Adelaide secure their place in the top five

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Adelaide United snapped up another victory to their tally with a comprehensive win over struggling Western United, beating Mark Rudan’s team 3-4 to keep them comfortably in inside the top five.

In the first-ever game between the two sides, Western United and Adelaide United found themselves in the heart of Melbourne’s inner west at Whitten Oval ready for an intense Australia Day clash.

Both sides were ready for action in a vital mid-table clash with Adelaide ultimately reigning victorious. It was a clear goal-fest in the west with five goals scored in the first half.

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Adelaide had a stronger start with Riley McGree creating two big chances within the first minute.

The Reds’ were too slick for Western with Nikola Mileusnic firing home after an effortless cross from George Blackwood.

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Adelaide did not get to celebrate their 1-0 lead for long, with Besart Berisha scoring his first goal only two minutes later. The Kosovan international had much to celebrate, successfully scoring in his 200th A-League game.

It was hard to not to feel sorry for Mark Rudan, especially after Panagiotis Kone and Jerry Skotadis fell asleep in the midfield giving way for the Reds’ next two goals.

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Mileusnic and Blackwood recreated history in the 15th minute after Mileusnic outran Skotadis giving him enough time to send Blackwood’s cross into the centre of the goal.

Western’s defence still had their breaks on tight as they allowed for McGree to finally take his chance at goal in the 18th minute. Ben Halloran tapped a slight cross to McGree, who finished with his left foot from the right of the box.

Western mercilessly tried to dismantle the Reds’ growing lead as Berisha started to even out the scoreboard in the 43rd minute. Connor Pain eased his way through the Reds’ defensive line, cutting a clear cross to Berisha who found the bottom of the goal box.

Western United took their turn starting strong in the second half with Alessandro Diamanti equalising in the 54th minute

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Diamanti threw away all injury fears from Western’s clash with the Central Coast Mariners last week, sending a rocket into the goal. Skotadis slotted through the Reds defensive line and effortlessly crossed to Diamanti for the assist.

Mark Rudan tried his best efforts to try and change the score, sending on Dylan Pierias and Joshua Cavallo on for starting eleven regulars Josh Risdon and Connor Pain.

The decision did not have the desired outcome after Adelaide midfielder Nathan Konstandopoulos nestled the ball in the back of the net in the 79th minute, giving the Reds’ another one-goal lead.

Western now cling onto their place in the top six, while Adelaide who had lost five of their eight away matches this season keep their position in the top five.

Western United: 3 (Berisha 11’ 43’ Diamanti 54’)

Adelaide United: 4 (Mileusnic 9’ 15’ McGree 18’ Konstandopoulos 79’)

VU Whitten Oval, Footscray

Attendance: 5988

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Ilievski

Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Meimarakis

Fourth Official: Lachlan Keevers

VAR: Alex King

Western United (2-3-5):

Filip Kurto (GK), Andrew Durante, Panagiotis Kone, Connor Pain, Max Burgess, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Besart Berisha, Josh Risdon, Alessandro Diamanti, Jerry Skotadis, Oskar Dillon, Dylan Pierias (Sub 72’), Joshua Cavallo (Sub 78’), Valentino Yuel (Sub 86′)

Unused Subs:

Ryan Scott (GK), Apostolos Stamatelopoulous, Thiel Iradukunda, Tomi Uskok

Adelaide United (3-2-1-4):

Paul Izzo (GK), Ryan Strain, Michael Maria, Riley McGree, James Troisi, George Blackwood, Nikola Mileusnic, Michael Jakobsen, Jordan Elsey, Ben Halloran, Louis D’Arrigo, Nathan Konstandopoulos (Sub 72’), Ryan Kitto (Sub 88′)

Unused Subs:

Dakota Ochsenham (GK), Michael Marrone, Mirko Boland

Feature Image Credit: Phil Radoslovich

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season