Hat-trick Hiro fires Adelaide to stunning 4-3 win over Sydney FC

A brilliant hat-trick from Hiroshi Ibusuki made it a Unite Round to remember for Adelaide United as the Reds defeated Sydney FC 4-3 at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC came flying out of the blocks on their home turf and took the lead in the 7th minute when Anthony Caceres steered his effort past the on-rushing James Delianov.

But Adelaide dominated the rest of the half and two goals from Hiroshi Ibusuki had the Reds 2-1 in front before Nestory Irankunda made it 3-1 with the last kick of the first half.

Ibusuki then sealed his hat-trick with a brilliant header after the break before two goals from Joe Lolley had fans on the edge of their seats at the death but Adelaide held on for their first win in four matches.

Sydney roared into life at Allianz Stadium, calling Adelaide keeper James Delianov into two saves inside the first minute of play.

First it was Joe Lolley stinging Delianov’s palms, with his spillage and the resulting clearance leading to Corey Hollman taking possession and striking from the edge of the area. Delianov got down low to gather as the Reds survived the early onslaught.

But the Sky Blues went on to break the deadlock just six minutes later. Rhyan Grant, lining up at left-back, played a deft through ball into space behind Adelaide’s defence for Caceres to take in his stride. Caceres closed the angle to shoot with his first touch but poked the ball past Delianov with his second to find the bottom-right corner.

Fabio Gomes had scored four goals in three games prior to Saturday night’s clash with Adelaide – and he should have extended that scoring streak when gifted a glorious opportunity to make it 2-0 in the 12th minute.

Hollman won the ball off Jonny Yull high up the pitch, feeding Caceres who put the ball on a plate for Fabio to strike, with only defender Alexandar Popovic in his way; the Brazilian’s first-time attempt ballooned over the crossbar.

Adelaide went on to make Fabio pay dearly for the wasted chance. Ibusuki made it 1-1 in the 24th minute with a tap-in after Ben Halloran’s ball to the back post in a clinical move through midfield and into the penalty area from Carl Veart’s side.

But Ibusuki wasn’t done yet; the Japanese striker had a brace before the break and his second goal of the half was converted with class.

Halloran provided the assist once more with a header nodded back into Ibusuki’s path, and after one touch to control the Reds striker cut past Zac De Jesus with a fake shot and dispatched the ball past Andrew Redmayne off his weaker left foot.

Deep into first-half stoppage time, Irankunda put Adelaide two goals clear. There was confusion in the immediate aftermath of his strike as Grant attempted to clear off the goal line but after a brief delay, referee Alex King pointed to the centre circle to confirm Adelaide’s third first-half goal would stand.

Irankunda delivered his signature backflip celebration before the whistle blew to bring an end to a four-goal first half in which Adelaide first trailed, before forging a 3-1 lead.

The Bayern Munich-bound teenager was soon causing Sydney problems again in the second half, this time sprinting clear of Luke Brattan before firing his left footed shot straight at Andrew Redmayne.

Introduced in the 62nd minute, Max Burgess attempted to claw Sydney back into the game but his left footed effort curled narrowly past the far post and before long Adelaide were out of sight.

A delicious whipped cross from Zach Clough was met by the towering Hiroshi Ibusuki who sent a fine header past Andrew Redmayne to seal his hat-trick with what was his last touch of the game before being substituted.

The goal fest continued as Joe Lolley reduced the deficit to two after firing home from close range in the 76th minute to make it 4-2.

The Englishman then bagged his second and Sydney’s third in stoppage time to set up a grandstand finish at Allianz Stadium but Carl Veart’s side would hold on to secure their first win in four matches.

The star

It can only be Hiroshi Ibusuki.

The Japanese has struggled at times this season but his performance at Allianz Stadium was right out of the top drawer and his Head Coach believes that type of performance was coming, especially since they switched to playing two strikers.

While the first was a tap-in to round off a fantastic team move his second showcased his fabulous technique, as he sent Sydney’s Zac De Jesus the wrong way before supplying a clinical finish past Andrew Redmayne. The third was as good a header as you will see this season.

It’s unlikely Ibusuki will produce another performance as good as this this season but if he can get close to it then there’s a very good chance Adelaide will be a force to be reckoned with come the end of the campaign.

What it means

Conceding that third Sydney FC goals meant the Reds actually dropped back down to fifth on the ladder and now sit below the Mariners on Goal Difference.

Adelaide now have a week off after opting to play their Round 13 game against Macarthur before Unite Round meaning they’re next in action against Melbourne City on January 25.

As for Sydney FC, Ufuk Talay’s side dropped down to eighth on the ladder after suffering their seventh loss of the campaign and they’ll be hoping to be improving their poor home record when they face Newcastle Jets on January 19.

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