Passion and execution take Reds to victory
Thursday February 7, 2013
Adelaide United is back knocking on the door of the top two as the Reds rebounded with a tense hard fought 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory in front of a parochial home crowd.
Jeronimo Neumann’s 43rd minute goal, his seventh of the campaign, was enough for the Reds to close to within a point of the second placed Victory, the win also maintaining United’s hold on the Kosmina/Muscat Cup. Jon McKain was awarded the Kosmina/Muscat medallist for another stellar performance as a holding midfielder.
After a tumultuous couple of weeks and three straight losses, the victory could prove a trigger in the Reds’ season as they inflicted Melbourne’s first defeat since New Years Day.
In another drama filled contest between the rivals, interim coach Michael Valkanis was sent from the technical area for dissent a minute before Neumann struck, the Reds copping six yellow cards on the night while the Victory finished the game with ten men after Adama Traore was red carded with 14 minutes to go.
Forced to watch his side from the stands, Valkanis could not have been prouder with the way his charges went about bringing down the Victory.
“It was an important win for the club,” Valkanis said.
“We needed to have this win because we’ve been through quite a bit in the last couple of weeks and because I’ve been here from day one, I’ve seen this club in great days where we were all really proud of it, and today I wanted the players to really show that passion, that aggression to want to win a game, and that’s the way we want to see Adelaide United playing – credit to the players, they were fantastic.”
Also pleasing for Valkanis was that the Reds kept the Victory scoreless and minimise their opportunities while creating a number themselves, enough to have possibly won by more.
“We put a game plan in place in terms of watching how they play and we worked on it at training, on how we were going to stop their patterns of play and then how we would then be able to execute going forward,” Valkanis said.
“I think it was perfectly executed by the players, and to maintain that discipline right to the end was excellent.”
“To bounce back from last week’s result in terms of the way they went about their business at training and on the pitch today was fantastic.”
Just as they did the last time the teams met, the Reds came out of the blocks with serious endeavour and purpose.
The first chance came in the 5th minute when Iain Ramsay acrobatically raised his boot to a ball a metre from the goal line after Dario Vidosic’s presence in the penalty area led to the chance, but the winger’s connection saw the ball hit the upside of the bar and fly over.
The Reds’ back four of Cassio, Antony Golec, Iain Fyfe and Osama Malik were doing well to contain the Victory’s danger men, Malik particularly impressive in his recall to the team at right back.
It was a tempting Malik cross that almost created the first goal but the ball was just cut off by Victory keeper Nathan Coe before Neumann could pounce.
Referee Jarred Gillett was the busiest man on the pitch in the opening exchanges, the clash of a typically physical nature. Four Reds found themselves in the book after 34 minutes, the most costly being the yellow card to Cassio as it was his fifth of the season meaning he will miss next Saturday’s match with Sydney FC.
United was not allowing the Victory to build any real rhythm as the home side went about trying to penetrate Melbourne’s goal but they could not seriously test Nathan Coe. A side footed effort from Neumann from a Carrusca free kick flashed a metre wide as the Reds continued to press.
When Ramsay was yellow carded for back chatting Valkanis followed as he was sent to the stands by Gillett, but before the Reds’ interim boss would have reached the end of the tunnel, Neumann struck to put the Reds in front.
Vidosic toyed with the Melbourne defence down the left before sending in a delightful cross and one of the shortest players on the pitch rose above Leigh Broxham to head the ball into an empty net after Coe misjudged the flight.
With new Assistant Serge Melta now calling the shots from the bench, the Reds started the second half as impressively as they had the first, Cassio and Vidosic creating panic in the Victory defence without being able to extend the advantage.
Carrusca and Vidosic cut the Victory open again but Evan Kostopulos could not connect on the telling final touch before Carrusca tried his own luck as he attempted to bend a left footer past Coe but it flew over.
In the 61st minute Golec went route one with a perfectly weighted long ball for Neumann down the channel, the Argentine’s attempted lob hitting the woodwork where the post meets the crossbar.
Neumann’s pace was creating concern and he went close again minutes later but Melbourne held on and remained in the contest.
There were more twists to follow as the Victory were reduced to ten when Traore was shown a straight red card for a studs up challenge on McKain. But instantly they almost caught the Reds napping, Marco Rojas with a rare chance but he fired well off target.
Vidosic then missed chance to ice the game when he was one on one with Coe, the Reds managing to soak up some nervous final minutes to secure a valuable three points.
Adelaide United - 1 (Neumann 43’)
Melbourne Victory - 0
Crowd: 12,029 @ Hindmarsh Stadium. Referee: Jarred Gillett.
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 4.Jon McKain (14.Cameron Watson 81’), 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 17.Iain Ramsay, 21.Jeronimo Neumann (16.Daniel Bowles 75’), 23.Evan Kostopoulos (24.Awer Mabil 90’). Subs not used: 30.John Hall (gk). Yellow Cards: McKain 13’, Malik 20’, Cassio 29’, Neumann 34’, Ramsay 41’, Bowles 90+2’. Red Cards: Nil.
Melbourne Victory starting line-up: 39.Nathan Coe (gk), 3.Adama Traore, 6.Leigh Broxham, 8.Jonathan Bru (13.Diogo Ferreira 77’), 9.Marcos Flores, 10.Archie Thompson (32.Connor Pain 35’), 11.Marco Rojas, 14.Billy Celeski, 18.Francesco Stella (22.Jesse Makarounas 57’), 23.Adrian Leijer (c), 31.Scott Galloway. Subs not used: 1.Tando Velaphi (gk). Yellow Cards: Flores 61’. Red Cards: Traore 76’.
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