A tidy finish from Ryan Kitto has given Adelaide United a 1-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Boxing Day.
Kitto’s 14th minute strike and team-leading fifth of the season proved to be the difference on the evening.
Marco Kurz made three alterations to the starting XI which lost to Newcastle Jets last round. Suspended duo Ben Garuccio and Daniel Adlung replaced Michael Marrone and Nathan Konstandopoulos respectively, while Taylor Regan received his first start since the opening day of the campaign replacing Ersan Gülüm, who was unavailable due to the accumulation of five yellow cards.
The Reds began with more intensity and that showed in the opening minutes of proceedings.
And Kitto deservedly broke the deadlock when he finished off a wonderful passing move by getting in front of two defenders to steer in Ryan Strain’s cross.
The 23-year-old almost bagged a brace when his header was repelled off the line, before the Mariners began to look threatening, particularly on the counter-attack.
However, the hosts carried a 1-0 advantage into the break in what was a fair reflection of the clash.
After the re-start, both sides appeared to throw numbers forward, creating an end-to-end feel to clash.
However, chances were largely few and far between in the second stanza as the Reds held on for the three points to climb into fourth place in the league standings.
14’ | GOAL! After a neat interchange of passing involving Nikola Mileusnic and Strain on the right wing, the latter swings in a low cross which is poked home by Kitto on the six-yard box.
21’ | Paul Izzo dives low to his right denying Kwabena Appiah-Kubi’s dipping shot.
23’ | Izzo is again immediately called into action and this time parries clear Andrew Hoole’s audacious attempt to catch him out from a crossing set-piece.
25’ | Kitto almost grabs his second of the evening when his header off a corner is cleared off the line by Josh Rose.
28’ | A short corner routine sees Mileusnic execute a thumping drive but it is straight at gloveman Kennedy.
45’+3’ | In the last play of the first period, Mileusnic heads down Garuccio’s cross to Kitto, and his effort is well saved by Kennedy.
75’ | Connor Pain finds space inside the box before firing a decent strike, forcing Izzo into a routine save.
Tuesday, 26 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 12
Adelaide United 1 (Kitto 14’)
Central Coast Mariners 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium