Six of the best! Adelaide send a statement to the rest of the competition with City demolition

AUFC membership 23/24 sign up now

Adelaide United’s incredible hot streak against Melbourne City has continued, after the Reds demolished the reigning Premiers 6-0 at Coopers Stadium.

Nestory Irankunda opened the scoring with a stunning long-range free-kick, before an own-goal from Callum Talbot doubled Adelaide’s lead before the break on Sunday evening.

Jamie Maclaren had a golden opportunity to get the visitors back into the contest after City were awarded a penalty, but the all-time leading A-Leagues goalscorer had his spot-kick saved by Joe Gauci.

Ryan Tunnicliffe and teenager Musa Toure fired home their first Adelaide goals, before Bernardo Oliveira added a brace late in the contest to extend the Reds’ unbeaten run over City at Hindmarsh to eight consecutive matches.

Adelaide have now taken maximum points from their opening two games against both the reigning Champions Central Coast Mariners and Premiers City, scoring a combined nine goals without conceding a single goal.

It now shapes up as a blockbuster clash with arch rivals Melbourne Victory next Saturday night at AAMI Park, who are also perfect after two games.

Meanwhile, City are without a point from their opening two games, joining fellow 2023 Grand Finalists Central Coast, who have also lost both of their matches to begin the season.

City – however – were without star midfielder Tolgay Arslan, while Curtis Good started from the bench as Rado Vidosic’s side continues to juggle a hectic schedule, having played in an AFC Champions League match in Thailand on Wednesday night.

The Reds started the game the brighter of the two, and were awarded on the scoresheet. Ben Halloran won a free-kick in a dangerous area on the edge of the box, which was in prime position for none other than Irankunda.

The teenager stepped up and curled the free-kick into the top corner off only two steps, sending Coopers Stadium into raptures as he wheeled away with his trademark backflip celebration.

Adelaide were soon two ahead after Irankunda again caused issues down the right-flank, before teeing up Isaias, whose cross was accidentally nodded into the bottom corner by City defender Talbot.

Initially, it was disallowed due to the assistant referee deeming Hiroshi Ibusuki offside, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened, overruling the original call, thus giving the Reds a two-goal advantage.

The VAR was called into action again after half-time, when Panashe Madanha seemingly handled Hamza Sakhi’s deflected effort inside the City penalty area. Referee Shaun Evans’ original decision of play-on was overturned, giving City the chance to equalise from the spot.

Maclaren stepped up and had his spotkick expertly saved by Gauci, preserving Adelaide’s two-goal advantage.

Tunnicliffe ensured Adelaide would come away with the win, leaving City keeper Jamie Young sprawling as he fired back across his body and into the back of the net.

Toure – the younger brother of Al Hassan and Mohamed – got in on the act minutes later, scoring his first Adelaide goal in style, getting on the end of some lovely interplay from Tunnicliffe and Bernardo before beating Young with an inch-perfect precision into the bottom corner.

And just when it seemed it was over, former City academy player Bernardo scored two in the dying minutes; the first helped on its way via a Nuno Reis deflection, but the second was an emphatic finish after a lovely pass from Halloran.

The talking point

Nestory Irankunda. Wow.

Only hours after Bruno Fornaroli’s Goal of the Season contender, 17-year-old Irankunda responded in tremendous fashion at Coopers Stadium.

Ben Halloran won a free kick on the edge of the area in the 14th minute of the contest, which the teenage attacker stepped up and curled it into the top corner off a two step run up.

Yes, two steps.

He capped it off in only the manner that he can, bringing out his trademark backflip celebration.

The star

Most players in Adelaide United’s side today could easily lay claim to ‘the star’ title after the 6-0 demolition, but Musa Toure lit up the game with a brilliant second-half showing.

Toure – who wowed against Central Coast Mariners in Round 1 – fired home his first A-Leagues goal, firing home with inch perfect precision to give Adelaide a 4-0 lead.

The 17-year-old is the younger brother of former Adelaide attackers Al-Hassan and Mohamed Toure, who have both gone on to sign with European clubs in the past two seasons after initially bursting onto the scene at the Reds.

“I feel good… It’s really, oh I can’t really explain. It was amazing,” Toure said on Paramount +.

“My brothers always told me that it’s crazy to score here. So scoring here, I think they’re watching, I think so. It’s unreal like it’s crazy. I love it.

“It means a lot, seeing my two brothers do it, my close friend, Nestor (Irankunda) do it every week.

Toure capped off his goal with a backflip, akin to his good friend Irankunda, who also brought out his trademark celebration when he fired home the opener.

“It’s amazing, every time in the changing room we are always talking about us scoring here. So scoring, seeing Nestory running, doing flips with me is amazing. It’s crazy,” he said.

“He (Veart) hasn’t told me anything (if he should stop doing flips), so I’m going to keep doing it too. I don’t think my mum likes it.

“My mum always tells me to stop, but this was an amazing moment to score here, so I just have to do it.

“I practiced with my older cousin he was saying he always taught me like do a flip, do a flip, so it’s amazing.”

What this means

Adelaide have shown no signs of slowing down in the post Craig Goodwin era, bursting out of the blocks in style. The kids are looking the goods, the football is exciting, the goals are coming by the bucket and perhaps, more importantly, the defence is looking a lot more solid.

They did, however, lose centre-back Alexandar Popović to injury before half-time.

Up next is a huge clash against Melbourne Victory at what’s almost certainly going to be a rocking AAMI Park given how both teams have started this season.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board for City who are rooted to the bottom of the standings. Rado Vidosic said his side have been fatigued by the heavy schedule, and another five-day turnaround is not necessarily ideal for the reigning premiers.

They host fellow strugglers Sydney FC on Friday night at AAMI Park, which shapes up as a huge game for both sides.

AUFC membership 23/24 sign up now