Adelaide United are back at the top of the A-League ladder following Friday night’s 2-1 win over Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
Bruce Djite’s header cancelled out Patrick Kisnorbo’s early strike, before Marcelo Carrusca sealed the win from a spot-kick after substitute Bruce Kamau earned a penalty in David Villa’s last game for the home side.
Villa, who was originally signed for a 10-game loan stint, will leave to meet up with the newly-formed New York City after only four A-League matches and no wins in Australia.
Villa played perhaps his best game for the club, with the Spanish superstar looking constantly dangerous on the left and creating a number of chances.
Melbourne City started brightly and had the Reds on the back foot early, with several chances in the first few minutes.
City’s goal came in the ninth, with Kisnorbo firing a header past Eugene Galekovic from a perfectly-weighted Damien Duff corner-kick.
Villa then had a chance for another a few minutes later but this time Galekovic was able to make the save.
The turning-point came at the 27-minute mark when Jonatan Germano, playing his first game for City, went down with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Ben Garrucio.
[quote]The change seemed to unsettle the home-side and ignite the visitors, with the substitute’s lack of composure playing a key role in both of Adelaide’s goals.[/quote]
The change seemed to unsettle the home-side and ignite the visitors, with the substitute’s lack of composure playing a key role in both of Adelaide’s goals.
Garrucio followed the dangerous Awer Mabil inside, leaving Tarek Elrich open on the right.
The Reds defender fired in a wonderful cross to Djite, who thumped the equaliser past Melbourne keeper Andrew Redmayne in the 39th minute.
City were desperate in the second half and again created a number of chances that had the Reds scrambling to defend, but ultimately came to nothing.
United coach Josep Gombau made a key substitution in the 71sth minute in bringing on the 19-year-old Kamau for Mabil.
The youngster immediately began causing problems for the City defence and in the 79th minute was brought down by Redmayne in the area after Garrucio made another crucial error in slipping-up trying to Kamau’s run.
Carrusca stepped-up to slot home the resulting penalty, ensuring Adelaide would take home the three points and Garrucio would search for a whole to hide in.
The Reds will now head into next week’s home blockbuster against Sydney FC full of confidence, while City are facing an away-clash with fellow strugglers Brisbane Roar winless and without their marquee man.
What did you make of Adelaide’s performance?