal
Just minutes after taking the lead the Reds had another goal, and it was a milestone one for youngster Brook.
Jacob Tratt gave away possession to Kristian Opseth and the big striker drove towards the Glory box.
But instead of striking at goal himself, Opseth unselfishly played the ball to the onrushing Brook who stroked it clinically into the corner of the net.
Popovic pulls one back for Perth
Glory boss Tony Popovic must have been scratching his head after those two quick goals, so his son decided to take it upon himself to bring them back into the contest.
Neil Kilkenny played a delightful chipped ball to the far post, where Kristian Popovic had managed to break away from his defender.
The 18-year-old took the ball down on his thigh with one touch before guiding the ball past Paul Izzo.
Opseth continues his hot streak
Another corner, another goal for the Reds.
This time Reddy came out and punched the initial cross but only succeeded in looping the ball up into the air.
Opseth rose above James Meredith and headed back towards goal, with Reddy slipping on the surface which allowed the ball to sneak over the line.
Halloran gets in on the act
Just when Adelaide thought it couldn’t get any better before the break, it did right on the stroke of half-time.
Some nice work on the left between Ryan Kitto and Opseth ended with Halloran getting free down the flank before cutting in towards goal.
And the winger tried his luck from a tight angle, with the shot taking a deflection off Osama Malik, wrong-footing Reddy and nestling in the back of the net.
High five for Adelaide United
What a way to introduce yourself to Hyundai A-League fans!
It was just 20-year-old Niyongabire’s second appearance in the competition but he marked it with a stunning goal – and celebration.
After Ryan Kitto powered down the left, Niyongabire cut inside a defender before slamming it past Reddy at his near post, before producing a somersault to mark his maiden Hyundai A-League goal.
Fornaroli and Junade net late consolations for Perth
Perth weren’t about to throw in the towel and added a little respectability to the score when Fornaroli made it seven goals against Adelaide in 10 meetings with them.
The Uruguayan got on the end of an incisive cross, bringing the ball down on his chest, swivelling and then firing a volley past Izzo.
There was still time for Juande to get on the scoresheet, burying a penalty past Izzo after Jake Brimmer was hauled down in the box by Ryan Kitto.
- Adelaide United v Sydney FC
When: Thursday, August 6
Where: ANZ Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)
- Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
When: Tuesday, August 4
Where: Bankwest Stadium
Kick-off: 7.30pm (AEST)