Early goals from Jai King and Michael Cittadini has helped Adelaide United Youth maintain its title ambitions after defeating Group A leaders Brisbane Roar Youth 3-1 on Sunday.
King’s volley had the hosts ahead inside two minutes and Michael Cittadini doubled the advantage shortly after with a clinically taken goal of his own at Adelaide City Park.
Brisbane capitalised on an error to pull a goal back through Cai Tipaldo, but substitute Mohamed Toure sealed the three points, tucking home Lachlan Brook’s second assist of the game.
Reds midfielder, Mirko Boland, also impressed, playing the entire clash and was tidy in possession. The German will be pushing to be available for selection for Friday night’s Hyundai A-League match against Melbourne Victory.
The result means if Adelaide beat Melbourne Victory Youth in the final game of the season in a fortnight’s time, they will sit at the top of the conference standings and face the winner of Group B, most likely Sydney FC Youth.
Adelaide started like a house on fire and took the lead when King made a darting run into the box to volley home Brook’s right-footed cross from the wing.
Cittadini almost made it 2-0 after eight minutes when his attempt to lob the onrushing goalkeeper landed just wide of the target.
But the winger soon atoned five minutes later with a resounding finish after King turned provider. Cittadini received the ball in front of the halfway line and dribbled forward at pace, slotting his shot across the ‘keeper and into the bottom corner.
Despite Cameron Cook producing a splendid save moments earlier, the visitors profited from a misplaced pass which Tipaldo duly took full advantage, rifling his strike into the net in the 21st minute.
With half-time approaching, Cittadini had a superb chance to increase the Reds’ buffer but he volleyed over Jackson Walls’ cross from the six-yard box.
Paul Pezos’ side were on the back foot at the start of the second-half with Brisbane desperately searching for an equaliser.
In turn, Adelaide were dangerous on transition with King and Brook creating several headaches for the Roar defence.
And on 77 minutes, Toure settled the encounter when he applied the finish from Brook’s incisive pass to eliminate the Roar defence.
Adelaide held on to record their fourth win of the campaign as they sit second with 13 points.
Adelaide United Youth face Melbourne Victory Youth in Round 10 of the Foxtel Y-League 2019/20 season on Saturday, 25 January at Epping Stadium. Kick-off is at 10.00am ACDT.