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Wanderers fall to dominant, wasteful Reds

It was a victory for the neutral tonight at Coopers Stadium as the vibrant, attacking Adelaide put on a clinic, defeating the Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0.

With almost a full squad to choose from, coach Josep Gombau must have been relishing the prospect of facing the exhausted and depleted Asian champions — and they did not disappoint.

The home side, predictably, dominated the possession and passing stats in the game’s early stages, effortlessly penetrating the deep defensive line of their opponents.

With it already looking ominous for the visitors, it went from bad to worse as they saw their captain, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, ludicrously concede two yellow-card offences in the space of three minutes, and forcing his team into playing 75 minutes of the match with only 10 men.

It was always going to be a struggle for the Wanderers from there, but one might have left disappointed they did not put more of a fight, considering the emphasis they place on hard work, discipline and compact defence.

Marcelo Carrusca was once again the architect of all things good for Adelaide, as he opened the scoring in the 35th minute, having wasted two very decent opportunities earlier in the match. Having seen Sergio Cirio sprint past Brendan Hamill down the left flank, Carrusca took the perfectly-timed cross first time and effortlessly passed the ball into the bottom corner past Ante Covic.

The half time break could not come soon enough for the travelling side. However, they did come out flying from the dressing room, with star forward Tomi Juric taking a classy first touch before his volleyed effort went just wide of Eugene Galekovic’s post.

That was to be their only effort on goal for the match, however, as the free-flowing football of their opponents proved too much to handle. The pinnacle would come in the 55th minute as Fabio Ferreira combined with the ever-present Carrusca, whose lobbed through ball found his Portuguese team-mate in enough space to expertly drive it into the top corner via the inside of the upright.

Had it not been for some resolute defending from Matthew Spiranovic, the Wanderers would have been three goals down shortly after, as the Socceroos defender intervened to deny Bruce Djite’s tap-in effort.

Of the 22 efforts on goal from the home side, few of them were better set up than that of Sergio Cirio’s late effort. Following some fantastic one-touch football down the right, the ball was spread wide and to the left for Cirio, who opened his body to find the far corner, only for the shot to rebound out off the far post, with the follow-up effort also drifting wide.

The introduction of Awer Mabil in the 73rd minute promised plenty, but ultimately Adelaide were unable to extend their lead despite a plethora of opportunities in the final quarter of an hour.

In spite of the result, Gombau may have been concerned by his side’s profligacy, knowing they cannot rely on wasting so many chances week in, week out. The Reds will be hoping to continue their good form at home to Brisbane next week, in the lead up to the FFA Cup final against the impressive Perth Glory.

It’s a far more tiring prospect for the Wanderers though, as they fly back to Sydney tonight before another flight to Morocco as they prepare for the Club World Cup. Their next A-League match isn’t until December 28, with an away trip to 5th placed Wellington Phoenix.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Year’ Votes
3 Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United)
2 Sergio Cirio (Adelaide United)
1 James Jeggo (Adelaide United)
Youth James Jeggo (Adelaide United)

About the author

avatarAlessandro is an avid Sydney FC fan, and a contributor to Ultimate A-League.

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