United dispatch Victory
10:26 PM Sun 16th Oct, 2011 - Admin
Adelaide United FC has responded from its opening weekend disappointment in the best way possible by defeating Melbourne Victory 1-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Inspired by the debut performance of Dario Vidosic, the Reds made it three wins in succession against the Victory, Sergio van Dijk netting the winner and his first of the season in the 52nd minute.
Van Dijk’s breakthrough came just minutes before Melbourne were restricted to ten men following the send off of captain Adrian Leijer for a second bookable offence. The Reds then used their extra player advantage to turn the screws as they produced some sublime interplay in the attacking third during a period that could have stretched their lead.
However, with the likes of Harry Kewell, Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas and Carlos Hernandez, the Victory were always going to threaten and were not without their chances in a tense 90 minutes.
But led by captain Jon McKain, who was awarded the Kosmina/Muscat medal, and ably supported in the centre of defence by Milan Susak, the Reds stood tall and defended stoutly as a unit to keep the Victory scoreless.
With their first three points of the season safely in the bank, Head Coach Rini Coolen was delighted with his team’s turnaround from the loss to Perth just five days earlier.
“We spent a lot of time in just a couple of days fixing a few problems and I think the boys showed some very good important things today – their effort and what you need to win a game like this,” Coolen said.
“Not everything was perfect and we still have to improve but we were hungry to win today and if you play a home game like that, it makes everybody happy and that’s how you prefer to see your team playing.”
“We could mention a lot of players who did well but I think the team was the winner today, and also the crowd, I think they definitely saw a good football game and for us it was fantastic that we kept the three points here.”
Coolen made two changes to the starting eleven, Osama Malik given his first start for the club, filling in at right back, while Vidosic made his first Hyundai A-League appearance for the Reds, Bruce Djite making taking up a spot on the bench.
The match lived up to the hype in a typically lively opening, the Reds with two corners in the opening five minutes before the first shot of the match came from the boot of Andy Slory, the Dutchman’s long range effort flying high and wide of the mark.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace, and Victory keeper Ante Covic was almost left red faced on 14 minutes when he spilt a regulation ball that went closer than comfort to his goal line.
It was an evidently more urgent United outfit than last week, although they were made to soak up a favourable period for the Victory, Susak making a crucial tackle to stop Thompson in his tracks when he was seemingly clear in the penalty area.
The closest either side came in the opening half was through McKain in the 34th minute as he tried to nod on Evgeniy Levchenko’s header, the ball just palmed away in time by Covic.
Van Dijk, who had been in an intriguing battle with Leijer, then broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute. A slow square ball from Melbourne’s Brazilian left back Fabio failed to find its intended target in Rodrigo Vargas and van Dijk pounced in typically ruthless fashion, slamming his first time drive past Covic to the raptures of the United faithful.
It then got worse for the Victory as Leijer was given his marching orders, Vidosic then almost catching the Melbourne defence napping from the resultant free kick but he sprayed the chance over the crossbar.
Slory was the next to go close when he appeared destined to score courtesy of a clever layoff by van Dijk, but the end result landed straight into the arms of Covic from just inside the penalty spot. The Dutch duo was at it again moments later, van Dijk curling a sublime effort into the woodwork.
With a second goal eluding them, the Reds were made to fight until the end to hang onto their lead, Susak denying substitute Jean Carlos Solarzano a golden chance to draw Melbourne level with another perfectly timed slide tackle.
Hernandez had Adelaide hearts in mouths late on with a curling shot that flashed just wide, the final whistle music to the ears of Coolen and the majority of the 14,573 fans in attendance.
Adelaide United is back at home next Saturday night for the visit of Brett Emerton and Sydney FC. Kick-off is at 5.00pm (ACDT) and tickets are available through Ticketek.
Adelaide United FC 1 (van Dijk 52’)
Melbourne Victory 0
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 14,573 @ Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Osama MALIK, 4.Jon McKAIN (c), 6.CASSIO, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.Evgeniy LEVCHENKO, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Dario VIDOSIC (11.Bruce DJITE 87’), 16.Spase DILEVSKI (21.Francisco USUCAR 85’), 22.Milan SUSAK, 23.Andy SLORY (17.Iain RAMSAY 76’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Slory 28’
Red Cards: Nil
Melbourne Victory line-up: 21.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Matthew FOSCHINI, 3.FABIO, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER (13.Diogo FERREIRA 78’), 10.Archie THOMPSON (9.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 68’), 11.Marco ROJAS (19.Isaka CERNAK 68’), 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 22.Harry KEWELL, 23.Adrian LEIJER (c)
Substitutes not used: 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk)
Yellow Cards: Leijer 28’/55’, Kewell 83’
Red Cards: Leijer 55’
Source: Adelaide United
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