Craig Goodwin slides in to score for Adelaide United on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP
Craig Goodwin slides in to score for Adelaide United on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP

United’s best first half says Kurz

Adelaide United boss Marco Kurz says the Reds played their best first half of football this season after tearing Melbourne Victory apart in a brilliant 45 minutes, as the German also farewelled defender Taylor Regan.

Adelaide beat Victory 2-0 with first half goals from Craig Goodwin and Ken Ilso at Hindmarsh on Wednesday night after Regan warmed up with the Reds before flying out to Malaysia to be with his new club Selangor FA on Thursday.

"It was for us a big win and we were very proud about our style of game,'' Kurz said.

"A couple of things were very important, to press them high because offensively with James Troisi and Kosta Barbarouses they're very sharp and they create a lot of chances.

"Also to play very fast from our back four line, we had benefits with our fast and quick players and yes the first half maybe the best in this season and the second one was more fight, we must in the future be more clever."

Kurz confirmed Regan is on his way out of the club claiming losing players during transfer windows is a normal part of the game.

The German said it also made sense to replace Regan with a top class centre back during this transfer window.

"It's part of the contract and we can't do anything and I wish him all the best from my side,'' Kurz said.

"He was always a role model he trained very hard if he played or not and yes I wish him the best success in the future."

Kurz also explained why Dane Ken Ilso is yet to complete 90 minutes this season after he was dragged just after the hour.

"We let him run to how long he is strong,'' Kurz said.

"He needs more time to play more than 60 or 70 minutes he can play more than that but for me it's also important to improve players like Georgie (Blackwood) to get some match fitness.

"We need every player we have a few games in January, it's important to have more players than 11."

With Kurz content, Victory boss Kevin Muscat said giving former SA based ex Burndian refugee Elvis Kamsoba his A-League debut at Hindmarsh wasn't a sentimental decision.

"He's earned the opportunity it's as simple as that,'' Muscat said.

"It's a great story I was really proud of him, he performed immensely he has waited a long time for this opportunity.

"I was really proud and pleased for him and his family happened to be here in Adelaide."

There is now daylight between the contenders and the pretenders.

Adelaide United proved to be a genuine threat in the A-League race for the championship against a rival which has always given the Reds so much pain over the years.

This time Reds coach Marco Kurz masterminded a brilliant game plan to upstage reigning champion Melbourne Victory.

Two brilliant first half goals - one from Craig Goodwin and the other from an opportunistic Ken Ilso was enough to give fifth-placed Adelaide a seven point buffer over seventh placed Newcastle Jets.

It was just Adelaide's second win of the season out of eight home matches but one which also proved why Australia is the Lucky Country.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat helped created a chapter in the most beautiful story of the night when he handed former Burundian refugee Elvis Kamsoba his debut in front of his brother Pacifique Niyongabire's club Adelaide.

 

Adelaide United’s Nathan Konstandopoulos (left) and Melbourne Victory’s James Troisi competer for the ball on Wednesday night. Picture: Getty Images
Adelaide United’s Nathan Konstandopoulos (left) and Melbourne Victory’s James Troisi competer for the ball on Wednesday night. Picture: Getty Images

 

The 22-year-old made his way to the top of the A-League tree via SA clubs Playford Patriots, Raiders and Croydon Kings before his stints in the Victorian NPL won him a Victory contract last week.

Kamsoba joined another former SA resident, ex South Sudanese refugee and capped Socceroo Thomas Deng, a former Playford and Blue Eagles junior in Victory's starting 11 on a spectacular night.

Playing in front of the biggest A-League crowd of the season at Hindmarsh, most of the 12,115 fans were jubilant when new Australian citizen Isaias poked a ball behind Victory left back Corey Brown.

 

Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba (right) is challenged by Adelaide United’s Ryan Strain. Picture: Getty Images
Melbourne Victory’s Elvis Kamsoba (right) is challenged by Adelaide United’s Ryan Strain. Picture: Getty Images

 

Nikola Miluesnic was on the end of the pass swinging the ball across the face of the six yard box for Goodwin to score when the clash was 18 minutes old.

 

 

Adelaide seemed to sense that Victory's defence was uncharacteristically out of synch with its high pressing game before Ilso struck when last defender Deng was caught in possession by the charging Dane.

Ilso stole the ball 30m away from goal, dribbled forward before his 15m left footed shot stung the hands of Victory gloveman Lawrence Thomas and bounced into net.

Victory rarely found its rhythm in the first half but still Paul Izzo was forced into brilliant save from two equally stunning Ola Toivonen set pieces - in the 13th minute and 13 minutes before the break.

 

 

Craig Goodwin slides in to score for Adelaide United on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP
Craig Goodwin slides in to score for Adelaide United on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP

 

 

As the first half was drawing to a close Goodwin had a chance to make it 3-0 but Mileusnic's cross across the face of the box eluded the fringe Socceroo before referee Shaun Evans called for refreshments.

Two minutes after the break Mileusnic forced a save from Thomas' legs seconds after Victory turned the ball over in attack.

Kosta Barbarouses forced Izzo into a brilliant stop when Reds left back Scott Galloway's touch wasn't tight a minute later before Swedish FIFA 2018 World Cup striker Toivonen nodded the ball just over the bar from the resultant corner in the 50th minute.

 

Adelaide United players celebrate after Craig Goodwin scored on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP
Adelaide United players celebrate after Craig Goodwin scored on Wednesday night. Picture: AAP

 

Ilso was dragged in the 61st minute in keeping with the Dane not yet completing 90 minutes this season replaced by George Blackwood as Victory was forcing the Reds deep in defence.

Two minutes later SA's James Troisi ended his shift for Rahmat Akbari just before parochial Reds fans called for Corey Brown to be expelled when he dodged a second caution for a foul on Ryan Strain.

Toivonen cracking a 2om shot past the upright was another warning shot for the Reds in the 68th minute before Ben Halloran watched Thomas save a point blank effort a minute later.

A comedy of errors then saw Terry Antonis rock Izzo's crossbar with a 22m strike in the 71st minute.

Substitute Ryan Kitto had a chance to make the game totally out of reach for the visitors when a Halloran effort ricocheted off Thomas but the gloveman recovered to clutch the ball safely.

 

ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Craig Goodwin 18m, Ken Ilso 21m) MELBOURNE VICTORY 0 at Coopers Stadium. Crowd: 12,115. Referee: Shaun Evans.

News Corp Australia


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