Adelaide United grabbed its first win of the 2006/07 A-League season when it smashed Newcastle Jets 5-1 in miserable conditions at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.
Adelaide was hopeful of a sell-out for its first home game of the season. But Mother Nature had different ideas turning on a miserable evening for football. Considering the cold, wet and windy conditions a respectable crowd of 8,785 turned out.
Adelaide and Newcastle went into the clash winless after two rounds and desperate to grab their first win. Yet despite the importance of the game it took Adelaide only 28 minutes to seal the result.
Adelaide scored its first goal of the season after only 8 minutes when Fernando Rech smashed home a Jason Spagnuolo free kick.
Ten minutes and another free kick led to Adelaide's second goal. John Aloisi curled in a swirling ball that deceived Newcastle's 20 year old Ben goalkeeper Kennedy. The ball struck the crossbar and rebounded out. The waiting Robert Cornthwaite got on the end of the rebound and lobbed his header into the back of the net.
Another ten minutes and Adelaide put the result beyond doubt with its third goal - once again from a free kick. This time Qu Shengquin took the direct route hitting the free kick around the wall and beyond the outstretched arm of goalkeeper Kennedy. 3-0 to Adelaide.
Adelaide ran out the half in control of the game while the fans continued to be drenched by the rain.
The rain relented at half time and Adelaide took its foot of the pedal in the second half.
Mark Bridge gave Newcastle some hope when he pulled a goal back for the Jets after some sloppy defending by Adelaide. Bridge lobbed the ball over Bajic. 3-1 to Adelaide.
But the hope was short-lived with Adelaide getting its fourth goal in almost comical circumstances. Qu caught the Newcastle defence square then used his strength to hold off his defender as he headed goal wards. With only the keeper to beat, he meekly miss-hit his shot goal wards. As goalkeeper Kennedy went to grab the ball Newcastle defender Durante ran across the path of the ball and deflected it past his goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
Adelaide added its fifth and final goal in the 73rd minute after some determined work by lively substitute Bobby Petta. The Dutchman started out wide, rode through two tackles before crossing inside to the unmarked Rech. Goalkeeper Kennedy had no chance as Rech drove the ball home from close range.
With the score at 5-1 the main interest in the game was if Adelaide would set a new record by becoming the first side in the A-League to score six goals in a game. In the closing 20 minutes both sides had several good chances to increase the score but a combination of some ordinary last balls and very poor finishing left the score line unchanged.
The final 5-1 score line was an emphatic win for Adelaide. The fans were treated to six goals in a very open and attacking game. But the poor conditions had its impact on the quality of the football.
Adelaide coach John Kosmina will be pleased his side has grabbed its first win and opened its goal account with a deluge. Imports Rech and Qu showed signs of the form that made them a feared combination last season. Another import Bobby Petta demonstrated his class in his brief 20 minute debut.
Newcastle coach Nick Theodorakopoulos will be very concerned about his side's poor performance. While he has some quality players in his squad the defence is leaking goals and the situation will be doing little to help the confidence of young goalkeeper Kennedy - the only goalkeeper in his squad. With New Zealand having improved, Newcastle has become the early favourites to take out the wooden spoon.
Angelo Costanzo was the pick of the Adelaide side in his 250th A-League/NSL match. Rech and Qu were dangerous up front while Spagnuolo and Owens put in strong performances.
For Newcastle Matt Bridge occasionally looked dangerous while Nick Carle undid his good work by squandering several good opportunities.