Sergio Cirio has done it again, scoring a late winner for Adelaide United against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday evening at Coopers Stadium.
Cirio’s strike came in the 94th minute and snatched a 2-1 victory for the Reds in front of 9726 fans who braved wet conditions to see their team stretch its unbeaten streak at home to 13 games.
[quote]The Spaniard has now scored six goals in all competitions so far in 2014 to be one the form strikers in the country.[/quote]
The Spaniard has now scored six goals in all competitions so far in 2014 to be one the form strikers in the country.
Wellington’s Dutch import Roly Bonevacia scored in the 15th minute for his first A-League goal for the visitors, before a Nigel Boogaard header at the 36-minute mark levelled the scores at 1-1.
It looked like it would stay that way until Cirio snatched victory at the death, tapping in a deflection from a contentious Craig Goodwin free kick.
The Phoenix were resolute but Adelaide coach Josep Gombau and his players will feel they got what they deserved after finishing the game with 69% of possession and 16 shots on goal.
Wellington finished the match with only four shots on target, none of which came in the second half.
The win lifts United to outright second, one point behind Perth Glory, who consigned Western Sydney to its fourth A-League loss with a 2-1 victory at Nib Stadium on Saturday night.
The Reds also earned some breathing space from Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, who played out a nil-all draw at Allianz Stadium.
Adelaide started as they have all season, controlling possession and attacking at will as Wellington were content to sit back and wait.
Pablo Sanchez had a chance to open the scoring for the home side but his strike forced a brilliant save from Phoenix keeper Glen Moss to deny the Spaniard his first A-League goal.
The resulting counterattack proved decisive, with Roy Krishna bursting along the flank and passing to Bonevacia, who produced a wonderful strike that thundered past Eugene Galekovic and into the back of the net.
The goal only seemed to spur United on, however, with red shirts streaming forward time after time in a period in which Wellington hardly touched the ball.
The inevitable equaliser came from an unlikely source in Boogaard.
Goodwin curled a fantastic corner into the box for the defender to rise above the scramble of players and head it past Moss to make it 1-1.
The game slowed after the main break with the conditions, Adelaide’s mid-week FFA Cup tie and Wellington’s seeming contentment with a point contributing to a dour second half bereft of chances.
The Phoenix looked destined to get their way after Cirio somehow missed a regulation tap-in in the 89th minute.
The Spaniard made amends five minutes later, however, to the rapture of wet Reds fans and delight of Gombau, whose sprint onto the pitch to celebrate the sealer was something to savour.
Adelaide will look to roll on next week against Central Coast in Gosford, while the Phoenix travel to Perth to take on the top of the table Glory.
How did you rate Adelaide’s win?