Kurz hails fighting spirit in win over Victory

Marco Kurz lauded his Adelaide United players’ desire after holding on for a gutsy 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Friday night.

Strikers Baba Diawara and George Blackwood bagged their first goals of the season for the Reds, either side of a brilliant Mark Milligan strike.

But with a narrow 2-1 lead the Reds were reduced to nine men after Daniel Adlung and Ben Garuccio were dismissed for second bookable offences late in the game.

Seven minutes of time was added on making the challenge of defending with nine men all the more difficult.

However, Adelaide showed immaculate defensive application and a dogged resoluteness to claim the Club’s first triumph at Etihad Stadium since 2006.

Kurz could not hide his satisfaction after the impressive performance, praising his players’ determination.

“It was a very big victory for us and first I must say congratulations to the boys, I love the boys, I love the squad,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“It’s not easy to win in Melbourne but today we did a good job and the boys fight for the result and now we are happy with the three points.

“I think today we had the luck on our side and the fight and confidence to win which was the key today.”

Kurz said he was delighted to see his two strikers, Diawara and Blackwood, both get off the mark this campaign with timely goals.

“It’s very good for the players,” he said.

“I was very happy for Baba (Diawara), when you saw after the goal he looks like a kid, he’s smiling.

“He works very hard also Georgie (Blackwood), I’m very happy with both strikers and it’s good to know that they had scored today.

“It’s good for the players and also good for our team that we have quality from the striker position.”

The German tactician also reserved applause for goalkeeper, Paul Izzo, who committed a number of pivotal saves during the clash, though reiterated that the entire team deserves credit.

On the stroke of half-time he tipped Besart Berisha’s spot-kick onto the upright, before parrying Leroy George’s follow-up effort, in addition to a several stops at the death.

“He did a good job,” he continued when asked about the gloveman.

“But also the whole team, I think it’s important to say the whole team played very, very well today.”

Adelaide United will face Newcastle Jets in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 16 December at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.