Adelaide United FC has kept proximity with the Hyundai A-League’s top spot as the Reds continued their impressive home form, surviving a late scare to beat Perth Glory 3-2 at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United FC has kept proximity with the Hyundai A-League-s top spot as the Reds continued their impressive home form, surviving a late scare to beat Perth Glory 3-2 at Hindmarsh Stadium.
It was a case of Jeronimo Neumann at the double as the Argentine proved a super sub, scoring a first half brace, giving him six for the season, after coming off the bench just five minutes in because of a groin injury to fellow striker Bruce Djite.
A cracking strike from Iain Ramsay in the opening minute of the second half made it 3-0 to put the possibility of the Reds recording their biggest ever win over the Glory on the cards, but a Shane Smeltz penalty and a Steven McGarry goal, both in injury time, meant the home side was made to sweat for the final 60 seconds before wrapping up the three points.
The win, which saw 17 year old Awer Mabil make his Hyundai A-League debut, was the Reds- first over Perth in six meetings, while it also gave them a seventh win from nine starts at home this season.
Coach John Kosmina acknowledged the Glory put the Reds under serious pressure for much of the contest, and was pleased the way the players weathered it.
“We didn-t panic but we were shaky at the start and Perth put us under a lot of pressure – they-re a good side,” Kosmina said.
“They came here to press high…but when we settled down it panned out for us. They put us under some pressure and we absorbed it, and that was a good thing – we didn-t cave in and showed a bit of desperation in front of goal.”
“We got the bogey off our back with Perth because if you remember last year here, we battered them for 15 minutes and could have been leading 5-nil, then they scored and the game went 3-nil against us, so football balances out over time.”
Despite conceding twice in injury time to create a nervous finish, in the aftermath Kosmina was focused on seeing it as a victory over an extremely tough opponent.
“These things happen but at 3-nil we still got out of it and at the end of the day you-ve got to look at it and say we got three points against a really difficult side to play against,” Kosmina said.
Djite-s night lasted less than 90 seconds as he pulled up during a seemingly innocuous run to get onto the end of a long Dario Vidosic pass and the action would be his last as he was forced from the field.
Enter Neumann. He had a golden chance to put the Reds in front in the 9th minute as an errant pass from Bas van den Brink left him one on one with Danny Vukovic, but he could not beat the Glory keeper.
Perth-s high pressing, pressure game required some cool heads from the Reds and after doing well to stand up to it, the home side was unlucky not to go ahead in the 22nd minute as the Glory penalty area resembled a pinball machine, the Reds denied three times by some desperate last ditch Glory defending.
Starting to build up some pressure of their own, United-s breakthrough came in the 29th minute when a direct long ball from Antony Golec created jitters at the back for Perth, Vidosic-s presence causing two poorly attempted clearances, the second from Scott Jamieson which caught Vukovic out and allowed Neumann to pounce and smash the ball in from a metre out.
In an action packed first half, it was then Perth-s turn to be denied three times in quick succession, McGarry hitting the woodwork, Smeltz kept out by Golec before Galekovic held onto a goal bound Liam Miller shot.
The Reds then made the most of their good fortune as Vidosic perfectly measured a ball to Neumann-s advantage side of his marker, allowing him to use his pace and clinically slot his shot past Vukovic.
A stunning half volley into the top corner from Ramsay a minute after the restart made it 3-0, Galekovic then pulling off a typically brilliant reflex save to tip a stinging Smeltz shot over the bar in the 66th minute.
Perth kept trying to attack but the Reds were holding firm having not conceded a goal in their past two games. But just when it appeared another big win was looming, a tough penalty call against Golec on Smeltz had it back to 3-1, the Reds defender having had the New Zealand international-s measure for most of the night.
McGarry then created a tense finish as he struck but the Reds hung on to put them just a point behind the Central Coast Mariners heading into the weekend.
Adelaide United FC 3 (Neumann 29-/37-, Ramsay 46-)
Perth Glory 2 (Smeltz 90- (pen), McGarry 90+3-)
Referee: Peter Green
Crowd: 10,129 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite (21.Jeronimo Neumann 5-), 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero (2.Osama Malik 86-), 23.Evan Kostopoulos (24.Awer Mabil 81-)
Substitutes not used: 20.Paul Izzo (gk)
Yellow Cards: Galekovic 17-
Red Cards: Nil
Perth Glory starting line-up: 1.Danny Vukovic (gk), 3.Bas van den Brink, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 7.Jacob Burns (c), 8.Dean Heffernan, 9.Shane Smeltz, 10.Liam Miller (15.Brandon O-Neill 75-), 12.Ryo Nagai (6.Nick Ward 46-), 13.Travis Dodd (18.Jesse Makarounas 71-), 14.Steven McGarry, 21.Scott Jamieson
Substitutes not used: 30.Lewis Italiano (gk)
Yellow Cards: Pantelidis 59-
Red Cards: Nil