Adelaide United’s winning start to its pre-season campaign remained intact after a 2-0 win over local National Premier League side Adelaide Olympic at Marden Sports Complex on Wednesday night.
It was a hard-fought contest for much of the 90 minutes as Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and Carlo Armiento both etched their names on the scoresheet for a second consecutive week.
Head Coach, Marco Kurz, handed new signing Mirko Boland his Reds debut and already showed promise in the United midfield alongside Isaías and Nathan Konstandopoulos during the first-half.
The German’s qualities were palpable from the outset as his deft touches enabled him to manoeuvre out of tight spaces, while also circulating the ball with crisp passes as well as demonstrating a knack of getting forward.
The Reds started the match on the front foot as the likes of Craig Goodwin and Ryan Strain received a lot of the ball on their respective flanks.
Isaías almost found an opening when his free-kick flew inches over the bar.
Adelaide continued to dictate terms and retain possession; camping in Olympic’s half but failing to muster any clear-cut chances.
Thirty minutes into proceedings, Olympic almost caused a scare with Mamadi Kamara’s powerful, dipping shot parried by gloveman, Paul Izzo but into the path of Fausto Erba though his stretching effort landed astray.
United also looked dangerous on the break and following an Olympic corner, the Reds exploited their opponent’s lack of defensive cover. Goodwin went on a surging 40-metre run and fed an unmarked Boland on the right flank, but his curling shot, from the edge of the 18-yard box was caught by the goalkeeper.
Kurz made several alterations to his side after the interval, however it did not appear to affect the team’s rhythm.
Stamatelopoulos was left free at the back post from a deep cross and fired a blistering drive, only for it to ricochet off the crossbar.
But the striker would not be denied a second time a minute later, as they took the lead just over the hour mark. Vince Lia recycled a ball back into the area which Stamatelopoulos was equal to, and his header nestled into the far corner.
A number of United Youth boys were given minutes to impress and they did not disappoint with Pacifique Niyongabire and Carlo Armiento in particular making an impact.
Niyongabire was lively and combined dynamism with skill in advanced areas and Armiento again found the ability to be in the right place at the right time to double Adelaide’s advantage.
The versatile forward had the final say with the last kick of the game as he clinically converted Niyongabire’s cross from the right.
It was a solid display from the Reds and the ideal preparation ahead of this Wednesday’s FFA Cup Round of 32 clash against Central Coast Mariners.
Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Adelaide United 2 (Stamatelopoulos 62’ Armiento 90’)
Adelaide Olympic 0
Venue: Marden Sports Complex