Adelaide United has come from behind to inflict a 3-1 defeat on Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night and in the process secure a fourth consecutive A-League win.
Reds Captain Stefan Mauk scored a goal in each half while substitute Kusini Yengi was instrumental with his maiden goal and assist in an absorbing contest.
Jake Brimmer’s free-kick opened the scoring, but the Reds showed immense character to respond and notch its first victory in Victoria since December 2017 and sixth overall.
The Reds have now won six of its previous seven Original Rivalry meetings and climb into second place on the A-League table with 19 points.
Adelaide made a seemingly promising start to the game, keeping possession and implementing a high press which Victory struggled to play out of.
However, the Reds were vulnerable in transition and on the counter-attack with Robbie Kruse integral to the hosts’ forays forward.
Joe Gauci was called into decisive action 18 minutes into his A-League debut, doing well to rush off his line and make himself big to block Kruse’s shot.
But he was unable to keep out Brimmer’s free-kick 10 minutes later as it crashed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced over the line.
Adelaide admittedly looked stunned as they absorbed more relentless pressure, but against the run of play Mauk restored parity in the 35th minute.
Craig Goodwin, in his first genuine involvement, was dispossessed with the ball falling to Javi López and the Spaniard’s cross was not adequately dealt with by Leigh Broxham.
The United Captain chested the ball down and dispatched a left-footed half-volley into the bottom corner.
In the 56th minute, Yengi was introduced and almost scored with his first touch but agonisingly struck the near post after brushing aside Aaron Anderson.
The 22-year-old did not have to wait long for his inaugural Reds goal. López threaded a beautiful pass through for Goodwin and he squared to Yengi for a simple tap-in before running off in celebration and annoying the Victory fans.
After scoring five minutes into his 10th appearance of the campaign he would turn provider for Mauk’s second.
Yengi received the ball on the wing and after a couple of neat step overs picked out the United skipper, who confidently slotted a first-time effort with 13 minutes remaining and seal an emphatic win.
Carl Veart made two changes to his starting line-up. Goalkeeper James Delianov failed a last minute fitness test and was subsequently replaced by Joe Gauci for his A-League debut, while Josh Cavallo made his full Reds debut after being preferred to Joe Caletti in midfield.
18′ | SAVE! Gauci is alert and denies Kruse’s one-on-one attempt.
28’ | GOAL: Brimmer bends his free-kick off the underside of the crossbar.
35’ | GOAL! Mauk rifles his left-footed finish into the bottom corner after Broxham fails to clear López’s cross.
61’ | GOAL! Yengi is there to finish off an incisive attacking move for his first Adelaide goal.
77’ | GOAL! Yengi demonstrate some great skill before his cross is met by Mauk for his double.
87′ | SAVE! Gauci makes an acrobatic save to prevent Victory from netting a consolation, tipping over Zaydan Bello’s long-range strike.
Saturday, 13 March
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 12
Melbourne Victory 1 (Brimmer 28’)
Adelaide United 3 (Mauk 35’, 77’, Yengi 61’)
Venue: Marvel Stadium