Adelaide United left it late again to secure another dramatic comeback win, this time against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.
The Reds prevailed 2-1 after Nestory Irankunda slotted a 92nd minute winner in emphatic fashion.
Hiroshi Ibusuki cancelled out the Mariners first-half opener after the interval in a match that ebbed and flowed in front of a crowd of 7,868 in attendance.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG.
What went right: Yet another fightback
After yet another Reds comeback it should come as no surprise as it is the current formula to triumph in games. It has been the story of Adelaide’s season and its resilience again rose to the fore. Carl Veart’s side has now scored 17 of its 23 goals this campaign in the second-half, and following Nestory Irankunda’s stunning strike – Adelaide has found the net nine times on or after the 84th minute. Three of Adelaide’s five wins this season have occurred in extraordinary, late circumstances. The South Australians have now recovered 16 points from losing situations – a simply remarkable stat. Veart praised his side’s mentality and fighting spirit in the post-match press conference.
What went wrong: Missed penalty
Craig Goodwin missed his second penalty of the season which would have given the Reds the lead. Mark Birighitti guessed the correct way and made a strong save down to his right. Had Goodwin scored he would have equalled the Club’s all-time record scorer in Bruce Djite. Unfortunately, the winger will have to wait another game to try and achieve the feat.
What went right: Nestory Irankunda’s late heroics
Nestory Irankunda produced another moment of magic for his second goal of the season. Having scored a magnificent free-kick against Newcastle Jets a few weeks ago, the 16-year-old went on to seal all three points against Central Coast. He was introduced on 84 minutes and his dynamism and energy mean he poses a considerable problem for opposition defences. The manner in which he struck his effort so sweetly on a tight angle, after Lachlan Barr’s lay-off, is testament to his immense potential. Still obviously raw, he certainly has an x-factor about him that not many players can make a claim to.
What went wrong: Conceding sloppy goal
The Reds failed to clear their lines and were consequently punished. Jason Cummings’ brilliant deft touch from a high ball allowed him to assist Beni Nkololo and the Frenchman took full advantage to break the deadlock on 35 minutes. Adelaide has now conceded first in 11 games this campaign, however the concessions appears to spark the side into life and they play better once they fall behind… not that we are advocating that modus operandi. If they can turn that statistic around, the Reds top six hopes are much stronger with points already in the bag. Our blood pressure on the sideline might improve too.
Saturday, 26 February
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 17
Adelaide United 2 (Ibusuki 52’, Irankunda 90+2’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Nkololo 35’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium