Marcelo Carrusca’s close-range finish was enough to secure Adelaide United a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Newcastle Jets, stretching their unbeaten run to nine games.
The match started in perfect conditions, tainted a little by the early bookings of both Trifunovic and Kitto, but setting the pace for a closely contested first half.
United’s first chance came after Pablo Sanchez’ silky touch and lobbed through ball matched the pace of Goodwin, but his dummy-turned shot could only sting the palms of goalkeeper Mark Birighitti.
Chances were few and far between for the Reds after this moment, while McGowan’s critical sliding challenge denied Kitto a goal-scoring opportunity.
Meanwhile, the best chance for the Jets came when they launched a variety of shots on goal. It was only for the desperate defending of each man in Red to fend off the relentless pressure.
Just as it the scores looked to be deadlocked heading into the break, Djite turned his man and rifled the ball across the box, finding Carrusca at the back post free to turn the ball into the net and ensure the Reds went into the second half in the lead.
When play resumed however, the Reds found it tough to penetrate the compact Jets, but when Mells’ low-drive from the edge of the box flashed past the post, the momentum switched again.
This opportunity, along with the introduction of Sergio Cirio, brought about a renewed desire for the Reds but they couldn’t double their advantage.
A rare second half chance for the Reds fell to Godwin who found space to attack and smacked a powerful shot only just tipped over the bar by Birighitti.
Stefan Mauk made his debut as a late substitute to sure up yet another victory for the Reds.
Following the match, United Head Coach Guillermo Amor said he was pleased with the performance despite the tough nature of the game.
“When the game is difficult, hard, strong, either here at home or away, it is important to win,” Amor explained.
“This game was 50/50 and it was possible to lose or win but to win was very good.
“Every game in the this competition is very difficult. Anything can happen in this league.
“But we are very positive even when things are bad because the players are working hard, and for that I am very happy.”
Sunday, 31 January 2016
Hyundai A-League Round 17
Adelaide United 1 (Carrusca 43’)
Newcastle Jets 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium