Adelaide dominate Newcastle to secure fifth win on the bounce
A ruthless first-half performance from Adelaide United set up an impressive 4-1 win over Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday night.
The Reds scored four in the opening 45 minutes against a lacklustre Jets side who put in a disappointing home display. As the Jets lost a fourth successive game, Adelaide secured a fifth win in a row to jump back into third place on the A-League table.
Reds striker Kusini Yengi was handed a starting berth in Carl Veart's side after playing a starring role in Adelaide's win over Melbourne Victory in Matchweek 12. The young striker got the ball rolling with an opportunistic finish on five minutes, before Reds captain Stefan Mauk scored his sixth goal of the campaign to give his team an early 2-0 lead.
Adelaide scored two more goals in quick succession before the half, as Ben Halloran finished off a well-worked team move before Craig Goodwin scored from the spot to hand the Jets a mountain to climb after the break.
Craig Deans brought Ramy Najjarine and Liridon Krasniqi off the bench at half-time, and the home side proceeded to show greater determination and quality. Apostolos Stamatelopoulos netted his first goal as a Jet in the 68th minute to give the Jets reward for effort, but that was all the hosts could muster as they fell to a heavy 4-1 defeat.
Yengi kick-started the Red rampage with a well-taken goal off the back of Nigel Boogaard's uncharacteristic moment of uncertainty on the ball in defence.
Boogaard lingered on the ball for too long at the back, and one loose touch invited Yengi in to pounce and dispossess the Jets leader. Yengi looked up, drove into the box and buried the ball into the bottom left corner to repay Veart's faith in providing him with a starting role.
With his side on the rise and looking to quickly assert their dominance on the contest, Mauk popped up once again in the box to extend his impressive goalscoring run and double Adelaide's advantage.
Mauk scored his sixth of the campaign from midfield with a typical darting run into the box, getting ahead of Yengi to fire Goodwin's under-hit cross into the back of the net, and with 11 minutes on the clock the Reds had a two-goal lead.
Adelaide's advantage remained at two as the clock ticked toward the final five minutes of the opening half, but by the time the whistle blew to send the teams into the break Adelaide had put two more on the board.
First it was Halloran who got in on the act, after Goodwin's smart ball sent Joshua Cavallo streaming into the box. His resulting ball whipped across the goal mouth and found Halloran unmarked to finish into an open net.
Then it was Goodwin's turn to join the party. The winger was involved in everything for the Reds, including leading a ruthless counter attack and finding Yengi in the box, only for Nikolai Topor-Stanley to foul the Reds forward and hand his opponents a penalty.
Goodwin put the ball on the spot and fired truly to put his side four goals up in the 43rd minute.
Newcastle performed valiantly in the second half, but it was too little, too late as the Reds cruised to victory. But on a disappointing night young forward Stamatelopoulos provided the hosts a point of encouragement when he netted off a diving header to make it 4-1.
Substitute Najjarine was at his brilliant best to assist the goal, finding Stamatelopoulos at the back post to head the ball through Joe Gauci's legs and peg one back for the hosts.
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