Five-star Reds outclass AIS


A stunning first half has helped Adelaide United to a comprehensive 5-1 belting of the AIS in Sunday’s National Youth League clash at Burton Park.

A stunning first half has helped Adelaide United to a comprehensive 5-1 belting of the AIS in Sunday’s National Youth League clash at Burton Park.

Josh Barresi scored early after an uncharacteristic Jordan Elsey defensive blunder, but the Reds responded fiercely, with four goals in the space of 16 minutes stunning the visitors.

Evan Kostopoulos netted a brace to lead the home side’s charge.

AIS’s day started perfectly when, on seven minutes, Baresi picked United captain Elsey’s pocket in Adelaide’s defensive third and with only daylight separating him and Reds ‘keeper John Hall, closed in unmarked and coolly pushed it past the shot-stopper.

But Adelaide’s response was ferocious.

Miscommunication in the AIS defence saw United draw level in the 14th minute when Kostopoulos saw an opportunity to pounce after receiving a pass from striker Thomas Briscoe and scored, diving forward and ending up on his stomach.

Then 22 minutes in, Fabian Barbiero came agonisingly close to giving the home side the lead when his curling long-range strike was kept out by the diving, outstretched left glove of AIS custodian Lucas Spinella.

Moments later, with the resulting corner, Dion Kirk cracked a shot just wide.

Kostopoulos would not be denied though when, on 27 minutes, he netted his second from an acute angle, streaming down the right flank and thumping a low shot past Spinella.

Less than a minute later, Briscoe caught the visitors’ defence totally off-guard when he helped Adelaide net their third in rather fortunate style.

Briscoe’s miscue took a deflection off AIS’s Jeremy Tshongo, which wrong-footed Spinella, who watched on helplessly as the ball rolled past him, slowly into the back of the net for an own goal.

The destruction was not over just yet.

In the 30th minute, Briscoe capped an amazing quarter-hour of football when he nodded home the Reds’ fourth after being on the end of a perfect swinging cross from Allan Welsh.

Barbiero almost made it five in the half when his 40th-minute effort flew inches wide to the left.

Thoroughly outclassed and trailing 4-1 at half-time, AIS, led by skipper Scott Galloway, showed renewed ticker after the interval, but never looked like making any inroads.

United faced tougher resistance in the second half as the opportunities dried up.

Adelaide substitute John Karatzas’s headed goal in the 75th minute following a rebound off a Spinella save capped a superb day at the office for the hosts, who were ruthless and aggressive in notching their first win of the season.

“We were very happy with the improvement from last week’s performance in that we dominated the game for long periods of time, keeping possession and creating many chances which resulted in goals,” Reds Coach Michael Valkanis said.

“Our organisation in regards to how we defend as a unit was better and we improved in our pressing which created turnovers in our attacking half putting AIS under pressure.”

“Another positive was actually taking our chances, scoring goals and being aggressive in attack and also in regaining possession throughout the match.”

Adelaide United 5 (Kostopoulos 14’/27′, Tshongo 28′ (og), Briscoe 30′, Karatzas 75′)
AIS 1 (Barresi 8′)

Adelaide United: 1. John Hall, 2. Fabian Barbiero (6. Jake Monaco 62), 3. Jordan Elsey (c), 4. Jake Barker-Daish, 5. Scott Nagel, 8. Thomas Briscoe, 10. Dion Kirk (7. Liam Wooding 54), 11. Evan Kostopoulos, 12, Allan Welsh, 14. Awer Mabil (9. John Karatzas 62), 15. Jacob Melling

AIS: 5. Matthew Schmidt, 6. Matthew Ntoumenopoulos (21. Jordan Pudler 60), 8. Joshua Barresi, 9. Todd Norris (25. Mark Ochieng 61), 13. Jeremy Tshongo, 14. Jack Iredale, 15. Scott Galloway (c), 18. Alexander Gersbach, 22. Liam Rose, 23. Marc Marino (24. Dylan Smith 60), 30. Lucas Spinella

Image courtesy of Adam Butler