NPL SA Round 2 Recap: Young Reds fall to Campbelltown in action-packed thriller
A late fightback from Adelaide United was ultimately in vain after suffering a 4-3 defeat to title holders Campbelltown City on Sunday.
Trailing 2-1 at the break, the Reds quickly found themselves 4-1 down early into the second-half.
It appeared the Red Devils had an unassailable lead, however United demonstrated immense character to get back into the game, but it was a mountain too steep to climb.
Yohei Matsumoto opened the scoring for the hosts with a clinical finish in the 12th minute and doubled their advantage via an Iain Fyfe glancing header.
Pacifique Niyongabire halved the deficit approaching half-time with a deflected shot.
But to the Young Reds’ frustration they switched off from a corner, allowing Adam Piscioneri to control and arrow his effort into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. Jacob Williams extended the buffer to three goals with an open goal tap-in.
Paul Pezos’ side needed a moment of magic to get back into the contest and it arrived in mesmerising fashion.
Carlo Armiento curled an incredible free-kick into the far post on an acute angle and it inspired the Reds.
Niyongabire completed his brace to bundle the ball home on 83 minutes and draw United within one goal.
However, despite the endeavour to get something out of the match, they came up empty handed for their first loss of the campaign.
Niyongabire said the Young Reds played well in patches, but lost concentration at key times, particularly to start the second-half.
“To be honest we switched off a couple of times and that’s when we let Campbelltown take the lead,” he explained.
“I reckon we played really well in the last fifteen minutes of the first-half, I think we were all over them.
“But obviously at the start of the second-half we kind of switched off a bit and they scored two goals.
“But we didn’t give up and that was the most important thing, we kept fighting.”
The winger, who indeed scored two goals, added he hopes to continue in this vein with the ambition of pushing for a place in the Hyundai A-League matchday squad.
“It’s always good to score and it builds your confidence up a bit,” he said from a personal perspective.
Adelaide United Youth Reserves
Earlier in the afternoon, Adelaide United Youth Reserves recorded a 2-0 win over Campbelltown Reserves.
Adelaide United Youth face Adelaide City in Round 3 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 9 March at Adelaide City Park. Kick-off is at 7.00 PM. Reserves kick-off at 4.45pm.