Adelaide United FC’s decision to accept the offer to host a Gold Coast United home game has paid dividends as the Reds secured a confidence building 2-1 victory at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United FC-s decision to accept the offer to host a Gold Coast United home game has paid dividends as the Reds secured a confidence building 2-1 victory over their ‘United- counterparts at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The Reds made the most of the chance to play an additional game in front of their loyal supporters. All of the goals came in the second half, Zenon Caravella scoring against his former side in the 57th minute. However his joy was short lived when his wicked deflection from a James Brown shot beat a typically impenetrable Eugene Galekovic in the Reds goal to level the scores.
But knowing full well the importance of picking up all three points, the Reds then hit back two minutes later courtesy of a fine finish from Iain Ramsay, before some resolute defending ensured the result was safely in Adelaide-s keeping.
The only concern for Adelaide United on an otherwise positive night was the calf injury to Sergio van Dijk, the reigning Golden Boot winner forced from the field after just 36 minutes.
On the flipside, defender Nigel Boogaard made a successful return, lasting almost the full 90 minutes in his first Hyundai A-League game back since ankle surgery.
After a moving Remembrance Day ceremony prior to kick-off, it was all the Reds in the opening 20 minutes. Dario Vidosic forced Gold Coast keeper Glen Moss to tip over his looping header from a searching van Dijk cross in the 7th minute, however from a host of early corners, the Reds could not find a goal for all their dominance.
Last season, Gold Coast lost eight of 12 games after conceding the opening goal and maybe that was brought to the Reds- attention as they hunted for the opening goal but they would be left frustrated in a scoreless first 45 minutes.
The game came to life after the restart, Cassio rifling a shot narrowly wide of the target in the 48th minute and then going even closer when his chip almost caught Moss out, the keeper doing just enough to tip it over the bar.
The increasing pressure then finally saw Gold Coast crack just before the hour mark when slick interplay between Cassio and Ramsay led to the ball being fired across the goal face.
A sliding Vidosic could not get on the end of it, but his presence was enough to attract Moss, the ball falling out to an unmarked Caravella at the far post and he made the most of the opening to find the back of the net.
Ramsay had a great chance to give the Reds some breathing space, but Moss reeled off a fine save to deny the exciting young winger, while at the other end, a sharp Galekovic was needed to prevent a Dylan Macallister header from making its way over the goal line.
There was nothing Galekovic could do about Gold Coast-s equaliser though as Brown-s shot deflected off Caravella, the game in the balance once more.
But the lead was quickly restored when Ramsay, who again proved a spark on the left hand side, cut onto his non preferred right foot to angle a shot past Moss into the far corner of the net, the goal just deserves for the speedster.
With the lead in their grasp, the Reds were made to absorb another Gold Coast fight back, the most nervous moment coming when Galekovic managed to get enough of a glove onto a stinging Ben Halloran shot to parry the ball onto the post.
For his impressive performance, Ramsay was named the recipient of the Tomas Dale Medal, which was awarded to the player who showed the most outstanding sportsmanship in light of Remembrance Day.
“I-m very happy with the three points, that-s what we needed. I was especially happy with the boys with how hard they-ve worked in the past weeks and I think it was a deserved win,” Head Coach Rini Coolen said of the performance.
“Of course we prefer still to play better, but it-s a step in the right direction, working so hard as a team, getting the points that we needed and that-s what we need to build up our confidence.”
The Reds will now prepare to head across the Tasman to face the Wellington Phoenix at Auckland-s Eden Park next Saturday.
Match Details Gold Coast United 1 (James Brown 66) Adelaide United FC 2 (Caravella 57-, Ramsay 68-) Referee: Chris Beath Crowd: 6,368 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 3.Nigel Boogaard (5.Daniel Mullen 89-), 4.Jon McKain (c), 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 9.Sergio Van Dijk (23.Andy Slory 36-), 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite (16.Spase Dilevski 78-), 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 21.Francisco Usucar
Substitutes not used: 39.Nick Munro (gk) Yellow Cards: Cassio 5-, McKain 50-, Djite 56- Red Cards: Nil
Gold Coast United line-up: 1.Glen Moss (gk), 3.Michael Thwaite (c), 5.Kristian Rees, 6.Paul Beekmans, 8.Robson (16.Maceo Rigters 58-), 12.Dylan Macallister (29.Mitch Bevan 71-), 14.Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 18.James Brown, 22.Peter Jungschlager, 23.Dylan McGowan (4.Zac Anderson 87-)
Substitutes not used: 20.Jerrad Tyson (gk) Yellow Cards: Halloran 17-, Traore 22- Red Cards: Nil