Djite fires Adelaide into top spot with win over Sydney FC

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Two first-half strikes from Bruce Djite has fired Adelaide United to the top of the A-League in a comfortable 2-0 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Their stay may be short lived, as Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar each have the chance to leapfrog the Reds on Sunday.

Sydney FC’s slim finals chances were to put to bed just before kick-off following Melbourne Victory’s comfortable 4-1 in Wellington.

Sydney looked confident in the first 20 minutes with Dylan McGowan blocking Filip Holosko’s cross with Shane Smeltz lurking.

Holosko then linked up with Sydney FC debutant Riley Woodcock’s whose return pass was sliced wide by the Slovakian.

That was the best it got for Sydney as Adelaide took complete control.

First, the brilliant Marcelo Carrusca teased a long ball over the top that Djite did well to meet but couldn’t get clean contact.

Then on 26 minutes Zac Anderson could only deflect Michael Marrone’s cross toward Janjetovic who unconvincingly palmed the ball into the path of Bruce Djite who finished superbly on his left foot.

The goal meant Djite surpassed Travis Dodd as Adelaide’s all-time leading goal scorer in the A-League with 31 goals.

It wasn’t long before his 32nd came too, with Marrone once again at the heart of it. The right back’s low cross was poorly dealt with once more by Anderson, who looked to atone by immediately blocking Bruce Kamau’s shot. However, the rebound fell kindly for Djite who fired strongly into the far corner, avoiding the desperate lunges of Aaron Calver and Janjetovic.

Graham Arnold brought on Robert Stambolziev and Brandon O’Neill at half-time but they could do little to halt the Reds dominance.

Carrusca was subbed off on 69 minutes to ensure his health for next week after being fouled by Woodcock, Jacques Faty and Smeltz in the second half. Smeltz was fortunate to stay on the park after stepping on Marrone whilst on a yellow.

Bruce Djite had a couple of late chances to complete his hat-trick. He thought he should have had a penalty when Anderson denied him with a challenge from Cirio’s low cross.

Then in the 88th minute he missed an easy chance on a bouncing cross from Craig Godwin.

Sydney’s best chance of the half came in the 4th minute of added time when Chris Naumoff danced around the Adelaide defence before firing straight at Janjetovic.

Sydney’s focus will now firmly be on the Asian Champions League, where they sit top of their group and welcome the Pohang Steelers to Allianz Stadium on Tuesday night.

Tonight’s loss made broke a club record for the Sky Blues, marking 11 consecutive games without an A-League victory.

Adelaide broke a record of their own, becoming the first A-League team to ever record four consecutive clean sheets away from home.

Their ambition to claim the Premier’s plate could hinge on a vital clash against Melbourne City next Friday night.
SYDNEY FC: 1. JANJETOVIC Vedran, 4. ANDERSON Zac, 8. DIMITRIJEVIC Milos, 9. SMELTZ Shane, 10. NINKOVIC Milos, 11. NAUMOFF Chris, 16. WOODCOCK Riley, 19. FATY Jacques, 21. HOLOSKO Filip, 25. CALVER Aaron, 29. MULLEN, Alex

SUBS: 6. STAMBOLZIEV Robert, 7. HOOLE Andrew, 13. O’NEILL Brandon, 20. NECEVSKI Ivan, 22. ABBAS Ali

ADELAIDE UNITED: 1. GALEKOVIC Eugene, 2. MARRONE Michael, 3. LA ROCCA Iacopo, 4. McGOWAN Dylan, 6. MAUK Stefan, 8. ISAIAS 9. CIRIO Sergio, 10. CARRUSCA Marcelo, 11. DJITE Bruce, 16. GODWIN Craig, 24. KAMAU Bruce.

SUBS: 7. SANCHEZ Pablo, 14. MELLS George, 17. DUGANDZIC Mate, 20. HALL John, 23. ELSEY Jordan

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