Carrusca show helps Reds see off Phoenix

Adelaide United FC has made it five wins from six at home after a first half master class from silky playmaker Marcelo Carrusca led the Reds to a 3-1 win over a fast finishing Wellington Phoenix.

Adelaide United FC has made it five wins from six at home after a first half master class from silky playmaker Marcelo Carrusca led the Reds to a 3-1 win over a fast finishing Wellington Phoenix.

Carrusca was a cut above as the Reds extended their unbeaten run at Hindmarsh Stadium this season. The Argentine scored a first half brace and then provided the assist for Fabio Ferreira-s, and the Reds- third, goal in the final minute before the break to effectively put the game out of Wellington-s reach and ensure the Reds remain just a point adrift of the Central Coast Mariners at the top of the table.

However, the Reds were made to sweat for the three points as the Phoenix were unlucky to have what appeared to be a legitimate goal disallowed in the first half before Dani Sanchez gave them the slightest glimmer of hope when he made it 3-1 in the 81st minute.

When Sanchez won the Phoenix a penalty in injury time the score line could well have read 3-2 at the end but Reds captain Eugene Galekovic, returning from Qantas Socceroos duty, reeled off a double save fitting for highlight reels anywhere in the world from Tyler Boyd to ensure the result read the same as when the sides met back in Week 4.

Just like their last outing when they lead Melbourne Victory 4-1 at the break, the Reds again did all of their damage in the first 45 minutes.

Carrusca and then Ferreira tested Phoenix keeper Mark Paston low down in the opening ten minutes before a Carrusca free kick in the 20th minute brought Wellington undone.

The Argentine-s in swinging left footer curled in and Osama Malik-s presence to try and make connection proved enough of a distraction to bemuse Paston, the ball finding its way into the back of the net.

Five minutes later Carrusca had his second, this time there was no mistaking his intent as he received the ball out on the right from Bruce Djite and then using his skill to cut inside, give himself room and thread a shot expertly past an outstretched Paston.

Down but not yet out, the Phoenix thought they had pegged a goal back less than 90 seconds later as Paul Ifill bamboozled two defenders before sliding the ball across Galekovic inside the far post.

However, Stein Huysegems was ruled to have touched the ball inches inside the goal line and was adjudged to have been in an offside position when Ifill struck the shot.

United was seemingly content to make the most of its lead and its fortune heading into half time but Carrusca had other ideas as he set Ferreira loose down the right with a sublime ball, the dashing winger not making the cleanest connection with the ensuing effort but it had enough force behind and the hint of slight deflection to beat Paston.

The Reds tried to kill the game off quickly after the resumption as they surged for a fourth, Ferreira sending a missile just metres over the bar while Djite and Vidosic also tried their luck as the home side found openings in the Wellington defence.

Louis Fenton had a fine chance for the Phoenix when he found some space in behind the Reds- defence but he dragged his final effort wide of the post. However, as the Reds began to settle on their lead Wellington did get a goal back when Boyd combined with Sanchez, Iain Fyfe doing well to block the initial shot but there was nothing he or Galekovic could do to keep the second attempt out.

Then in the final minute the referee pointed to the spot for a Nigel Boogaard challenge on Sanchez, but rather than go home with the Phoenix putting some respectability to the score line, Reds fans were treated to something special as Galekovic managed to get his left glove to Boyd-s penalty attempt and then produce a second save from the follow up that was just as breathtaking.

Next up is a trip to Parramatta Stadium to face the in form Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night before the Reds host two festive crackers against Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC on Boxing Day and New Year-s Eve respectively.

Match Details Adelaide United FC 3 (Carrusca 20-/25-, Ferreira 45+2-) Wellington Phoenix 1 (Sanchez 81-) Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: 8,657 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic (18.Fabian Barbiero 77-), 11.Bruce Djite (21.Jeronimo Neumann 63-), 14.Cameron Watson, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 23.Evan Kostopoulos (17.Iain Ramsay 69-) Substitutes not used: 30.John Hall (gk) Yellow Cards: Carrusca 32- Red Cards: Nil

Wellington Phoenix starting line-up: 1.Mark Paston (GK), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill (12.Tyler Boyd 61-), 10.Stein Huysegems (9.Benjamin Totori 68-), 16.Louis Fenton, 17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 21.Dani Sanchez, 22.Andrew Durante (c) (6.Alex Smith 46-) Substitutes not used: 30.Griffin McMaster (GK) Yellow Cards: Muscat 16-, Ifill 35-, Sigmund 80- Red Cards: Nil