A first half onslaught has given Adelaide United FC a character filled 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory and shot the Reds back to the top of the table.
A first half onslaught has given a highly charged Adelaide United FC a character filled 4-2 win over Melbourne Victory and shot the Reds back to the top of the table.
The Reds- biggest crowd of the season was treated to six goals, five of which came in the opening 32 minutes of a scintillating first half that had the home side leading 4-1 at the break.
In a night of firsts, Evan Kostopoulos bagged his first Hyundai A-League goal and finished with a brace, while Marcelo Carrusca also found himself on the score sheet for the first time in a United shirt.
The classy Argentine also marked his return by taking out the Kosmina/Muscat Medal after being adjudged the best player on the pitch.
Winger Fabio Ferreira was the other to find the back of the net as the Reds improved their record to seven wins, a draw and two losses for the season, while also turning the tables on their loss to the Victory back in Week 3.
Before the 14,115 people had time to settle in, an energised Dario Vidosic in his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance found himself in the referee-s book but it was what followed in the next half an hour that few would have expected as it rained goals at Hindmarsh.
Firstly, in just the third minute Ferreira led Victory left back Sam Gallagher a merry dance before cutting a pass across the goal face and after taking a minor deflection, Kostopoulos positioned himself perfectly to smash the ball home from close range.
But the lead was short lived as Andrew Nabbout hit back almost immediately when Marco Rojas found him unmarked 12 metres out and with time to direct his shot past young goalkeeper Paul Izzo.
Rojas split the Reds open again in the 17th minute with a crucial sliding block from Nigel Boogaard preventing Victory from scoring a likely second.
The action was as hot as the weather and in a ten minute burst the Reds suddenly had a three goal lead. A brilliantly worked set play from a throw in led to Carrusca delivering a clever flick on for Ferreira, who first time with the outside of his boot hammered the ball past Nathan Coe.
Three minutes later it was the provider Carrusca producing a masterful finish as Bruce Djite teed the Argentine up on the right hand side of the penalty area and saw him curl the ball with surgeon-like precision past the outstretched glove of Coe and inside the far post.
Kostopoulos then added a fourth as Carrusca was involved again, this time sending in a pinpoint free kick, Djite providing the decoy allowing Kostopoulos to coolly head the ball into the back of the net.
Hindmarsh was rocking as the Reds continued to try and feast on the Victory-s left hand side, Ferreira wreaking havoc as he looked to exploit an increasingly nervy Victory defence.
If the Reds thought their three goal lead was safe they were given a huge wake up call two minutes into the second half as Gui Finkler combined with Rojas on the edge of the penalty area, the New Zealand international showing his class as he beat Izzo with his shot.
The game was opening up as Melbourne knew they had to force the issue leaving the Reds to defend gallantly, pick their moments, absorb the pressure and try to control the tempo.
Osama Malik and Carrusca fashioned a chance seemingly out of nothing but Coe reacted quickly to diffuse it, before Djite went on a mazy run and played a slick through ball for Ferreira in the 73rd minute but the Portuguese winger was not expecting it.
Substitute Fabian Barbiero then rifled a shot less than a foot wide of the post as Marcos Flores- first trip back to Hindmarsh came to an end when he was replaced with 20 minutes to go.
The energy Melbourne was exerting to try and peg back the deficit played into United-s hands as players from both sides began to fatigue, the Reds not to be denied a memorable victory to the delight of a parochial home crowd.
Adelaide United FC 4 (Kostopoulos 3-/32-, Ferreira 22-, Carrusca 25-)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Nabbout 6-, Rojas 47-)
Referee: Chris Beath
Crowd: 14,115 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio (c), 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic (18.Fabian Barbiero 65-), 11.Bruce Djite (21.Jeronimo Neumann 81-), 14.Cameron Watson, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 23.Evan Kostopoulos (17.Iain Ramsay 76-)
Substitutes not used: 30.John Hall (gk)
Yellow Cards: Vidosic 1-, Boogaard 40-, Cassio 55-, Djite 72-
Red Cards: Nil
Melbourne Victory starting line-up: 39.Nathan Coe (gk), 4.Petar Franjic (6.Leigh Broxham 46-), 7.Gui Finkler, 8.Jonathan Bru (17.Jimmy Jeggo 65-), 9.Marcos Flores (19.Isaka Cernak 70-), 11.Marco Rojas, 13.Diogo Ferreira, 14.Billy Celeski, 15.Sam Gallagher, 23.Adrian Leijer (c), 26.Andrew Nabbout
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando Velaphi (gk)
Yellow Cards: Flores 12-, Finkler 18-, Leijer 30-, Ferreira 33-, Gallagher 79-
Red Cards: Nil