An early goal from Pablo Sanchez has guided Adelaide United to their first win of the season, the Reds hanging on to claim a 1-0 result against Perth Glory on Sunday evening.
In a match that saw kick-off at Coopers Stadium delayed 2.5 hours due to soaring temperatures in Adelaide, it was the Reds’ reinstated players that applied the blowtorch.
Sanchez, who was named in the eleven in place of the suspended Craig Goodwin, netted the decisive goal with just two minutes on the clock and was ably supported by Marcelo Carrusca, who was handed his first start in four matches.
The Glory were not without their chances, with Sidnei Sciola, Diego Castro and Richard Garcia all guilty of spurning strong chances in front of goal.
1-0 Sanchez (3’) - With the match just two minutes old Pablo Sanchez had the home fans out of their seats. An innocuous ball forward from Michael Marrone down the right channel was not dealt with by Antony Golec and Sanchez was on hand to take advantage. The Spaniard controlled the ball before calmly dinking it over the onrushing Ante Covic from five yards out to open the scoring.
The Reds almost repeated the dose just after the half hour mark. This time it was goalscorer Sanchez turning provider, as he found Carrusca in space down the right flank. The Argentine raced onto the ball and tried to chip Covic but the Glory keeper was awake to the threat, deflecting the shot behind for a corner. The Glory turned defence into attack from the set-piece, going the length of the field in no time. Castro was left with a one-on-one chance with Galekovic but shot straight at the United skipper.
Ante Covic kept his side in the contest in the shadows of half-time when a quick counter from Adelaide saw Sergio Cirio weave his way towards goal. It looked for all money the Spaniard would double his side’s advantage but the Glory gloveman came up with a clutch save.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
Pablo Sanchez has now scored in five straight Hyundai A-League matches at Coopers Stadium.
Last year’s Westfield FFA Cup finalists had claimed just one win between them this season – when Glory beat the Reds back in Round 3. Adelaide squaring the ledger on their home patch.
Adelaide United are now unbeaten in six Hyundai A-League home matches against the Glory (W4 D2).
Glory’s defending for the early goal would have had Kenny Lowe pulling out what little hair he has left. The visitors had Antony Golec and Marc Warren back to deal with a long ball but the pair were too casual and seemed to get in each other’s way allowing Sanchez to pounce.
THE FINAL WORD
Adelaide United’s first league win under Guillermo Amor sees them leapfrog Perth on their way off the bottom of the ladder.
The Reds will hope they’ve turned the corner and can now look forward to finding out their Asian Champions League fate, with the draw for their qualifier set to take place this week.
Perth’s abysmal record against Adelaide continued but they only have their finishing to blame as their season stooped further into the mire.
Adelaide United: Galekovic (gk) (c), Marrone, McGowan, Elsey, Elrich, Isaias, Jeggo, Carrusca, Cirio (Dugandzic 89’), Pablo Sanchez (Mells 85’), Djite (Kamau 72’)
Perth Glory: Covic (gk), Ferreira, Thwaite, Golec, Warren, Sandor (Oxborrow 83'), Castro (Reiners 80’), Marinkovic, Garcia (c), Sidnei (Gligor 90’), Harold
Scorers: Sanchez 3’
Red cards: nil
Yellow cards: McGowan 8’, Harold 23’, Elsey 57', Carrusca 83’
Conditions: 33°C, humid