The debut of the Hyundai A-League’s youngest ever player could not inspire Adelaide United FC as the Reds slumped to a 3-0 home loss to Gold Coast United.
The debut of the Hyundai A-League-s youngest ever player could not inspire Adelaide United FC as the Reds slumped to a 3-0 home loss to Gold Coast United.
Teeboy Kamara-s introduction in the second half set a new league record for the youngest player to take the field but the excitement surrounding the 15 year olds appearance was overshadowed as the Reds- season was left teetering after Ben Halloran, Maceo Rigsters and Dylan Macallister all scored to give Gold Coast their first win since October.
Having conceded seven goals but more worryingly not managing to find the back of the next themselves in their past two home games, the question is where to now for a Reds outfit that looks to have had its confidence vanish despite an encouraging second half display against Melbourne Victory last weekend.
Head Coach Rini Coolen was left trying to work out where it all went wrong as he watched his team go down in the battle of the league-s cellar dwellers, the result made even harder to take considering the Reds played with an extra man advantage after Ante Rozic was red carded in the 76th minute.
“It should be a benefit if you play at home but it hasn-t worked this season. It-s a big disappointment for us, for our team, for our club and especially for our supporters,” Coolen said.
“It shouldn-t be like that and I don-t think it was necessary if you look at our last game against Melbourne Victory where we got some confidence. The whole week at training was a vey high level so we were finally looking forward to playing at home, getting our three points and playing better football, but you saw a team today looking for confidence and making a lot of mistakes and we couldn-t get over the goal we copped.”
“We know they can do much better than what we saw today, that-s disappointing and we have to move forwards but to do that we need to get our confidence back and the only way you do that is if you win games and are not scared to play football and create opportunities.”
“The freedom that the players get next to the things they have to do as part of their jobs on the field is not what I saw today and again we have to speak about it, train about it and come back better next week because we cannot accept this and it-s definitely not good for our supporters.”
Striker Bruce Djite tried valiantly throughout the 90 minutes and it was not from a lack of intent from each player in a red shirt, but when things are not going your way, nothing seems to go right regardless of how hard you try.
Djite had the majority of United-s best chances on the night, but he would be left frustrated not to have scored at least a consolation goal after two great attempts late on.
With both teams desperate to make a march up the table, Rigsters sent an early warning that he would be a handful for the Reds defence when he danced his way into the penalty area and flashed a shot over the bar within the opening five minutes.
A clever give and go started by Macallister released the Gold Coast striker in on goal in the 12th minute but in his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance for the Reds, Eugene Galekovic stuck a strong reflex left hand out to prevent the ball from smashing into the back of the net.
Back in the starting eleven, Dario Vidosic was threatening whenever he was on the ball, but the Reds could not make the most of their forays forward.
It would prove costly as Halloran took advantage of open space down the right. At first he tried to tee up James Brown, but just when it seemed some desperate last ditch Reds defending had done enough to diffuse the chance, the ball came back to Halloran and his left footed shot took a cruel deflection off Francisco Usucar giving Galekovic no chance.
But if the crowd was expecting a swift Reds reply, they were left stunned in the 36th minute when Rigsters rifled a shot from the edge of the area off a step into the top corner after being set up by Halloran, Galekovic arguably left surprised the power behind the effort.
Coolen swapped Vidosic and Djite around o the flanks but it could not produce goal before half time.
It took until the 55th minute for Gold Coast keeper Glen Moss into his first serious save of the night from an Iain Ramsay shot, the Reds being constantly frustrated by not being able to test the keeper with more regularity.
Then with just less than half an hour to go came the moment the crowd had been waiting for as Kamara was introduced into the fray as Zenon Caravella made way.
Every time Kamara touched the ball it drew a cheer from the Reds faithful and the home side was given a lifeline when Moss left the field with an injury and Rozic was given his marching orders after a second yellow card.
Reds substitute Spase Dilveski went close to making the most of the advantage as he cracked a low drive on target but it was dealt with by substitute keeper Jerrad Tyson.
A clever flick-on header from Dilevski opened the door for Sergio van Dijk but the marksman could not get enough on his attempt, allowing Tyson to pounce on the ball before it could roll over the goal line.
Djite-s frustration boiling over after a referee decision which led to a yellow card summed up the Reds- night, the striker unlucky not to salvage at least one goal back with two superb efforts in injury time.
The Reds head to Sydney for a clash against Sydney FC on Thursday night.
Match Details Adelaide United FC 0 Gold Coast United 3 (Halloran 19-, Rigsters 36-, Macalister 90+3-) Referee: Ryan Sheppard Crowd: 7,967 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain (c), 5.Daniel Mullen (14.Cameron Watson 68-), 7.Zenon Caravella (24.Teeboy KAMARA 63-), 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Usucar (16.Spase Dilevski 46-)
Substitutes not used: 20.Mark Birighitti (gk) Yellow Cards: McKain 35-, Dilveski 73-, Djite 85- Red Cards: Nil
Gold Coast United line-up: 1.Glen Moss (gk) (20.Jerrad Tyson (gk) 69-), 3.Michael Thwaite (c), 5.Kristian Rees, 6.Paul Beekmans, 12.Dylan Macallister, 13.Ante Rozic, 14.Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 16.Maceo Rigters (23.Dylan McGowan 77-), 18.James Brown (28.Daniel Bowles 90+3-), 22.Peter Jungschlager
Substitutes not used: 17.Chris Harold Yellow Cards: Macallister 43-, Rozic 64-/76-, Thwaite 89- Red Cards: Rozic 76-