Three second half goals from Adelaide United secured the three points and third place on the Hyundai A-League ladder for the Reds, who ran out 3-2 winners of Central Coast Mariners on Sunday night.
With the match initially postponed due to scorching temperatures on the Central Coast, the two teams were gifted some extra time for their pre-match preparations.
Unfortunately, the heat that seemingly lingered over Central Coast Stadium took some of the shine off the latter stages of the opening 45 minutes in particular, both sides somewhat sluggish as the game wore on.
But the Reds were quick to settle, taking control of the initial proceedings and largely dominant with the ball at their feet. Guillermo Amor’s men, however, struggled to turn their superior possession into numerous clear-cut chances.
Sergio Cirio and Bruce Kamau were both lively on the flanks for United and both had opportunities to put their side in the lead during the first half, but a combination of strong Mariners defending and some misfortune ensured the hosts did not concede early.
The story wasn’t to be the same for the Reds, undone by a trademark Ferreira run on the right wing, which started fractions within his own half of the pitch. With acres of space to exploit, the Portuguese winger flew towards goal and calmly slotted in match’s opener past Eugene Galekovic.
Into the second half and proceedings followed much the same line as the first, United controlled possession but struggled to create many opportunities.
Less than ten minutes after the restart, though, the Reds were back on level terms when Isaias scored only his second goal for the Club in tremendous fashion. Bruce Djite won a free-kick on the edge of the box, which Isaias latched onto brilliantly, curling home into the far post.
After an immense amount of pressure from United, the Mariners looked destined to crumble, doing so eight minutes after conceding their first. George Mells put a deep, in-swinging cross in the direction of defender, Dylan McGowan, the No. 4 centring a cushioned header for Djite to convert into the roof of the net.
Into stoppage time, and after the Mariners went in desperate search for an equaliser, the Reds sealed the result through Stefan Mauk who cannoned an effort into the net, scoring his first goal for the Club in emphatic style.
Josh Bingham bundled home a late consolation goal for Central Coast even further into extra time, but United weren’t to be overcome.
Following the match, United Head Coach, Amor, said his side worked hard for the win that places the Reds in third position, but stated they’re not getting ahead of themselves and will continue to take each game as it comes.
“The first half was not good for us, after all the possession and chances that we had,” Amor said.
“Our team was very good, though, and we worked very hard with and without the ball.
“We had the control and the goals arrived, but it wasn’t easy.
“We’re confident and we’re hungry, but we’re not thinking about (first place). Today was a good game and we’re in a good position, but it’s game by game and we’re only thinking about our next game, now.
Sunday, 14 February 2016
Hyundai A-League Round 19
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Ferreira 32’ 90+4’ Bingham)
Adelaide United 3 (Isaias 54’ Djite 66’ 90+2’ Mauk)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium