The New Years party started early at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight as Adelaide United FC ended 2012 with an emphatic 3-0 win over Sydney FC.
The New Years Eve party started early at Hindmarsh Stadium as Adelaide United FC ended 2012 with an emphatic 3-0 win over a youthful Sydney FC tonight.
Dario Vidosic continued his potent scoring form with a first half brace before Iain Ramsay celebrated his return to the team with a goal just after the hour mark. Almost just as significantly, the game also saw the Reds record their first clean sheet since Week 7.
As comprehensive as the result was, it could have been even more lopsided as the home side peppered the Sky Blues goal in the second half, Vidosic unlucky not to get his hat-trick as he was denied twice by the woodwork.
Sydney FC Coach Frank Farina may have been forced to field a relatively young and inexperienced side that was not helped when Adam Griffiths was forced off the field with an injury early in the game, but the Reds still had to execute and bounce back after two defeats, and they duly obliged as they returned to the winners list.
The result sees Adelaide United end the year in second place with over half of the season now gone, two points behind the Central Coast Mariners who defeated Perth Glory 1-0 earlier in the night.
Without injured marquee signing Alessandro Del Piero, Sydney FC started well enough as lively forward Yairo Yao tried to bend one into the top corner after five minutes, the ball landing on the roof of the net.
Bruce Djite, who was again a colossus up front, created the home side-s first chance in the 9th minute, his left footed shot missing the target.
Sydney FC-s ploy of long route one football to Yau almost paid dividends in the 16th minute, United-s defence made to make some desperate last ditch defending as the game was evenly poised.
But the game then turned in United-s favour as Vidosic met an inviting Cassio cross, the midfielder-s header not powerful but deadly accurate as it looped inside the top corner, his seventh goal of the season.
Ten minutes later Vidosic had his and the Reds- second as he expertly converted a penalty after Djite was brought down in the box by Sebastian Ryall.
With a two goal buffer, Djite went less than a metre away from extending the advantage as he loaded up and sent a shot just wide, before Evan Kostopoulos went even closer as he watched his stinging volley cannon into the crossbar less than a minute later.
The Reds- dominance continued after the break, Vidosic missing a great chance to score his hat-trick as he uncharacteristically blazed a shot over the bar.
The third goal arrived in the 62nd minute after Djite did brilliantly to harass and pressure Ryall, his presence enough for the Sydney defender to lose his footing. With time and space, Djite aimed a shot past Janjetovic, the Sydney keeper doing well to keep it out but the ball fell into the path of Ramsay who had the simplest of tap ins.
Their tails up, the Reds then went in for the kill, Ramsay inches away from his second as the Sydney defence came under siege.
Vidosic was then denied again as his cracking free kick rattled the crossbar in the 73rd minute, while Djite was also left without a deserved goal by some desperate Sydney defending.
Substitute Zenon Caravella came on and was his busy tenacious self in his 100th A-League appearance, the Sydney goal turning into a firing range as Vidosic was again left frustrated by the woodwork.
The Reds would have to be content with a 3-0 score line but Coach John Kosmina knows a win is a win regardless and was pleased that his side could send the home fans away happy and welcome in the New Year with three points.
“Sydney had a fair crack at us early on, we survived that, got back in the game, scored and went on with it, and that was important,” Kosmina said.
“Sydney had a young team out there, relatively inexperienced, and we could have maybe got more out of it, but the fact is we went on with the first half and we created a lot of opportunities in the second and with any luck we could have had seven or eight or even more.”
The Reds- next match is away against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday 5 January 2013 at Hunter Stadium.
Adelaide United FC 3 (Vidosic 19-/29- (pen), Ramsay 62-)
Sydney FC 0
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Crowd: 10,934 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 3.Nigel Boogaard (22.Fabio Ferreira 64-), 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca (7.Zenon Caravella 63-), 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay (21.Jeronimo Neumann 74-), 23.Evan Kostopoulos
Substitutes not used: 20.Paul Izzo (gk)
Yellow Cards: Kostopoulos 34-, Cassio 90+3-
Red Cards: Nil
Sydney FC starting line-up: 20.Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 2.Sebastian Ryall, 7.Brett Emerton, 8.Adam Griffiths (28.Aaron Calver 14-), 12.Blake Powell, 15.Terry McFlynn (c), 17.Terry Antonis (24.Hagi Gligor 58-), 18.Trent McClenahan, 21.Yairo Yau (27.Alec Urocevski 58-), 23.Rhyan Grant, 26.Peter Triantis
Substitutes not used: 33.Matthew Nash (gk)
Yellow Cards: Calver 77-
Red Cards: Nil