Adelaide United defeated local National Premier League side MetroStars 3-1 at Taperoo Reserve on Tuesday night in new Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek’s first game in charge.
Roland Alberg, who is currently on trial with the Club, opened the scoring for the Reds, before goals from George Blackwood and Kusini Yengi ensured Adelaide would come away victorious.
Verbeek named a strong line-up to begin the pre-season friendly with goalkeeper Paul Izzo protected by a defensive quartet of Ryan Strain, Michael Marrone, Michael Jakobsen, and Ryan Kitto.
Mirko Boland, Riley McGree and Nathan Konstandopoulos featured in midfield while Nikola Mileusnić, Ben Halloran and trialist Alberg played in attack.
Adelaide were lively early on and played at a very high tempo, with the likes of McGree and Boland combining well with quick passes.
But Adelaide struggled to break through at times with that killer ball, while Metro threatened in transition. However, in the 31st minute Alberg struck.
Mileusnić played in the Dutchman who clinically toe-poked his effort past the goalkeeper.
A lightning counter attack on the stroke of half-time almost saw Adelaide double their lead after a nervous moment in defence.
McGree latched on to a long ball and despite being initially impeded he kept his feet to evade his opponent before squaring to Boland, whose chipped attempt was smothered away.
Wholesale changes were made at half-time with 11 new faces entering the fray, the majority deriving from the Club’s Youth Team. Daniel Marguš lined up in goal, while the back four consisted of Kristin Konstandopoulos, Yared Abetew, Cooper Nunn and Noah Smith.
Louis D’Arrigo anchored the midfield with a two-man pivot of Yengi and Lachlan Brook just in front. Carlo Armiento, Blackwood and Pacifique Niyongabire rounded out the attacking trio.
It took some time before the Reds found some fluency about their play, and Metro took full advantage off a set-piece which was headed in by defender, Lachlan Barr.
United did not have to wait long to re-take the lead after Blackwood was blatantly taken down in the box. He confidently dispatched the subsequent penalty on 75 minutes before limping off with an apparent injury.
Young Reds attacker, Yengi then made it 3-1 three minutes from time when he rifled his near-post drive off the underside of the crossbar following an aerial ball from Brook, capping off a decent first performance from Adelaide.
Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Adelaide United 3 (Alberg 31’ Blackwood 75’ (P) Yengi 87’)
MetroStars 1 (Barr 67’)
Venue: Taperoo Reserve