Adelaide United have bounced back with a determined 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.
George Blackwood’s solitary goal proved decisive to snap a three-match winless run and extend our unbeaten streak over the ‘Nix to seven games.
Jordan Elsey was handed the captaincy in the absence of Isaías due to suspension and Marco Kurz made five changes to the line-up which lost to Melbourne City. Nathan Konstandopoulos replaced the Spaniard for his first start in four games.
Meanwhile, Paul Izzo, Ben Garuccio and George Blackwood all returned to the starting XI for the first time re-joining the team from Olyroos duty. Ryan Kitto overcame a two-game injury lay-off and featured on the left wing.
A nervous opening few minutes was quickly forgotten about as Adelaide began to stamp their authority on proceedings.
After absorbing the Phoenix’s pressure, Kurz’s side settled and began controlling possession in the midfield without creating any chances.
That was until Blackwood grabbed his fourth league goal of the season just past the half hour mark with United’s first shot at goal for the evening.
The visitors started brightly in the second stanza and nearly doubled their lead through Blackwood.
However, Adelaide again had to survive a barrage of Wellington attacks, but they stood firm thanks to the resoluteness of the Reds’ defensive unit.
Alex Rufer almost restored parity on 90 minutes, though luck remained on Adelaide’s side – securing a first win across the ditch since March 2016.
2’ | Ersan Gülüm gets his toe in to deny Andrija Kaluderovic an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.
32’ | GOAL! Blackwood is cleverly played through one-on-one by Ryan Kitto’s flicked header on the half-way line and the striker bursts forward, finishing his shot between the legs of Italiano.
39’ | Adam Parkhouse cuts inside before firing his shot which sees Paul Izzo pull off an acrobatic.
45’ | Adlung forces Italiano into a diving stop courtesy of a dipping free-kick from over 30 yards out from goal.
61’ | Matthew Ridenton’s mistimed cross skims the crossbar.
68’ | Ben Garuccio, in his 50th Reds appearance, curls a free-kick just wide of the upright.
90’ | Rufer’s volley on a tight angle ricochets off the bar as the Phoenix are denied an equaliser.
Saturday, 28 January 2018
Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season - Round 18
Wellington Phoenix 0
Adelaide United 1 (Blackwood 32’)
Venue: Westpac Stadium