NPL SA 2021 Round 6 Recap: Young Reds make it four straight wins

Jonny Yull

A fast start has guided Adelaide United Youth to an impressive 3-1 win over Sturt Lions at Jack Smith Park on Sunday evening.

Two well-worked goals had the Young Reds in a commanding position inside the opening 25 minutes.

Alexandar Popovic scored a fourth minute header after connecting with Bernardo’s accurate cross following a driving run to the byline from an improvised short corner routine.

Adelaide doubled its advantage through a tidy Binyam Kebede finish as he was released by a wonderful through ball from Pacifique Niyongabire.

From there it appeared the hosts would run away with it, but the Lions put up a strong fight and made things difficult even with Adelaide still dominating possession.

They pulled a goal back prior to half-time after Gonzalo Rodriguez sent his free-kick, on an acute angle, into the bottom corner.

The contest ebbed and flowed in the second-half and both sides squandered chances with Sturt striking the woodwork in stoppage time.

Noah Smith would then ensure a fourth consecutive victory with almost the last kick of the game.

On the left wing, Smith audaciously chipped the goalkeeper from more than 25 yards out, left stranded after rushing off his line. 

Airton Andrioli

Adelaide United’s Head of Youth Football, Airton Andrioli, lauded his team’s display particularly with how they acquitted themselves in the first-half.

“I think it was probably one of our best performances,” said Andrioli, as the Young Reds moved equal top with Cumberland United on 12 points.

“We’re gradually getting a better understanding of the things that we want to do and how we want to play, especially in the first-half. We played a very good game.

“All the things that we expected the players to do and work on, the players, to to their credit, put into practice and it was quite encouraging to watch.”

Andrioli added he was also pleased with the tactical adjustments his side made against a defensively disciplined outfit.

“For us it’s just making sure that the players understand what the process is all about,” he said.

“Obviously there’ll be games that we play slightly different according to how the opposition plays.

“The example is Sturt Lions, a team that plays very compact, defend really deep and we knew that before the game.

“And credit to the players, they executed the plan quite well and as a result we had a very good performance.”

Adelaide United Youth Reserves Result:

Adelaide United Youth Reserves 1-0 Sturt Lions Reserves
(Kikianis 82’)