A dynamic attacking performance from Adelaide United has secured a resounding 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
First-half goals from Ben Halloran, Nikola Mileusnić and Kristian Opseth extinguished an early Milan Duric penalty, as all three of the Reds’ goals arrived from sensational offensive moves.
The Reds could have easily won by more and also missed a penalty to kill off the tie after 60 minutes. However, it did not matter as United registered their third straight win of the season and sixth straight victory in Gosford.
Gertjan Verbeek made two changes to the side that defeated Brisbane Roar last round. Louis D’Arrgio returned from Young Socceroos duty to replace Ryan Kitto, shifting Michaël Maria to left-back, and striker Opseth started with Al Hassan Toure away with the Olyroos.
Meanwhile, Jordan Elsey and George Blackwood were both named on the bench, having not played since Round 1 due to respective injuries.
Adelaide made a slow start when Michael Marrone brought down Sam Silvera inside the box.
Duric dispatched the subsequent penalty in the sixth minute as the Mariners capped off a promising start.
But once Adelaide grabbed the ascendancy they were ruthless in attack, appearing dangerous every time they went forward and cruised to the win.
Adelaide equalised on 26 minutes after Halloran finished off a slick passage of play. Michaël Maria, who was influential throughout the first-half, cut inside and passed to Halloran before playing a one-two with Riley McGree and scoring at the near post.
Minutes later, the visitors were in front. Another marauding run from Maria saw him bamboozle his opponent before his cross was emphatically side-volleyed home by Mileusnić for his second of the season.
Adelaide’s incisiveness and sharpness in offensive areas was a sight to behold at times as the Mariners had no answers.
And on the stroke of half-time, their free-flowing football was on full display to make it 3-1.
James Troisi spread a brilliant diagonal ball for Halloran to run on to before his lovely weighted low cross was rifled in by Opseth for his maiden goal.
It was the perfect ending for the Reds as they went into the break with a comfortable buffer.
Adelaide should have put the game to bed prior to the hour when McGree won a penalty, however the ensuing Opseth penalty was saved.
Paul Izzo was called into action to make two strong stops later in the second stanza, but for the most part United were fairly untroubled.
6’ | GOAL: Duric converts his penalty leaving Izzo with no chance.
26’ | GOAL! Halloran nets his fourth goal across all competitions, after squeezing his finish past Birighitti at the near post with Maria and McGree involved in the build-up.
38’ | GOAL! Mileusnić’ spectacularly side-foot volleys Maria’s cross past a helpless Birighitti.
45’ | GOAL! Opseth bags his first goal for the Club after completing an incisiveness counter-attack, clinically converting Halloran’s cross.
59’ | DENIED: Opseth’s penalty is straight down the middle which Birighitti manages to keep out with his foot.
Saturday, 16 November 2019
Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season – Round 6
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Duric (P) 6’)
Adelaide United 3 (Halloran 26’, Mileusnić 38’, Opseth 45’ )
Venue: Central Coast Stadium