The Adelaide United Youth Team were defeated 3-1 by Adelaide City in Round 18 of the National Premier League on Saturday.
On paper, the Adelaide United Youth had their toughest match of the season ahead of them, in facing National Premier League leaders Adelaide City. The Round 18 clash highlighted United’s skills and potential as they gave Adelaide City a test, keeping the score line at nil all in the first half. A perfectly taken penalty by Captain, Dylan Smith shocked the crowd in which it had given his side a lead before half time.
The game produced all-out attack from both sides, and had the potential of many goals to be awarded, which could have seen United come through as the underdogs. Although Adelaide United denied their opponents of goals for the majority of the match, it was late in the second half where Adelaide City proved their dominance. Goals from Mamadi Kamara, Nikola Mileusnic and Anthony Costa sealed the three points.
As expected, the match started off with fast pace and no wasted time to impulse on attack. It was Mileusnic who hit the ball perfectly for his first chance of the game, but swerved into the hands of United keeper, Daniel Margush. Adelaide City applied enduring pressure, but the Young Reds stood their ground. A chance for the Reds came through the link up play of Jordan O’Doherty, Blake Carpenter and Alec Maiolo, which saw O’Doherty come close.
City’s Thomas Love had his own chance in the 12 minute but was denied. There was no shortage of chances, as Riley McGree’s powerful foot was bound to see the back of the net. 20 minutes in a neither side could fashion a clear cut chance to attain a lead. Carpenter’s long shot was promising, until it flew over the crossbar. Mileusnic followed suit, with his own long range shot. A dangerous Mileusnic made an astonishing run and with a gasp, shot, but again straight to Margush.
Good play and pass by Smith had produced attack through Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, but was unable to find space and get a clear chance on target. As United continued to test City, a Carpenter cross was headed for Stamatelopoulos and was pushed by City keeper, Matthew Moore, which awarded the Young Reds with a penalty. As Smith stepped up for the spot-kick, he slotted the ball in calmly and gave his side a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute.
It was more of the same as the game commenced, when substitute Aladin Irabona claimed the pass from Carpenter, and his promising shot just went over the crossbar. In the 67th minute, Kamara placed his shot in the bottom left corner to equalise. The magic of Mileusnic prospered and his dominance gave him a goal. In the 80th minutes Maiolo and Smith tried to level up the scores once again, but Costa took his opportunity to take his team up 3-1 and win.
Following the match United Youth Team Head Coach, Mark Jones, was disappointed but pleased with his Red’s performance and the potential to have had the game in their hands.
“We were 1-0 up and in a great position to win the game, and we had many opportunities to go 2-0 up,” Jones said.
“But we had let in goals where we shouldn’t have, and didn’t take our opportunities enough in front of goal.
“I don’t think they opened us up at all, but in the times where they produced long shots and our players didn’t go with their runners cost us.
“I believe we should have won the match, it is positive going forward but it’s disappointing to lose especially when you had the opportunity to win the game.
“We’ll take this on and bring this confidence onto our next match against Adelaide Comets.”