The Adelaide United Youth Team fell to a 2-1 defeat against Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 12 of the National Premier League on Saturday.
A Jordan O’Doherty penalty wasn’t enough to spark a Young Reds’ resurgence after Jean-Claude Boyokino put Blue Eagles in the lead early on. Alemayo Kebede secured the three points for the hosts despite countless United chances.
Blue Eagles didn’t waste time in putting the Reds under pressure, Evan Kounavelis the first to take a slice of the action with an effort towards Daniel Margush in goal for United.
The match proved to be a tight battle for possession with both sides having several chances on goal, but the Reds weren’t able to convert their opportunities. Riley McGree created United’s first chance for Paul Wilson, but his audacious attempt at a scissor-kick landed tamely in the hands of Pedram Sourjani.
A dangerous Boyokino tested Margush before hitting home Blue Eagles’ first goal 19 minutes in with a penetrating run down the line and into the box.
Minutes later, Alec Maiolo was brought down and the Young Reds were rightfully awarded a penalty, nonchalantly taken by O’Doherty who silenced the home crowd with an equaliser in the 22nd minute.
Samed Altundag teamed up with Blake Carpenter and McGree on two separate occasions that created clear chances on goal, but weren’t capitalised upon.
Heading to the final 45 minutes, the United defence were again pressured, Mark Ochieng pivotal in moments of strife. In the 52nd minute, Margush expertly saved a one-on-one opportunity for Kounavelis.
On the hour mark, Fortunato Filletti provided a pin-point cross for Kebede, who easily put the ball into the back of an empty net to give the hosts the lead.
In the 75th minute, Margush produced two quality saves – first to deny Kebede a brace, then Anthony Dimas who looked certain to put the game to bed.
Minutes after, O’Doherty made a promising run that saw him fouled and Altundag to step up to take a superb hit that was just tapped away by Sourjani. Altundag was again called up for another free-kick, this time just brushing the right post, unfortunate not to level the scores for a second time before the final whistle blew.
United’s Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, was pleased with how his team dominated play at times, but insisted that more goals are needed in order to move forward in the competition.
“I thought we did dominate play, but we need to score more goals,” Jones said. “They produced one cross and scored, which proves that we need to take those opportunities.
“This is men’s football and we need to play for 90 minutes and do whatever it takes to win.
“We are playing better football, dominating and in control of games, but we’re just not taking chances.
“Concentration for the full game is key, and however we do it, we need to come out with the ball, especially if we want success this season.”