Reds progress to last 16 with 5-2 win over Knights
A free-flowing display from defending champions Adelaide United has produced a 5-2 win over Melbourne Knights to advance to the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 16.
A Ben Halloran brace and goals from debutant Alhassan Toure, Nathan Konstandopoulos and Riley McGree ultimately sealed the Reds’ passage into the next round for a fifth time on Wednesday night at Knights Stadium.
Gertjan Verbeek named a strong starting line-up in his first official game at the helm of the Reds, utilising a 4-3-3 formation. New signing Michaël Maria was handed his debut on the wing, as to youngster Toure, who received his first senior appearance and entrusted to lead the line in attack after impressive displays with the Young Reds. Centre-back Michael Jakobsen was also given the Captain’s armband.
Adelaide began the brighter of the two sides and dictated possession and the tempo of the game before Toure opened the scoring.
Halloran squared a pass for the 19-year-old, who kept his composure after a heavy touch to bury his low shot into the bottom corner.
Twelve minutes later, Halloran doubled the advantage when he clinically rounded the Knights goalkeeper.
However, the hosts deservingly pulled a goal back after Mohamed Awad’s strike rattled the crossbar and turned in by Gian Albano on the follow up.
Verbeek’s side gathered themselves at the break and by the hour mark found themselves 4-1 ahead.
Konstandopoulos, on his 50th Reds appearance, saw a thumping finish crash in off the underside of the crossbar, before McGree got the final touch from Mirko Boland’s strike.
Ayden Brice halved the deficit for Melbourne after his free header from a short corner beat Paul Izzo in the 72nd minute.
But three minutes later Halloran netted his second and United's fifth after playing a one-two with Toure which saw the 27-year-old guide his finish into the onion bag.
12’ | GOAL! 0-1. Toure keeps his composure to slot his finish into the bottom corner.
24’ | GOAL! 0-2. Halloran is released by Ryan Kitto and rounds Jordan Gifkins to score into an empty net.
28’ | GOAL: 1-2. Albano is quickest to react from Awad’s strike hitting the post.
56’ | GOAL! 1-3. A mistake opens up for Toure and his shot is blocked but the rebound is emphatically dispatched off the crossbar by Konstandopoulos.
60’ | GOAL! 1-4. McGree appears gets the final touch, deflecting in Boland’s low shot.
72’ | GOAL! 2-4. Brice is left unmarked and heads home from a short corner.
75’ | GOAL! 2-5. Toure and Halloran combine with the latter steering his finish into the net.
Wednesday, 7 August 2019
FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32
Melbourne Knights 2 (Albano 28’, Brice 72’)
Adelaide United 5 (Toure 14’, Halloran 24’ 75’, N. Konstandopoulos 56’, McGree 60’)
Venue: Knights Stadium