Adelaide United continued its climb up the NSL ladder jumping into 4th position after defeating the Melbourne Knights 2-1 in front of another big crowd of 13,032 fans at Hindmarsh Stadium. It extended Unitedıs unbeaten run to 7 games with 13 points out of a possible fifteen in its last five games.
United captain Aurelio Vidmar returned from suspension and partnered Carl Veart up front. David Terminello came in for the injured Goran Lozanovski and for the second week running coach Kosmina persisted with an attacking combination using a flat back four.
Both sides started the game slowly in the hot weather and seemed to be running off their Christmas lethargy. But only four minutes had elapsed when Melbourne Knights opened the scoring. Kris Trajanovski latched onto a seemingly harmless pass from Daniel Vasilevski and found defender Rees asleep and United goalkeeper Scarsella caught in no-mans land coming out for a ball he had no chance of getting. Trajanovski slotted the ball past the stranded Scarsella from outside the box to give the Knights a surprise early lead.
The goal woke up Adelaide United who pushed hard for an equalizer. The Adelaide fans only had to wait until the 15th minute. Striker Carl Veart jumped high to head home a Richie Alagich cross from the right to level the scores. It was Veartıs 7th goal of the season and he is 5 goals ahead of his nearest rival in the Adelaide United squad.
United were dominant in midfield and were justly rewarded in the 31st minute. Midfielder Ross Aloisi set up David Terminello who cleverly skipped past his defender before striking his shot past the Knights' giant keeper Vilson Knezevic for 2-1.
United continued to push forward and the Knights looked to have a real struggle on their hands to contain the scoreline. But poor finishing and the good work of Knights keeper Knezevic kept the scoreline a respectable 2-1 at half time.
In the second half striker it was more of the same as United continued to dominate. Carl Veart could have had a comfortable hat trick but for his tendency to blaze away over the bar. Other notable efforts included two long distance strikes from Westervelt and one from Budin that grazed past the post.
In the end it was a very comfortable victory for Adelaide who are improving with every outing despite a fair swag of key players on its injury list. Coach Kosmina will be happy with the creation of many chances but will be disappointed by his teamıs poor finishing. The scoreline flattered the Knights who should have been on the receiving end of a five goal drubbing.
Best for Adelaide was Aaron Westervelt who was in control of the centre of midfield. Richie Alagich put in another solid performance at the back and midfielder Ross Aloisi toiled hard all game creating opportunities though he continues to spoil his game with the occasional very sloppy distribution. David Terminello was solid, added a lot of bite to the midfield and cleverly scored the winning goal.
For the Knights the experienced Kris Trajanovski was the only Knights player to have any real impact on the game and always looked a chance to level the score if given any opportunity. Andrew Marth was solid at the back and the giant Vilson Knezevic did very well to keep Adelaide to only two goals. Former Adelaide City midfielder Nick Sabljak struggled on his return to his hometown and was substituted in the 70th minute.