Kurz delighted with improved second-half display


Marco Kurz hailed Adelaide United’s response after a lacklustre opening 30 minutes in their 3-1 win against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday night.

The Reds showed immense character after their slow start, compounded by falling behind in the 14th minutes through Mandi’s bouncing strike.

Tom Doyle scored an own goal on the stroke of half-time to get Adelaide back on level terms, before Danish striker, Ken Ilsø, bagged a second-half brace.

Kurz lamented his side’s uninspiring start to the game but was pleased with the second-half performance from his players.

“I think the last sixty minutes we were better not at the start,” Kurz said in the post-match press conference.

“We started not good enough in my opinion, the first thirty minutes we didn’t feel comfortable with our game plan.

Head Coach Marco Kurz speaks to media following the Reds 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix

“The equaliser before half-time was very important and good for us and then after half-time we played more comfortable with more ball speed and a more possession-based game and created a couple of good chances.

“That’s why we were the better team in the second-half.”

The German tactician lauded Ilsø’s impact after he scored his first goals for the Club, though stopped short of suggesting he was an out-and-out striker.

The 31-year-old dispatched a clinical header off Michael Marrone’s brilliant cross in the 47th minute and then bundled the ball home from Ryan Kitto’s low delivery.

“I’m happy for Ken (Ilsø) that he scored two goals today for us,” he said.

“But he’s not a (natural) number nine, but he can play as a nine, he’s intelligent enough.

“But he’s more of a player around the number nine, who has a good feeling for the space and knows when to jump in the right place to meet crosses.”

The result was Adelaide’s second win of the season, and have now collected eight points from the opening five games.

Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 6 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Friday, 30 November at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Gates open 6.20pm.