Reds march into last 16 for seventh time

Adelaide United has progressed to the Australia Cup 2022 Round of 16 after beating Newcastle Jets 2-0 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.

George Blackwood opened the scoring, pouncing on a loose ball before Hiroshi Ibusuki stole all the headlines with a truly outrageous acrobatic goal 11 minutes from time.

Carl Veart handed Harry Van der Saag his Reds debut and he certainly impressed at right-back. Meanwhile, Joe Gauci and Alexandar Popović made their maiden appearances in the competition.

The Reds started the stronger of the two teams and dominated the corner count.

Blackwood saw a glancing header saved from point-blank range off a delightful Zach Clough cross, who was excellent on the night and involved in both goals.

Hiroshi then had a chance which he should have done better with following a fluent counter-attack, before Clough tested the Newcastle gloveman from range.

United would deservedly break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Lachlan Barr challenged Michael Weier from a Clough set-piece which allowed Blackwood to head home into an empty net.

United managed the second-half in a professional manner and put the game to bed in the 79th minute.

Clough whipped in a cross just behind Hiroshi, but the Japanese striker adjusted himself as the ball approached, having the presence of mind to acrobatically steer his finish home.

The technique demonstrated by the 31-year-old was magnificent as his super volley crept into the inside of the upright and surely a goal of the year contender.

Earlier in the half, Panashe Madanha, who was promoted from the Club’s youth team made his debut and also showed glimpses of his potential as an auxiliary full-back.

It was a good start by Adelaide who continued its flawless cup record against the Jets to three wins from three encounters, and move into the last 16 for a seventh time in the process.