Reds win seven-goal thriller after Konstandopoulos’ stunning strike


Adelaide United has recorded a pulsating 4-3 win against Western United at Whitten Oval on Australia Day.

Defensively both sides were found wanting in the end-to-end contest with plenty of chances, but it was the Reds who edged their opponents for the second straight game to move back into fifth place.

Adelaide raced to a 3-1 lead after 18 minutes thanks to a brace from Nikola Mileusnić and a Riley McGree goal.

Besart Berisha netted his second just before the interval before Alessandro Diamanti restored parity early in the second-half.

Super-sub Nathan Konstandopoulos then slotted the winner with an emphatic long-range attempt on 79 minutes.

There was just the one enforced change to the starting line-up that beat Melbourne Victory last weekend. Gertjan Verbeek recalled James Troisi from injury for his first game back in three matches, while Kristian Opseth was unavailable due to an adductor complaint.

It was a frantic start which saw the hosts probe early through Berisha and Diamanti.

After riding the early pressure Adelaide drew first blood courtesy of a brilliant run from George Blackwood.

His cross from the byline was parried by Filip Kurto but only as far as Mileusnić, who kept his composure on 9 minutes.

Berisha, who marked his 200th Hyundai A-League appearance with a double, equalised after dispatching a tantalising strike.

Parity was only fleeting though, after Mileusnić scored his second and fifth league goal of the campaign, sliding in to convert Blackwood’s unselfish squared pass from Troisi’s initial through ball.

McGree then got involved in the action as he bagged his eighth league goal, after being assisted by Ben Halloran.

The helter-skelter nature of the game continued with both sides struggling to retain possession and keep their structure.

And in the 43rd minute, Berisha again found the net against Adelaide with an impressive volley from Connor Pain’s cross.

Diamanti levelled proceedings, profiting from some sloppy play from the Reds in their own half.

Adelaide remained dangerous on the counter-attack and Verbeek summoned Konstandopoulos for more energy in midfield.

His introduction proved an inspired substitution as he settled the tie with a mesmerising hit from outside the area.

United held on for the three points in their inaugural competitive meeting against Western United.

 

Key moments:

9’ | GOAL! Blackwood skips past his opponent and his cross is parried by Kurto to Mileusnić and his side-foot finish beats the goalkeeper.

Nikola Mileusnić opens the scoring with a calm finish.

12’ | GOAL: Berisha is found by Burgess following a surging run and he controls and scores with a thumping left-footed strike.

15’ | GOAL! Mileusnić notches his second after a sensational move which involves Troisi and Blackwood.

Nikola Mileusnić bags a quick-fire brace following an incisive attacking move.

18’ | GOAL! Halloran’s cut-back is controlled by McGree and his shot which takes a slight deflection in unable to be kept out by Kurto.

Riley McGree scores his eighth goal of the year and 11th in all competitions.

43’ | GOAL: Pain’s cross is met by a diving Berisha just before half-time.

54’ | GOAL: Diamanti capitalises on a Reds defensive mix up, sets himself and his curling effort nestles in the inside of the upright.

79’ | GOAL! Konstandopoulos bends a superb strike into the far corner from outside the box for the lead.

Nathan Konstandopoulos bags the winner off the bench with his first Hyundai A-League goal of the season

Match details:

Sunday, 26 January 2020
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season – Round 16
Western United 3 (Berisha 12’ 43’ Diamanti 54’)
Adelaide United 4 (Mileusnić 9’ 15’ McGree 18’ Konstandopoulos 79’)
Venue: Whitten Oval