No joy at home again for Reds

Adelaide United FC has suffered another home defeat following a 2-1 loss to a flying Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Adelaide United FC has suffered another home defeat following a 2-1 loss to a flying Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The successful comeback of Cassio and Evgeniy Levchenko from injury was overshadowed by a result that again left the Reds looking to when the pendulum will start swinging in their favour.

An on target Bruce Djite fired the Reds in front in the 10th minute, but just as it was last week, the home side could not turn early dominance into goals and the Phoenix capitalised as Tim Brown and Dani Sanchez both scored before half time to extend Wellington-s winning run to four matches.

While the loss leaves the Reds- task of making the top six that more harder, Coach John Kosmina was pleased with the improvement his team showed compared with last week, particularly in the players- attitude and intent not to give up until the final whistle.

“It was a fantastic effort. We played some really good football, we made a stack of chances as we did last week, this time one went in at least, so that-s a positive,” Kosmina said.

“The boys gave everything. Last week I maybe questioned that they dropped their heads, this week they fought from start to finish and the punters can-t complain about that, we went down fighting and that-s the Adelaide spirit, that-s what it-s all about at this club.”

Criticized for missed opportunities last week, it only took 10 minutes for Djite to silence his critics as he finished off a fine move that involved his two strike partners, Sergio van Dijk and Dario Vidosic.

After winning possession, van Dijk threaded a neat ball through for Vidosic, then just when it appeared the chance had gone begging as Wellington-s defence closed in, Djite raced in to smash the loose ball authoritatively into the back of the net with his left foot.

Iain Ramsay forced a save out of Phoenix keeper Mark Paston and then van Dijk rattled the post with a header from a Vidosic free kick less than a minute later, the game following a worrying trend to that of the opening 15 minutes against Perth, although this time the Reds had at least one goal to show for it.

But then it was almost a case of déjà vu just from last Sunday as the Reds conceded twice to put the Phoenix in front at the break.

Having quelled a promising Reds build up in the 13th minute, the Phoenix went on a counter attack of their own as Paul Ifill found room on the left and catching the Reds off guard, he squared the ball for an open Tim Brown to casually slot the ball out of the reach of Eugene Galekovic.

Ramsay steered a shot with his non preferred right boot just wide of the target in the 32nd minute before United found itself behind in the 38th minute as a Chris Greenacre cross picked out Sanchez, the Spanish midfielder sending his header inside the far post.

Eight minutes into the second half Vidosic teed up Cassio from 30 metres, a diving save from Paston all that prevented the Reds from going level and giving the Brazilian a goal on his return.

Kosmina brought on Zenon Caravella in place of Ramsay with 27 minutes to go and the Reds- number seven provided a lift in urgency but the home side could still not beat the Phoenix defence.

Ifill rifled a long range left footer that flew narrowly over the crossbar in a nervous moment for the Reds before the marksman went even closer as he smashed a venomous drive into the crossbar, which would have spelt curtains.

The Reds were being continually frustrated as Wellington looked to protect their lead before Djite was brought down by Ben Sigmund just outside the area as he appeared in on goal, the referee adjudging Sigmund not the last man and producing just a yellow card.

Ifill and Wellington then had claims for a penalty waved away before an Osama Malik header in injury time just missed the mark as the Reds tried valiantly to salvage a point.

The Reds now head to the Gold Coast next Sunday with every result from herein becoming more crucial if the Reds are to feature at finals time.

“We-ve just got seven games and we-ve got to win them, and I think we-re good enough,” Kosmina said.

“We proved last week we were a good football side, this week we proved that again fixing up the problems as we go along and this week they started to show the character that we need to get through as well, so we-ve got a game away against the Gold Coast next week, we-ll start with that one and work it from there.”

Match Details Adelaide United FC 1 (Djite 10-) Wellington Phoenix 2 (Brown 14-, Sanchez 38-) Referee: Gerard Parsons Crowd: 8,425 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic (15.Jacob Melling 75-), 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay (7.Zenon Caravella 63-), 18.Fabian Barbiero

Substitutes not used: 21.Francisco Usucar, 30.Paul Izzo (gk) Yellow Cards: Malik 37- Red Cards: Nil

Wellington Phoenix line-up: 1.Mark Paston (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead, 6.Tim Brown, 7.Leo Bertos, 8.Paul Ifill, 9.Chris Greenacre (17.Vince Lia 70-), 18.Ben Sigmund, 21.Dani Sanchez (11.Daniel 63-), 22.Andrew Durante (c), 24.Alex Smith

Substitutes not used: 19.Jimmy Downey, 20.Tony Warner (gk) Yellow Cards: Muscat 54-, Sigmund 78-, Ifill 87-, Daniel 90+3- Red Cards: Nil