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Reds cruise past Central Coast

Adelaide United have jumped up into second place on the A-League table, following a comfortable 4-2 win over the Central Coast Mariners today at Coopers Stadium.

Roy O’Donovan scored twice for the visitors, but goals to Stefan Mauk, Bruce Djite, Isaias and a penalty to Pablo Sanchez were more than enough for the 10,269 fans to celebrate on Easter Sunday.

After the 0-0 draw with Western Sydney last week, Reds manager Guillermo Amor made just the one change to his starting line-up, with Marcelo Carrusca replacing George Mells.

For the visiting Mariners, a late comeback ensured a 2-2 draw with the Sky Blues in round 24, but despite that, coach Tony Walmsley made two adjustments to his starting side.

The previously-suspended duo of Mitch Austin and marquee Luis Garcia returned to the team, with Nick Montgomery ruled out due to a calf injury and Josh Bingham relegated to a place on the substitutes bench.

Adelaide had the first few chances of the game, but ultimately, it was the Mariners who looked the more likely in the first fifteen minutes of the match.

In just the 2nd minute, Carrusca’s first time shot from a mistimed clearance forced Paul Izzo into an early save. Less than a minute later, Bruce Djite would go close too, shooting powerfully on the turn but narrowly over the crossbar.

After 12 minutes, Craig Goodwin slalomed into the area, before shooting from the acute angle. Izzo made the save for the Mariners, but the play never completely broke down as it ended with Djite who — on the turn again — fired over the bar.

Match Details Full match details »


Yellow Card15′ I.La RoccaGoal29′ I.SanchezYellow Card32′ S.MaukGoal35′ S.MaukGoal38′ B.DjitePenalty81′ P.Sanchez Alberto (Pen)

The Mariners’ counter-attacking style was causing the Reds defenders headaches, however, with Mitch Austin in particular looking dangerous.

Austin had the first chance for the Mariners after 15 minutes, but his over-the-shoulder shot lacked accuracy and allowed Eugene Galekovic to gather comfortably. Then, shortly after, Roy O’Donovan got on the end of an Austin cross from the left flank, but his free header was disappointingly wide of the mark.

O’Donovan would make no mistake with his next chance, though, as he put the visitors up 1-0 in the 16th minute.

A long ball from Liam Rose was perfectly weighted in front of O’Donovan, who cut inside from the right wing, beat McGowan with pace before firing low and hard at the near post past Galekovic to ripple the back of the net.

The home crowd were well and truly shocked, but Adelaide almost almost answered back immediately through Sergio Cirio. Again, though, Izzo was up to the task to keep the Spaniard’s shot out.

It took until the 30th minute, but Adelaide would eventually find that equaliser.

Advancing through midfield unchecked, Isaias evaluated his options before unleashing a bouncing shot on goal toward the far corner. Izzo was perfectly positioned to make the save but, somehow, he fluffed his lines and allowed the ball find its way into the far corner.

Five minutes later, and one of Adelaide’s January signings would score a sumptuous goal to put the home side ahead.

After some more strong hold-up play by Djite, Stefan Mauk gathered the ball before jinking his way past both Harry Ascroft and Michael Neill on his way into the penalty area. With Izzo advancing, Mauk shot across the Mariners ‘keeper and into the far corner, sending the home crowd into raptures.

Just three minutes later, and the Reds would extend their advantage further.

Mauk was again involved as he laid the ball off for Goodwin, whose square delivery allowed Djite to lift the ball up into the top corner of the net. That goal also ensured Bruce Djite joined former Reds great Travis Dodd at the top of Adelaide’s all-time goal scoring list.

Minutes after the interval, Djite went close to securing that record outright, but a header across goal drifted agonisingly wide of the far post.

Compared to the first half, chances were few and far between in the second stanza.

Dylan McGowan had a chance for the Reds close to the hour mark when he found himself in ‘nosebleed’ territory, but his final effort lacked the polish required in the final third.

Conversely, Luis Garcia had a fantastic opportunity in the 73rd minute for the Mariners, after the ball bounced into his path from a long throw-in. Despite the pedigree of the former Premier League star, his side-footed shot tamely dribbled wide of the near post.

With ten minutes remaining, a rash challenge in the box by Ascroft on substitute Pablo Sanchez gave referee Stephen Lucas no choice but to award the Reds a spot kick. Sanchez, himself, took on the task from the penalty spot, sending Izzo the wrong way to extend the scoreline to 4-1.

Central Coast managed to pull a goal back before full time, and in stunning fashion at that. A chipped ball forward by Josh Rose was chested down by Roy O’Donovan, with the Irish striker firing the ball home emphatically on the volley past a stunned Eugene Galekovic.

With time ticking down to full time, Djite unleashed a ferocious, left-footed effort at goal which whistled past the far post, but it would make little difference as Adelaide cruised to a comfortable home victory.

Adelaide are on the road for their final two league games, heading to Allianz Stadium to take on Sydney FC and finally to AAMI Park to face Melbourne City.

For the Mariners, with only pride left to play for, a visit to Western Sydney awaits next week, before they close out a disappointing season at home with an F3 Derby against the Jets.


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About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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  • britesparke

    The reason I enjoy the A League so much can be summed up in Roy O’ Donovan’s second goal for the losing side, the Mariners. Superb skill saw a chest and volley spin, all in one fluid action, for a brilliant shot into the net! Shout out to all the Eurosnobs to start appreciating what is in your own backyard!