Adelaide United produced a spirited performance to claim a 2-1 win against Perth Glory upon its return to HBF Park on Sunday.
Hiroshi Ibusuki struck just before half-time and Mohamed Toure scored off the bench in the second-half to double the advantage.
Bruno Fornaroli converted a stoppage time penalty to create a nervous finish, but it ultimately proved a consolation for the hosts, who played its first clash on home soil since Round 1.
The result lifts the Reds into third place with 24 points after 16 matches.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG.
What went right: Another gritty win
Adelaide has registered back-to-back victories after securing its first triumph out West since January 2018. Carl Veart’s side acquitted themselves in a disciplined manner and did keep Perth’s attackers rather quiet on the balance of play with only five shots on target compared to United’s nine. Joe Gauci pulled off a stunning, diving save to thwart Bruno Fornaroli’s curling effort in the first-half, but otherwise was largely untroubled. The Reds may have even been unlucky not to have scored a third but they will take the success and continue to build on a plucky away outing. United has 10 points from its past five games, losing just twice this year.
What went wrong: Conceded needless penalty
Adelaide was on track for a third clean sheet and first for Joe Gauci this season. However, that changed when Michael Jakobsen needlessly fouled former Red Pacifique Niyongabire in the 89th minute. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot after the Danish defender shoved the forward in the back as he was going to the byline. Fortunately, though Adelaide held on in the final stages and still collected the three points.
What went right: Ibusuki impresses again
The towering Japanese striker has now scored four goals in nine matches since his midseason arrival. The 31-year-old found the net at arguably one of the most deflating times for an opponent in the match – right on the stroke of half-time when the scores were level. Ibusuki showed more desperation than his defender marking him from Craig Goodwin’s corner and his diving header breached Liam Reddy. Ibusuki’s predatory instincts around the box were again on display and his hold up play was superb too. He also got the assist for Mohamed Toure’s goal. Ibusuki provides the focal point in the attack and Carl Veart has previously referenced how he admires a target man as his talisman.
What went wrong: Barr forced off with injury
Lachlan Barr’s withdrawal at half-time after suffering from back spasms was a blow for the 27-year-old and the Reds. Barr has been impressive since making the jump from the local National Premier League South Australia with Adelaide City and is appearing to get more comfortable at this level with each passing game. Hopefully his issue is not too serious and he will be back sooner rather than later.
What went right: Toure’s impact
Mohamed Toure proved an inspired substitution. Three minutes after entering the fray, Toure was on target in somewhat fortuitous circumstances in the 59th minute. However, he did put the afterburners on, demonstrating his electrifying pace on the wing before his angled shot caught goalkeeper Cameron Cook out at his near post for the 17-year-old’s second goal of the campaign. Toure’s dynamism and dribbling ability caused Perth a lot of headaches. Following the match, the prodigious talent said his instructions from the coaching staff was to ‘change the game’. He emphatically delivered, with his goal proving the eventual winner.
Sunday, 6 March
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 17
Perth Glory 1 (Fornaroli (p) 90’)
Adelaide United 2 (Ibusuki 45+1’, Toure 59’)
Venue: HBF Park