Valiant Young Reds unable to complete comeback

The Adelaide United Youth Team fell to Adelaide Olympic 2-1 in Round 22 of the National Premier League on Saturday.

Early goals from Joshua Mori and Adelaide Olympic’s Fausto Erba had the game level until a penalty taken by Sean Brennan finalised the result for three points. Despite the defeat, the Adelaide United Youth Team retain their place in the National Premier League holding ninth place. 

Two teams with equal passion to remain in South Australia’s elite football league was shown as soon as the game started. The Young Reds looked the first of the two sides to score, due to a few chances created.

A flick pass from Riley McGree was headed towards Dylan Smith, but Olympic defence was too strong and in another attempt, Johnny Koutroumbis looked promising inside the box but was denied.

It only took seven minutes for Adelaide Olympic to capitalise, as Matthew Bouzalas’ accurate corner found a free Erba to powerfully strike the ball into the back of the net from distance.

Three minutes later it was Adelaide United in attack mode, as Blake Carpenter made a run down the wing and passed to Alec Maiolo, but was deflected off Olympic defence for a corner. Mori rose through the air to header the ball towards goal, and was rewarded.

A corner then came for Olympic, as it gave Erba another chance to repeat the likes of his first goal, but was denied by Paul Wilson. In the 13th minute, Carpenter crossed inside the box, and due to a deflection, another corner was awarded.

Mori also searched for his second goal, but his show flew over Gino De Lucia’s goal.

25 minutes in, Carpenter flew high to reach the ball with an excellent header towards Ryan Strain, but was caught offside with a clear chance on goal.

Olympic were fouled inside the penalty box, and were granted the spot-kick. Brennan converted and beat John Hall, which gave his team the lead in the 27th minute.

Smith and Strain produced opportunities to level the score line once more before half-time but could not surpass. As the second half commenced more chances were created, but neither team were able to convert.

10' | GOALLL #AUFC: Josh Mori gets one back with a lovely header! All level again #AUvAO #NPLSA

— Adelaide United YT (@aufc_YouthTeam) August 13, 2016

Near the hour mark, Olympic received another penalty, in which Hall remarkably saved as he dived across for the ball. Koutroumbis came close to equalise again, his promising shot looked to swerve past De Lucia but the Olympic keeper came off his line to catch the ball. 

Following the match, United Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, was pleased his side retained their spot in the league, but was disappointed that they had to fight for a spot, as the team was good enough to be a top six side.

“It was a good goal by Josh Mori to get us back, but we conceded goals through set pieces which was disappointing as we should have easily defended the first goal,” Jones said. “It just came down to being disciplined and execute for 90 minutes.

“I’m disappointed that we had to play being careful of relegation, when we should have been top six. 

“We had a team that was good enough and who played good football in many periods, but it was the fact they didn’t play for 90 minutes in some games that we weren’t in the top six.

“Next season we will look to go one better, and the goal will be to finish top six,” Jones continued. “It has been a good but tough season for the team, but we’ve stood up against some top teams."