Reds hit Glory for six
Adelaide United crushed Perth Glory 6-2 in the National Youth League clash between the two sides at Burton Park on Saturday.
Adelaide United have crushed Perth Glory 6-2 in the National Youth League clash between the two sides at Burton Park on Saturday.
In a electrifying contest that was ignited by a dramatic and stunning first half that produced a controversial red card, two penalties and five goals, Perth were dominated by an Adelaide outfit sporting no fewer than six senior players.
Exiled striker Sergio van Dijk, who scored a brace, defenders Daniel Bowles and Antony Golec, and midfielders Zenon Caravella and Jacob Melling all featured in the rout.
Forgotten man Jon McKain also made his first appearance in United colours this season after recovering from a leg injury sustained earlier in the campaign, and got through the full 90 minutes unscathed.
Beyond van Dijk's double, Melling and exciting youngsters Awer Mabil, Liam Wooding and Thomas Briscoe all added their name to the scoresheet which ballooned to 4-1 at half-time.
Goal-scoring machine Ndumba Makeche scored both for the visitors.
The Glory raced to an early lead inside 40 seconds when Makeche tapped in from point blank range after Riley Woodcock's dangerous cross from the left created a goal mouth scramble.
The Zambian striker almost doubled his account moments later after he broke clear following a long ball over United's back-four, but Baby Reds goalkeeper John Hall saved brilliantly at ground level with his legs.
With Perth in the ascendency, Adelaide hit back against the run of play to equalise through Mabil on eight minutes.
Van Dijk's powerful strike from 30 yards was only parried into the path of Wooding who cut the ball back to Mabil for a simple finish.
The visitors tried to wrestle back momentum but suffered a game-changing setback when they were reduced to 10 men in the 20th minute after a deliberate handball on the line to block an Adelaide header from a corner.
Van Dijk stepped up and slotted the penalty comfortably to regain the lead for the hosts.
The Baby Reds extended their advantage 15 minutes later following a clever build-up from Golec and Dion Kirk down the left wing.
The duo worked a one-two before Golec squared a ball across the middle of the park to Wooding who buried a side footed shot from outside the box into the bottom left corner of the net.
Adelaide capped off a spectacular first half of play with a fourth goal when Melling converted a second spot-kick after Bowles had been clipped from behind in the box following a menacing run that tore through the middle of Perth's defence.
Perth's thrashing continued just minutes after the break when the impressive Golec set up van Dijk for his second.
The towering defender whipped a ball to the back post where van Dijk feinted to shoot before shifting the ball onto his left and blasting home.
Attempting to salvage a respectable score-line for his side, Woodcock burst forward again from defence on 70 minutes and cut through the middle to release Makeche in behind United's defence with a clever through ball.
Makeche was composed as he rounded Hall and placed his shot in the bottom corner.
Briscoe rounded out the trouncing late in proceedings to lift Adelaide above the Glory into sixth position on the table.
Adelaide United: 6 (Mabil 8, van Dijk 20/55, Wooding 35, Melling 45, Briscoe 85) Perth Glory: 2 (Makeche 1/70)