Young Reds tough start to NPL season


Adelaide United Youth suffered a deflating first round loss to Adelaide Olympic to begin their National Premier League 2017 season at Elite Systems Football Centre on Saturday night.

A Fausto Erba brace as well as a strike from Christos Pounendis locked in the three points for the visiting side, and a forsaken Adelaide United left in disappointment to start their National Premier League campaign.

Adelaide United Youth Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic launched his side’s season on the foundation of a solid starting XI, also introducing some new faces, which included Hamish and Liam McCabe, and Nathan Liberto. Along with goal keeper Cameron Cook, in the place of Daniel Margush.

Despite the Young Reds’ promising attacking display in the early minutes of the first-half, through debutant Lachlan Brook, and Ryan Strain, Matthew Bouzalas proved dangerous all around the park, creating several threatening opportunities for Olympic.

Fausto Erba established some dominance in the attacking third, looking to score countless times, and his persistence paid off just over the half hour mark, to put the pressure off of his team with an expertly struck goal into the back of the net.

It took only two minutes for Erba to double Olympic’s lead, courtesy of great link-up play by David Signore and Pounendis. With confidence to complete his hat-trick, Erba was just off the mark on the stroke of half-time.

After the restart, Captain, Josh Mori and Blake Carpenter were optimistic in claiming a comeback, but their efforts were immediately cut short when Pounendis clinically latched onto the corner kick to have the final say and further the lead to 0-3, just after 60 minutes.

As Olympic continued to threaten, United were unable to get any consolidation, as their opponents showed no mercy right until the final whistle.

Young Reds Boss, Skenderovic said that his side’s lack of composure cost them the game, as well as not maintaining and building upon possession, and as a young side, they will have to overcome physical battles.

“One thing we have identified is that physically, we are quite young, and when we play teams who are physically there to intimidate us, it can make it very difficult, Skenderovic said. “It was clear stage fright in the first 35 minutes, where the intimidation caused us to lack composure.

“We did gain a bit of momentum in the last 20 minutes, but by that stage, the game was already gone for us.

“We had lost quite a bit of our structure, especially conceding two scrappy goals and then a set-piece so we are very disappointed.

“If we did all the right things in remaining composed, and moving the ball quicker, we could have been more effective.

“We are going to have to be better with the ball for the next game, and move it around better, with composure and make good decisions because every team this year will want to be physical, especially because we are a young side.”