A fast start has given Adelaide United Youth a 2-0 win against Adelaide Olympic at the VALO Football Centre – The Parks on Saturday to keep alive their aspirations of playing finals football.
Close-range finishes from Pacifique Niyongabire and Ninko Beric inside 14 minutes, knocked the stuffing out of Olympic, who were left chasing the game for the remainder of the afternoon.
Paul Pezos made three changes to his starting XI with Aladin Irabona and Taras Gomulka returning in place for Young Socceroos bound Lachlan Brook and Louis D’Arrigo, while Ninko Beric was the focal point in attack.
Olympic could not live with United Youth’s speed on the break and opened the scoring in the fifth minute.
Gomulka played a forward pass into Beric who then squared the ball for Niyongabire and he buried his effort past the goalkeeper for his sixth goal of the campaign.
One-nil soon became 2-0 when Beric clinically slotted his one-on-one finish with the outside of his right foot after latching on to Irabona’s incisive through ball.
But that was not before the referee and assistant deliberated a potential offside in the build-up. Fortunately, for the Young Reds the goal stood.
Approaching half-time, Fausto Erba had a snapshot half-volley well saved by Dakota Ochsenham at full stretch.
The second-half turned into a scrappier affair. Olympic naturally showed more incentive going forward, desperate to get back into the game, with United happy to defend and rarely troubled.
Carlo Armiento had a chance to add to the lead but his shot from Irabona’s unselfish square pass was saved on the line by a sliding Olympic defender.
The visitors ended the match with 10 players after Kristi Vangjeli received a second yellow card for dissent.
The Young Reds now trail sixth-placed Adelaide Blue Eagles by three points and face the Marden-based club next Saturday in what is anticipated to be a highly intriguing clash.
Adelaide United Youth Reserves
Adelaide United Youth Reserves snapped their losing streak to defeat Adelaide Olympic Reserves 4-1 earlier in the day.
Adelaide United Youth face Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 21 of the National Premier League 2019 season on Saturday, 10 August at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 3.00 PM. Reserves kick-off at 12.45pm.