Reds too good
Adelaide United has regained top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder and all but ended Sydney FC’s finals aspirations with a 2-0 result in front of a crowd of 23,002 at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Adelaide United has regained top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder and all but ended Sydney FC-s finals aspirations with a 2-0 result in front of a crowd of 23,002 at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
The Reds took the lead just before half time through a Cassio goal before second-half substitute Alemao doubled the advantage with a solo effort in the 83rd minute.
It was the perfect result for United who face a stern top-of-the table test against Melbourne Victory on Tuesday while the Sky Blues, who have now lost four games in a row, remain six competition points behind fourth-placed Queensland Roar.
While Adelaide deserved the result, there wasn-t a lot between the two sides for most of the contest.
Sydney controlled possession at the start of both halves and spent a fair share of the play in their attacking third.
However the Reds were more dangerous when they pushed forward and had a range of options in attack.
A determined Travis Dodd created the opening goal out on the left side. Under pressure from a couple of Sydney FC defenders, the Reds captain lost control of the ball but quickly regained possession and surged into the box.
The ball was moved onto Cristiano, then poked out to a composed Cassio who avoided Sydney traffic to slot the ball in the first minute of injury time.
The second half was an arm wrestle with Sydney desperate for an equaliser. But Alemao, who replaced Fabian Barbiero in the 73rd minute, was released just forward of the centre circle and streamed forward with two defenders on his tail.
He kept his cool and flipped the ball over Ivan Necevski much to the delight of the large crowd.
Earlier the first half was a hard fought and competitive affair.
Both teams took turns to attack with Steve Corica at the 26th minute and Alex Brosque at the 39th having on shots on target.
United-s forays into attack were less frequent but more imposing. At the 15th minute Cristiano jumped at a Kristian Sarkies- cross but was beaten in the air by Iain Fyfe who headed the ball over the cross bar.
And at the 30th minute Scott Jamieson-s corner kick almost set up his housemate Robert Cornthwaite for a score. However the defender-s header was stopped down low by a switched on Necevski.
Despite the Sky Blues- possession game it was the Reds who had the first genuine chance after the break. At the 56th minute Fyfe and Beau Busch collided which allowed Cristiano to break free of the opposition-s defence.
He had time to have a shot on goal but instead tried to cross to Dodd and failed.
Brosque-s strike in the 69th minute, a Mark Bridge attempt moments later plus two corners in quick succession created some nervous moments for United.
But the visitors didn-t have the firepower to make the most of the opportunities.
Adelaide United 2 Cassio 45-(1), Alemao 83-
Sydney FC 0
Crowd 23,002 at Adelaide Oval.