Strong second-half catapults Young Reds past Eagles
A dominant second-half display has given Adelaide United Youth a 3-0 win over West Torrens Birkalla at Adelaide Shores Football Centre in Round 20 of the National Premier League SA on Sunday.
It was a largely insipid first 45 but the game sprung to life following the re-start as Paul Wilson, Carlo Armiento and Aladin Irabona all etched their names on the scoresheet.
Chances were hard to come by for both sides, particularly for the Young Reds, who struggled to penetrate Birkalla’s organised defensive line.
But as both teams returned to the drawing board at half-time, Paul Pezos’ men came out by far the superior outfit, asserting their dominance early on.
And they broke the deadlock four minutes after the interval through an unlikely source in Wilson.
The centre-back rose highest to head home a short corner involving Jai King-Byrne and Armiento with the latter’s inviting cross proving inch-perfect.
United’s relentless pressure again paid off with Pacifique Niyongabire winning a penalty after a Birkalla defender tried to tackle the speedster but instead handled the ball as he slid through.
Armiento nonchalantly dispatched the subsequent penalty past the gloveman on the hour mark, doubling Adelaide’s advantage.
With Birkalla’s season on the line as they sit at the bottom of the table, the game began to open up.
However, despite the Eagles’ desperation to claw their way back into the clash they failed to trouble Isaac Richards in goal.
Adelaide wrapped up the three points through a piece of individual brilliance from Irabona approaching stoppage time.
The utility received the ball one-on-one with his opposite number before shifting it onto his left side and unleashing a stunning drive into the top left corner.
The result consolidates fifth spot on the table and a maiden finals berth very much in the Young Reds’ destiny with two matches left in the regular season.
Adelaide hosts West Adelaide at Smith Partners Stadium this Sunday.
49’ | GOAL! Wilson heads in Armiento’s accurate cross from a short corner to open the scoring.
51’ | Wilson almost nets a second when his header from a corner is saved by the Birkalla ‘keeper.
58’ | PENALTY! Dribbling into the area, Niyongabire wins a penalty after the West Torrens defender handles the ball from his attempted sliding challenge.
60’ | GOAL! Armiento slots the penalty in emphatic fashion into the bottom right corner.
90’ | GOAL! Taras Gomulka plays Irabona beats his defender by quickly moving the ball to his left side and his impressive effort sees the back-of-the-net bulge after picking out the corner.
West Torrens Birkalla 0
Adelaide United 3