Adelaide United Head Coach, Marco Kurz, was pleased with how his side acquitted themselves in their dominant 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium.
Ryan Kitto continued his stunning form with a brace to secure successive league victories for the Reds.
His opening goal arrived in first-half stoppage time, courtesy of a clinical finish at the far post from Karim Matmour’s cross.
Kitto’s second came following Nikola Milesunic latching on to a stray pass before having the awareness to pick out the 23-year-old, who raced in to score into virtually an empty net on 63 minutes.
Both sides ended the contest with 10 men thanks to the assistance of the VAR. Robbie Cornthwaite was dismissed for a second yellow card, with Baba Diawara missing the ensuing penalty. Ben Garuccio was then sent off late in the second stanza for a late challenge.
Kurz said he was delighted with his team’s performance, especially having played a gruelling game on Tuesday in the Westfield FFA Cup Final.
“I think it was not easy after the cup final, after the one hundred and twenty minutes,” Kurz said in the post-match press conference.
“But I saw today a very good first-half, we had a lot of big chances and only scored one goal.
“Maybe it’s not good enough, but I think we had the control of the game over the ninety minutes.
“It’s normal that the power from the boys goes a little bit down, but they fight well and I think it was a good performance.”
The German tactician lauded the display by debutant Ryan Strain at right-back, who filled the void left by Michael Marrone.
Strain played about an hour and showed real maturity and composure on the ball, as well as restricting Western Sydney’s wing play.
Kurz justified his somewhat surprise selection.
“I see the boy every day in training and now I was sure he was ready to start,” he said.
“A young player, who’s trained well in the last few weeks and then he starts, it’s good.
“I was one hundred per cent sure before the game that he would play very well today.”
The result was also United’s maiden clean sheet in the league this campaign.
Kurz was impressed with his side’s defensive application, to largely keep the attacking threats of the Wanderers quiet.
WSW’s best chance came through Oriol Riera when his header smashed the crossbar after half-time.
“To (not concede) is very important,” he said.
“I think they have one big chance, the header on the crossbar.
“Maybe it’s good for our defence but not only for the back-four line, but I think the whole team worked very well in the defence.”
It was the Reds’ first home win of the season and Kurz is hoping his side can turn Coopers Stadium into a fortress, starting with Sydney FC on Friday.
“I think for us it’s important that we now have a win in our ground, in our stadium,” he said.
“The last home games we had a draw and we lost and now it’s good to have the feeling of a win at home.
“We have recovery tomorrow (on Monday) and then we start again in the week and we know we play against the best team, Sydney FC.
“I think Sydney FC know about our quality and we can beat them.”
Adelaide United host Sydney FC in Round 9 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 1 December at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.