Nine-man Reds hold on for gallant win over Victory


Nine-man Adelaide United have held on for a plucky 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory to secure their first triumph at Etihad Stadium since 2006 on Friday night.

Strikers Baba Diawara and George Blackwood scored timely goals to open their respective accounts this season, in what was another action packed instalment of the ‘Original Rivalry’.

Head Coach, Marco Kurz, made two changes to the starting XI. Ben Garuccio returned from suspension, pushing Ryan Kitto onto the left wing at the expense of Mark Ochieng, while Nathan Konstandopoulos replaced the departed Karim Matmour in midfield. Meanwhile, Ryan Strain, who has impressed since making his debut two weeks’ ago, retained his place at right-back despite Michael Marrone being back in the squad.

Adelaide made a bright start to proceedings and really bossed the opening exchanges.

The Reds were rewarded for their endeavour when Diawara scored off a corner. Melbourne replied after the interval through a well-taken goal by Mark Milligan, before Blackwood came off the bench to make it 2-1 with a clinical finish.

But it was far from smooth sailing as United were reduced to nine men following dismissals to Daniel Adlung and Garuccio.

Kurz’s men had to survive and repel a barrage of relentless pressure for the remaining nine minutes with the numerical disadvantage, and they did thanks largely to the work of gloveman Paul Izzo.

Key moments:

1’ | Ersan Gülüm had an early chance when he connected expertly with Isaías’ crossing set-piece, but the experienced centre-back could not direct his header either side of Lawrence Thomas.

3’ | A free-kick from Isaías lands inches wide from nestling into the top left corner.

7’ | OFFSIDE: Leroy George puts the ball into the back-of-the-net after being released by James Troisi, but the goal is ruled out with the latter in an offside position.

17’ | GOAL! Diawara is left unmarked and rises highest to head home Ryan Kitto’s corner in off the upright to open his account this season.


31’ | Garuccio’s quick throw-in finds Diawara who has the awareness to turn and shoot on the half-volley with his back to goal and force Thomas into a spectacular save.

34’ | Izzo makes a stunning save to tip wide Troisi’s deflected curling effort after losing his makrer.

44’ | The referee awards a penalty to the Victory after Jason Geria’s close-range shot ricochets off Garuccio’s leg and onto his hand.

45’ SAVE! Izzo makes a fabulous double save first to deny Berisha from the penalty spot – tipping his shot onto the upright – and then palming away George’s follow-up attempt.


56’ | GOAL: Milligan controls George’s cross, by controlling the ball and flicking it over Daniel Adlung to fire a left-footed strike past Izzo.

72’ | GOAL! Brilliant wing play from Nikola Mileusnic sets up Blackwood, who side finishes his effort first-time.


83’ | RED CARD: Adlung is dismissed for a second yellow card following a late sliding tackle on Matias Sanchez.

88’ | RED Card: Garuccio is sent off for a second bookable offence after time wasting on the sidelines.

90’+7’ | Izzo makes a crucial save which took a deflection off Gülüm at the death to seal a deserved and resilient win.

Match details:

Friday, 8 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 10
Melbourne Victory 1 (Milligan 56’)
Adelaide United 2 (Diawara 17’ Blackwood 72’)
Venue: Etihad Stadium