Hyundai A-League Season 6

Three Goals In Seven Minutes
Fire Adelaide Into History
By Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 11
7:30pm, Friday 22 October, 2010
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Adelaide United FC 3
(Sergio van Dijk 70, Marcos Flores 72, Travis Dodd 76)
Wellington Phoenix FC 0

(Linked from FFA site)

Adelaide United made history in the Hyundai A-League on 22 October, extending their record unbeaten run to thirteen matches as they overcame a dogged Wellington Phoenix side 3-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium to stretch their lead at the top of the table to six points.

The three goals came in seven second half minutes, and looked distinctly unlikely during a first half in which the visitors' performance had the 11,206 fans present murmuring that perhaps today would be the day when Adelaide's bubble burst.

Wellington's first half showing was their best display on the road in many a moon. Adelaide began brightly - Mark Paston was forced to save at the feet of Lucas Pantelis just seventy seconds into the match, following a deft Marco Flores flick - and came closer still to breaking the deadlock in the ninth minute.

A driving run down the left by Cassio culminated in the overlapping fullback cutting inside and threading a pass into the stride of Sergio van Dijk, whose shot on the turn arrowed across the face of goal and past the far post, much to Wellington's relief.

Cue a spell of concerted pressure from the visiting team, sparked off by a rasping twenty-five yarder from Paul Ifill which fizzed past Eugene Galekovic's right-hand post in the fourteenth minute.

Three minutes later, Paul Reid steered the ball over his own crossbar to thwart a raid in which the lively Mirjan Pavlovic, the full-of-running Leo Bertos and the overlapping Paul Ifill had combined to good effect on the left.

The resulting corner sparked off an Adelaide counter-attack which was cut out at its peak by Manny Muscat, who had already acquainted himself with the home team's substitutes bench by landing in the middle of it in the aftermath of a tussle for the ball with Pantelis.

This time, the versatile defender hurtled out of defence, sweeping past three stunned Adelaide players before bursting into their half and threading a pass through for Pavlovic, who raced into the penalty area where he was brought down from behind by Daniel Mullen.

Referee Alan Milliner was well placed to determine that a spot-kick would have been the inappropriate punishment in the circumstances, and waved play on to the consternation of a Wellington side which nearly conceded the game's first goal in the 21st minute.

A stray Vince Lia pass was swooped on by Cassio, whose cross reared up in front of Mark Paston. The goalkeeper adjusted swiftly to the situation, his sharp reactions foiling an opportunity destined for any one of three Adelaide players who were poised to strike in the vicinity of the far post.

Bertos and Pavlovic were causing Adelaide more than their fair share of headaches during this period, and they combined on the right to open up United's defence in the 26th minute.

Their slick one-two culminated in Pavlovic delivering an inviting low cross towards the near post, where Chris Greenacre was darting in. His progress was thwarted by the covering figure of Robert Cornthwaite on this occasion, but a quite brilliant yet similar attack eight minutes later was deserving of better fate.

Greenacre started it, linking with Lia who swept the ball across field to Bertos. Surging up inside him was Tim Brown, who scooted into the penalty area before driving a low cross towards the near post.

There, again, was Greenacre, whose deft first-time flick directed the ball towards the near post once more. Only Galekovic's smart reflex save maintained parity on the scoreboard, seconds after Pantelis had gone close to putting the home team in front at the other end of the park.

A vital tackle by Andrew Durante thwarted Adelaide's captain, after Flores' smart back-heeled pass and Iain Ramsay's more orthodox delivery had prised open Wellington?s rearguard and put Pantelis through on goal.

That was the cue for Adelaide to up their game, and but for the outstretched leg of Paston in the 38th minute, they would have opened the scoring. Flores was the player denied, after a quickly taken Reid free-kick caught all-comers off guard.

Pantelis had started the game on the right-hand side of the pitch, but it was upon switching flanks with Ramsay that Adelaide began to look and play like a cohesive table-topping unit. Their captain tried to earn them a penalty five minutes before half-time, but so tamely did he go to ground that he was fortunate to avoid a yellow card for simulation!

There were no such concerns regarding Adelaide's second half performance. They were all over Wellington like a rash from the outset, and first threatened in the 52nd minute. Reid played the ball to Pantelis, who worked a one-two with Flores which sent the captain scurrying into the penalty area through the inside left channel, from where he clipped a cross inches over the head of van Dijk.

Two minutes later, Wellington forced a corner, which Bertos played short to Ifill. His cross was a gem, dropping right under the crossbar to force Galekovic into a punched clearance under pressure. This invited Ben Sigmund to have a crack at goal, his effort ricocheting off Pavlovic to safety.

Adelaide had introduced veteran flyer Travis Dodd to the fray by this time, and he was instrumental in their next attack. His right wing run and low cross saw Muscat and Pantelis indulging in a bit of 'crab soccer? in the Wellington penalty area, before the ball spurted out towards Dodd once more.

Adelaide?s former armband-wearer drilled a low cross narrowly across the face of goal, the ball missing the target by the same margin as Pantelis? header two minutes later - narrowly - after Mullen had ranged up on the right to get in between two defenders and whip in a 58th minute cross.

Pavlovic was enjoying the best game of his Wellington career to date, but spurned the chance to lash home a volleyed chance seconds before this incident, stabbing the ball past the post after a Bertos corner wasn't cleared. The young striker then fulfilled his defensive duties by blocking a Reid drive from the edge of the penalty area, as Adelaide pressed again.

A rearguard action was now what Wellington were facing, as Adelaide were starting to click through the gears. Flores' sumptuous touch played in Pantelis in the 62nd minute, and he swept past Muscat into the penalty area only to fire across goal and well wide of the target.

Van Dijk was decidedly closer to breaking the deadlock two minutes later, his glancing angled near post header creeping inches past the far upright after Cassio had galloped down the left and curled an inviting cross onto the head of the number nine.

Cue more Wellington resistance, with Brown's early ball forward playing Pavlovic in. The striker's touch let him down at the vital moment - he had just Galekovic to beat in this 67th minute opportunity, the striker?s last of the match.

By the time Pavlovic's replacement, Nick Ward, had a chance to shine, the game had turned irretrievably Adelaide's way. Paston pulled off a blinding save in the 69th minute to maintain parity on the scoreboard, diving full stretch to his right to tip Reid's deflected piledriver onto the post after the midfielder had strode onto van Dijk's lay-off.

The resulting corner saw the roles reversed, with Reid's delivery picking out the head of van Dijk. This effort grazed the crossbar, but the one he executed in the 71st minute put Adelaide in front for the first time in the match.

It was simple football executed superbly. Flores' delightfully weighted pass sent Pantelis down the left at pace, and his perfectly flighted first time cross found Van Dijk rising to meet it having drifted off his marker. The striker's header found the top left-hand corner of Paston's net via the underside of the crossbar - 1-0.

Make that 2-0 within sixty seconds. Wellington attacked straight from the kick-off, but the ball ended up in Galekovic?s hands. His clearance was flicked into Dodd?s stride by Van Dijk, allowing the substitute to scythe inside before squaring the ball into the path of Flores, as he loomed up on the edge of the penalty area.

His first touch was quality, but his second, which lifted the ball over the plunging figure of Paston and into the back of the net, was simply sublime.

Two goals in seventy seconds had turned the game on its head, and rewarded Adelaide?s endeavours. It was hard on Wellington, for this was without question their best display on the road for some time.

To their credit, they sought a swift riposte, with substitutes Daniel and Ward both lashing twenty-five yarders goalwards. That of the former fizzed past the right-hand upright of the diving Galekovic, while the 'keeper parried the latter's top-corner-bound effort, and followed up by smothering Greenacre's shot as he looked to steer home the rebound.

Galekovic's resulting clearance was direct football at its most effective. The ball was allowed to bounce by Wellington, and Dodd raced onto it. Two touches later, Paston was flailing in vain as the substitute fair battered the ball into the top far corner of the net.

3-0, and no way back now, surely. To their credit, Wellington kept coming, with Galekovic thwarting Greenacre once more after he had combined with Ward, then grabbing a header from the substitute after Bertos had picked out Ward with a cross.

Adelaide threatened a fourth goal, with Pantelis brushing the side-netting after working a short free-kick with the tireless Reid, while Dodd, seconds before he hobbled off with a lower leg problem, spurned a glorious chance to finish things off with a flourish when opting to pass to fellow substitute Inseob Shin was scoring appeared easier.

But a three-goal triumph was more than suffice for the league leaders to secure a bit of A-League history for themselves - the longest unbeaten run in the competition's history. Their opponents just wish they could muster a solitary away win.

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 11
7:30pm, Friday 22 October, 2010
at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Adelaide United FC 3
(Sergio van Dijk 70, Marcos Flores 72, Travis Dodd 76)
Wellington Phoenix FC 0

    Crowd: 11,206


    Adelaide United FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2. Robert CORNTHWAITE, 4. Iain FYFE, 5. Daniel MULLEN, 6. CASSIO, 7. Lucas PANTELIS (c), 8. Adam HUGHES, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Marcos FLORES (18. Fabian BARBIERO 79), 12.Paul REID (16. Inseob SHIN +86), 17. Iain RAMSAY (13. Travis DODD+ 52)

    Substitutes not used: 30. Mark Birighitti (rgk)

    Coach: Rini Coolen

    Yellow Cards: Robert Cornthwaite 47, Travis Dodd 76, Adam Hughes 79'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL (11. DANIEL 74), 9. Chris GREENACRE, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Mirjan PAVLOVIC (4. Nick WARD 70), 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c)

    Substitutes not used: 15. Jade NORTH, 19. Danny VUKOVIC (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Tim Brown 30'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Alan Milliner 6/10
    Assistant Referees: Curtis Wordsworth, Daniel Goodwin; Fourth official: Regis Queffelec

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 8/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Paul Reid (AU)
    2. Mirjan Pavlovic (WP)
    1. Marcos Flores (AU)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied or made available by FFA and used by permission.

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