Adelaide dominant against lacklustre Perth

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Adelaide United has defeated Perth Glory 2-0 in their round three clash at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with goals in each half deciding the contest.

Sergio Cirio and Awer Mabil both found the back of the net in the encounter, making up for the late withdrawal of in-form striker Bruce Djite, who was a late omission with a calf complaint.

Adelaide United took the lead in the 18th minute courtesy of a wonderful run and finish from Sergio Cirio. The pacey left-winger-cum-striker took hold of Marcello Carusca’s decicive through-ball and was clear on goal. After a gentle touch, the ball was passed into the right corner past Danny Vukovic’s redundant dive.

Throughout the entire first half, Carusca’s crossing was a joy to behold as he regularly split Perth’s defence in two with well-timed balls, both in the air and on the carpet.

In reality, Adelaide could have been two or three goals up at the break, but the Reds were denied by an acrobatic save from Danny Vukovic on the cusp of half time, and some shots that lacked impetus beforehand didn’t help.

At the other end of the pitch, the visitors were unable to find any sort of momentum and their few chances came after extended periods of giving the ball away and clearing Adelaide’s forward runs.

As a result, Perth was always under pressure, and it was only when the Glory reverted to sitting back and holding on to possession in the latter stages of the first half that they looked to be able to contain Adelaide’s midfield movement to any degree.

In the second half, Adelaide was able to double its lead through high-impact substitute Awer Mabil, who picked up Craig Goodwin’s counter-attacking ball outside the area and streamed into the box unmarked. A powerful low shot was too much for Vukovic, as the ball travelled underneath him and into the back of the net.

The second goal came as Perth continued to try and press Adelaide’s defenders, and while they showed more intent in the second half, they left themselves open at the back, an invitation the victors were more than willing to accept.

The only blip in an otherwise impressive performance from Adelaide United was Awer Mabil’s spectacular miss in the 85th minute. The Young Socceroo found himself in the goal line of an open net, with the easiest of tap ins, but decided to use his knee instead of his shoe. The result was what will no doubt be one of the misses of the season, as the ball sailed over the bar harmlessly.

After the game, Adelaide boss Josep Gombau was elated with his players’ performance, but noted that the season is still in its infancy.

“I am happy with the way that we played, but it’s only three games gone, there are 24 more,” Gombau said.

“What I want is week by week, because sometimes when you think you are playing very well, you go into the next game and lose.”

Gombau’s opposite number Kenny Lowe cut a forlorn figure after the match, but conceded that the better side won the day.

“The better side won, they deserved the win,” Lowe said.

“[Adelaide] are a difficult side to play against, they’re a good side.”

Adelaide next tie is against Melbourne City on Friday night, whilst Perth hosts Newcastle on Saturday.

Adelaide United starting XI: 1. Eugene Galekovic (GK) (C), 3. Nigel Boogaard, 5. Osama Malik (off 87’), 7. Pablo Sanchez (off 61’), 8. Isaias, 9. Sergio Cirio, 10. Marcelo Carusca, 16. Craig Goodwin, 18. James Jeggo, 21. Tarek Elrich, 22. Fabio Ferreira (off 69’)

Adelaide United substitutes: 2. Michael Marrone (on 69’, 4. Dylan Mcgowan (on 87’), 17. Awer Mabil (on 61’), 30. John Hall (GK), 32. Nathan Konstandopoulos

Perth Glory starting XI: 1. Daniel Vukovic (GK), 5. Rostyn Griffiths, 6, Dino Djulbic, 9. Andrew Keogh, 10. Nebojsa Marinkovic (off 45’), 11. Richard Garcia (off 73’), 15. Jamie Maclaren, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Joshua Risdon, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Michael Thwaite (c)

Perth Glory substitutes: 2. Jack Clisby, 3. Brandon O’Neill (on 73’), 7. Youssouf Hersi (on 45’), 13. Diogo Alves Ferreira, 18. Jack Duncan (GK

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