Kurz lauds confidence-boosting win ahead of finals series

Marco Kurz hailed Adelaide United’s performance after securing a scintillating 3-2 victory over the Western Sydney Wanders at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

The win arrived at the perfect time with Adelaide finding form ahead of their massive away encounter with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory in an Elimination Final next Sunday.

Baba Diawara cancelled out Oriol Riera’s penalty courtesy of an audacious outside-of-the-foot finish into the top corner.

Daniel Adlung then dispatched an emphatic strike from distance before ex-Red Marcelo Carrusca scored a header to restore parity.

But after Riera missed a spot-kick on the stroke of half-time, Adelaide punished them in the second stanza as Ryan Kitto sealed the three points from close range on 80 minutes.

Kurz said his side had a duty to play for a win despite the Reds already qualifying for the finals series to maintain the league’s integrity.

He said he would have expected the same if United was in a similar position to Brisbane Roar following their triumph against Perth which lifted them into the top six.

However, they would have dropped out had WSW claimed the three points.

“It’s our job to play the last game as if it’s the first game,” he said in the post-match press conference.

“Also it’s a competition and I give you an example with Brisbane if we stay in this position I prefer or expect from the opponent to play for three points.

“And that’s what I said to the boys we travelled to Western Sydney to hold on fifth place and also to play for the three points and congratulations for the boys.

“I think it was a good away game and it’s better to travel back with a victory, we feel more confidence and also we’ve more rest than if we played on maybe Friday.”

Keanu Baccus was dismissed for impetuously kicking out at Johan Absalonsen in the second-half and causing a noticeable bruise on the inside of his knee.

Thankfully, Kurz confirmed the Dane will be available for the crucial clash with Melbourne.

“When I saw his (Absalonsen’s) knee it’s the correct decision,” he said.

“But it’s only a knock and he’s ready for the next week.”

Kurz explained that he is now fully aware of just how passionate the rivalry shared between the two teams is having experienced it first-hand on the touchline this campaign.

“The first thing I heard when I came to Australia was please win away against Victory,” he said.

“I said why? And they (the fans) said to me it’s a derby and I said but it’s 650km between the two cities.

“But now after the three games and also the cup game I understand the rivalry and for me it’s a very good quarter final.

“Two strong and good teams play against each other and we’ll see which team is the better one next Sunday.”

Adelaide United face Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Elimination Final on Sunday, 22 April at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACST.