Adelaide smash AIS

An Evan Kostopoulos brace has helped Adelaide United hand the AIS a 5-1 drubbing in Saturday’s National Youth League clash at Burton Park.

An Evan Kostopoulos brace has helped Adelaide United hand the AIS a 5-1 drubbing in Saturday’s National Youth League clash at Burton Park.

The Baby Reds started with a flurry, finding the back of the net twice inside the first eight minutes, through a combination of some good fortune (through Kostopoulos) and sheer class (Ricardo Da Silva).

Two further strikes early in the second half saw United march to a massive four-goal buffer.

The AIS pegged one of those back when midfielder Stefan Mauk goaled in the 68th minute, before Nicholas Mavromatis replied in the 83rd to add icing to the cake in what was expected to be a close contest.

It was easily Adelaide’s best victory of the season, comfortably eclipsing their 3-1 victory over Brisbane at Cleveland Showgrounds way back in October, while the AIS slid to their fourth straight defeat and their second four-goal belting in as many matches after last week’s 4-0 loss to Central Coast.

The Baby Reds’ dream start saw Kostopoulos, in just the second minute, manoeuvre his way behind the AIS defence on the left corridor and push one across the face of goal from an acute angle.

His dangerous ball rolled right by the end-line and with AIS custodian Andre Jannese out of the frame, left-back Ben Warland tried for a goal-line clearance, but his desperate attempt failed.

A minute later, Mauk very nearly slotted a quick reply when his shot along the carpet beat United gloveman John Hall but could only trickle gently into the right post.

Danger man Kostopoulos got behind the visitors once more in the sixth minute, but his chipped shot just missed to the right after he executed a turnover following a careless AIS back-pass to Jannese.

Adelaide made it 2-0 when over-age Portuguese midfielder Da Silva hammered a stinging hit from the penalty box arc from a free kick in the eighth minute.

His fierce blow – which came as a result of Ian Kamau being felled just outside the 18-yard box – left the bewildered AIS defenders and keeper with absolutely no chance.

Such a frenetic opening was always going to be difficult to sustain, especially in the dry heat which forced a number of players – particularly from the AIS camp – to cramp up at various times throughout the afternoon.

The Baby Reds bossed the majority of the first half and Ricardo almost clocked a brace on the stroke of half-time when, all alone outside the box, he unloaded a full-throttled strike which crashed into the right-hand upright.

Adelaide’s third score came shortly after the interval when Kenyan rookie Awer Mabil, who had been on the park for all of 90 seconds after substituting in for Kamau, streamed in with pace to burn from the right-hand side and his burst was too good for Janesse to make it 3-0 in the 47th minute.

Janesse, who had a dirty day, was in the wars in the 58th minute when he was dispossessed at ground level by Kostopoulos who bunted in the easiest of goals for United’s fourth.

Ten minutes later, Mauk, who was one of the AIS’s better players, pick pocketed Jonathon Mavromatis just outside the penalty area, got behind Adelaide’s defence and sneaked one past Baby Reds keeper Paul Izzo for the visitors’ only joy of the day.

Nicholas Mavromatis ensured the joy was short-lived for the AIS when he nailed an open goal past the outstretched Jannese, after receiving a nice chip pass from Kostopoulos who momentarily switched from finisher to playmaker to cap a fine afternoon.

Adelaide United 5 (Kostopoulos 2, 58, Ricardo 8, Mabil 47, N. Mavromatis 83)
AIS 1 (Mauk 68)
@ Burton Park, 04/02/2012