Ten-man Gold Coast United batter Reds

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Gold Coast United has taken its first step to getting its season back-on-track by earning all three points against Adelaide United in a dominant 3-0 display at Hindmarsh Stadium.

In a game that was billed as a ‘must win’ by the Reds, Adelaide capitulated in front of a home crowd of just under 8000, keeping them anchored to the bottom of the Hyundai A-League table.

Ben Halloran gave Gold Coast the lead with a deflected strike in the 18th minute while Dutch striker Maceo Rigters doubled their advantage with an impressive strike outside the box after 36 minutes.

Dylan Macallister capped off a solid performance with a goal in stoppage time, the Reds unable to defend a late set-piece which looked like it had come straight from the training ground.

The Adelaide crowd had little to cheer about all night with the biggest responses saved for the introduction of 15-year-old Teeboy Kamara, making his Hyundai A-League debut off the bench in the 62nd minute.

The crowd seemed to come alive with his addition to the team, clapping at his every touch. The Liberian-born midfielder looked assured on the ball and was the best performer for Adelaide despite having little time to shine on the field.

In the twelfth minute Galekovic showed his importance to United in his 100th appearance for the Reds by producing a sharp reflex save with his outstretched left palm to deny Dylan Macallister.

Adelaide fell behind in the 18th minute to a deflected effort by Ben Halloran after the Reds failed to clear effectively. After James Brown’s first touch in the box let him down, Boogaard attempted to clear and Halloran pounced on the mistake. Halloran’s shot cannoned off Usucar and fell into the bottom corner, wrong-footing a helpless Galekovic.

The Reds were holding onto the ball but doing little with its possession while Gold Coast were content to soak up the pressure and hit the Reds on the counter-attack.

Maceo Rigters doubled Coach Rini Coolen’s headache in the 36th minute with a power drive from outside the box, leaving two United defenders and ‘keeper Galekovic flat-footed. Halloran was again involved with the 19-year-old providing the assist to the Dutchman had time to control the ball and slam it into the back of the net.

Gold Coast went into half-time 2-0 up with resounding boos chorused from the Adelaide faithful, unable to bear the poor display offered by their local heroes.

In the second half the pace of the game began to slow as Gold Coast dropped men behind the ball to protect their two goal lead. The Reds couldn’t find a way to break down the boys from Skilled Park and resorted to long ball tactics and booting the ball more in hope than expectation.

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Adelaide could have fallen further behind in the 59th minute after Adama Traore’s wing-play exploited United’s right side of defence. Traore found time and space on the wing and his cross found Macallister but the striker could only blast his header over the bar.

Gold Coast was reduced to 10 men in the 76th minute with Ante Rozic getting his marching orders for a second bookable offense; challenging Sergio van Dijk from behind.

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Adelaide almost took full advantage of the send-off but for a solid save by reserve ‘keeper Jerrad Tyson. After the ball was fed into the box, Gold Coast immediately cleared and the ball fell to Spase Dilevski whose low, first-time shot fell straight into Tyson’s grateful grasp.

Adelaide pressed late on to fight their way back into the game but couldn’t find the goal they desperately needed.

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Macallister killed the game off in the 92nd minute of injury time with a third goal for Gold Coast, capitalising on poor Reds defence in the face of a late set-piece.

Attendance: 7947
Referee: Ryan Shepard


The Football Sack ‘Player of the Year’ points
3 Ben Halloran
2 Dylan Macallister
1 Teeboy Kamara

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