A Ben Halloran double helped Adelaide United make it two wins on the bounce following a gutsy 2-1 victory against Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
Here are three things we learned from the pulsating and at times tempestuous encounter at Coopers Stadium:
Reds targeted Roar full-backs with diagonal balls
Throughout the game, but especially in the first-half, Adelaide played several diagonal cross-field passes to expose Brisbane’s full-backs and isolate them in one-on-one situations. It worked to great effect as Craig Goodwin picked out Ryan Kitto on the right flank, with acres of space for the winger to run into and either deliver a cross or fire a shot at goal.
The same applied on the other wing with Goodwin given plenty of room to operate and cause Jack Hingert a number of problems, who could not live with his movement. Indeed, the Reds’ first goal came via a Goodwin cross into the area, and the second created after Jamie Young diverted Kitto’s delivery into the path of Halloran for his second.
Attackers given licence to interchange
Head Coach, Marco Kurz, appears to have given his forwards the freedom to interchange at will. At various stages of the match, Goodwin and Kitto would find themselves on opposite flanks, while Halloran and Ken Ilsø seemed to alternate up front. Halloran also found himself out wide too.
Moreover, when Nikola Mileusnić was brought on it provided Adelaide with another dynamic attacking option. The Reds have scored five goals in two matches now, and the unpredictability about their forward runs and rotations of occupying differing positions has created a sense of confusion for opposition defences to track and know exactly who they are marking.
Isaías’ leadership qualities again come to the fore
The engine in Adelaide’s midfield, Isaías, again illustrated his invaluable qualities from not only a footballing ability perspective, but a leadership standpoint as well. When Stefan Mauk was knocked out following his dangerous tackle on Goodwin in stoppage time, he without hesitation, rushed to the 23-year-old’s aid and was quick to protect him from the crowded area, before he received medical attention. It was admirable and perceptible by the Reds Captain of realising the situation as the match reached boiling point.
Back on the football, we have become accustomed of the Spaniard’s consistency that you almost take his performances for granted. But it felt the Spaniard’s display on Friday went up a notch, as he pulled the strings from midfield. The 31-year-old directly created four chances, and played the pass that released Goodwin to assist Halloran’s opener. He also won four of five tackles and boasted an 81% passing accuracy rate.
Adelaide United face Melbourne Victory in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 8 December at Marvel Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and 10 Boss and streamed on the My Football Live App.