Reds end Victory’s A-League run
Adelaide United have ended Melbourne Victory's nine-match unbeaten run with an pulsating 2-0 win at Coopers Stadium.
First half goals to Craig Goodwin and Ken Ilso were enough for Adelaide to hand the visitors their first loss since round two.
It also marked the first home win for the Reds against their fierce rivals in their last seven meetings in Adelaide.
United coach Marco Kurz is thrilled at claiming maximum points against the defending champions.
"At the end, it is for us a big win," he said.
"(A big win) against a very good team and we are very, very proud of our style of game today." Victory tactician Kevin Muscat lamented costly defensive errors in the first half which gifted the Reds a 2-0 buffer at the break, but applauded the fight back after the interval.
"The reality is we get what we deserve tonight," he said.
"But we did work really hard in the second half and played some good stuff and it wasn't enough on the night." Victory looked less than convincing in defence with the makeshift central pair of Thomas Deng and Leigh Broxham and it was the latter who gifted United their first chance after just three minutes.
A misplaced pass saw speedster Ben Halloran collect the loose ball and charge towards goal only for his shot to be saved by Lawrence Thomas. The Reds dominated the opening exchanges and deservedly broke the deadlock on 19 minutes after Isaias robbed James Troisi in midfield.
Adelaide's captain played a neat one-two with Halloran before slicing Victory's defence with a through-ball which was met by Nikola Mileusnic who whipped in a low cross for Goodwin to tuck away at the far post.
Two minutes later and the Reds doubled their lead after more sloppy defending from Victory saw Ilso strip Deng of the ball and race through on goal before slotting under Thomas, who probably could have done more to keep it out. Ola Toivonen had the visitors' best chance just after the half hour, hammering a 20 metre free kick towards the bottom corner before Reds keeper Paul Izzo expertly tipped it past the post.
Victory lifted after the interval and wasted a glorious chance to draw level five minutes into the second half.
Kosta Barbarouses picked up a poor clearance from Scott Galloway but couldn't find a way past the onrushing Izzo.
United absorbed the visitors' pressure and looked to play on the counter while Victory upped intensity.
Terry Antonis nearly pulled a goal back just after the hour when the Reds failed to clear the ball out of the defence but the midfielder's shot cannoned back off the cross bar.
Adelaide almost extended their lead soon after with a swift counter attack involving Ryan Strain and Mileusnic but Thomas kept out the shot from Halloran. The home side had another chance almost immediately after but again Thomas denied Halloran and the follow up effort from substitute Ryan Kitto.
Get every match of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League LIVE. SIGN UP NOW!