Marcelo Carrusca’s expertly dispatched penalty snapped a four-match winless streak, after Adelaide United secured a 1-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium.
A successfully converted spot-kick from Carrusca ensured the Reds returned to winning ways in what was a tempestuous encounter.
Four changes were made to the starting XI by Head Coach, Guillermo Amor. Isaias returned from suspension, while Nikola Mileusnic was handed his fifth start of the season. In defence, Taylor Regan replaced the injured Iacopo La Rocca and Michael Marrone was re-called at right-back.
The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and could have been awarded a penalty when Riley McGree was felled in the box by two Jets defenders.
But the Reds continued to push for an opener as Jordan O’Doherty smashed a stinging strike on target, after a threaded through ball from Spanish maestro Isaias.
Regan provided some solidity at the back, telegraphing a number of passes with Newcastle attempting to get in behind the back-four.
On 35 minutes, gloveman John Hall was called into action, making a phenomenal save to deny Morten Nordstrand’s looping header before colliding into the post.
Both sides headed into the break all square, with United defensively sound.
Newly signed Kim Jae-sung made his introduction at the break as Isaias was unable to continue following a knock sustained during the first-half.
And the South Korean impressed on his debut with a number of sublime touches on the ball, while also providing some potency to the Adelaide attack.
United were inches away from taking the lead when Carrusca’s in-swinging corner agonisingly evaded everyone in the box including Sergio Cirio.
However, on the hour mark, Amor’s men would draw first blood courtesy of Carrusca’s penalty. Tarek Elrich was fouled in the area following a marauding run into the box, and the ensuing spot-kick was nonchalantly dispatched by the 33-year-old.
Things got a little overzealous midway during the second stanza with a melee breaking out, however the scuffle proved no distraction for the Reds.
United displayed immense concentration at the back to remain resolute at the back, only allowing the Jets to shoot from distance. Though, the only time Newcastle almost restored parity Michael Marrone was there to make a crucial block foiling Andrew Hoole’s close-range effort.
With Newcastle pushing for an equaliser, the Reds held on for a deserved win to keep their slim chances of reaching the top six alive.
Friday, 17 February 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 20
Adelaide United 1 (Carrusca 61’)
Newcastle Jets 0
Coopers Stadium, Hindmarsh