Missed opportunities consign Reds to Glory loss

Adelaide United FC was given a lesson on capitalising in front of goal as a wayward Reds went down 3-0 to Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United FC was given a lesson on capitalising in front of goal as a wayward Reds went down 3-0 to Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Despite creating 12 shots at goal, the majority of which came in a scintillating opening 15 minutes, compared to Perth-s five for the match, the Reds could not hit the target and the in form Glory took full advantage as Shane Smeltz, Steven McGarry and Liam Miller all found the back of the net.

United Coach John Kosmina had stated in the lead up the importance of converting if the Reds were to be a chance of coming away with three points, but his words must not have resonated with his team as they failed to score for the first time since Kosmina took charge.

Kosmina admitted the result was a very significant one as he continues to learn about what this crop of Reds are made of and what needs to be done if the club are to stay in finals contention.

“It has told me a lot about what we-ve really got in terms of playing personnel but also what we-ve got in terms of character,” Kosmina said.

“(I learnt that) we struggle when it gets a bit tough. Things don-t go right for us and we drop our heads too easily, way too easily.”

“In the first 15 minutes you won-t see better football than that anywhere in the league at the moment - it was unbelievable. We could have been three goals up after 15 minutes, but you don-t take your chances and look what happens.”

“You go down the other end, you go to sleep, you make silly mistakes - school boy mistakes that shouldn-t happen at this level.”

The Reds coach also refuted any suggestions that a third game in eight days had caught up with his team.

“Look at the first 15 minutes - they didn-t look tired then. They didn-t look tired at the end of the game either, Perth looked more tired than us.”

The Glory had three corners inside the opening two minutes but for the following 15 minutes it was all the home side as the Glory-s goal resembled a shooting gallery.

First, strong work from Bruce Djite opened the door for Dario Vidosic, the Reds number 10 hammering the ball into the side netting.

Then in the 7th minute Djite missed a guilt-edged chance after Sergio van Dijk was in on goal, the Dutchman unselfishly laying it off for his strike partner but Djite cannoned his shot into the post with an open goal beckoning.

The Reds- interplay and movement in the front half was a sight to behold and the Glory were only holding on by the skin of their teeth. Van Dijk hit a long range shot from 22 metres that was kept out by Vukovic, with Djite skying the follow up, although the linesman had signalled offside.

Djite then rolled one inches wide of Vukovic-s right post as the home side could and most probably should have been 3-nil.

But a horrible error from Daniel Mullen in the 15th minute proved costly for the Reds, the defender getting himself in a tangle and Smeltz and one of the league-s most prolific goal scorers made him pay to stun the Hindmarsh crowd.

Five minutes later Perth went two up when McGarry knocked the ball in from close range after a corner, and when the Glory had a chance to reorganise their structure during the compulsory drinks break to combat United-s early onslaught, it was going to be tough for the Reds to come back.

A set play from a Vidosic free kick almost unlocked the Glory defence when Nigel Boogaard and Osama Malik combined, Djite then sending a header a metre over the bar less than a minute later.

Zenon Caravella-s afternoon came to an end in the 43rd minute when a recurring groin injury saw him replaced by Jacob Melling and in the 16 year olds time on the field, he showed that he has a big future in front of him.

Melling almost dragged a goal back when his committed run into the box was picked out by Vidosic but his left footed effort flew over the bar.

Time was running out for the Reds and their urgency lifted, Kosmina rallying his players on for a final surge in the last 20 minutes.

But Perth-s defence scrambled well and proved impenetrable, and when Miller converted a fine individual effort to put Perth three goals up, the Reds- task of making finals with eight games to go became that bit harder.

Going into next Friday night-s home game against second placed Wellington Phoenix, Kosmina knows the only result that will be acceptable.

“We-ve got to win at home. You can write this one off, we got a bad one out of our system,” Kosmina said.

“It has been a hard week, we could have had nine points, we should have had nine points if you look at the way we played, and we got one, so we-ve got a bit of work to do and a bit of chasing to do and we-ve got to win next week.”

“They (the players) are good enough to do it, they-ve just got to believe it. I certainly do but I don-t know if they do and that gets back to this new culture change that was generated 12 months ago when the whole team was shifted out for no apparent reason.”

Match Details Adelaide United FC 0 Perth Glory 3 (Smeltz 15-, McGarry 20-, Miller 82-) Referee: Jarred Gillett Crowd: 9,063 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella (15.Jacob Melling 43-), 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic (13.Ricardo Da Silva 82-), 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson (21.Francisco Usucar 74-), 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero

Substitutes not used: 20.Mark Birighitti (gk) Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1.Danny Vukovic (Gk), 3.Bas Van Den Brink, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (c), 9.Shane Smeltz, 10.Liam Miller, 14.Steven McGarry (8.Adam Hughes 52-), 16.Evan Berger (27.Andrezinho 45+2-), 17.Todd Howarth, 19.Josh Risdon, 21.Mile Sterjovski (4.Billy Mehmet 84-)

Substitutes not used: 30.Lewis Italiano (Gk) Yellow Cards: Burns 41-, Van Den Brink 55-, Hughes 78-, Vukovic 79-, Pantelidis 90+1- Red Cards: Nil