Adelaide Youth edge out Victory

It was mission accomplished for Adelaide United at Bob Jane Stadium on Wednesday evening - a one-nil win over the Melbourne Victory giving the visitors a precious three points in their National Youth League clash rescheduled from Round 12.

It was mission accomplished for Adelaide United at Bob Jane Stadium on Wednesday evening - a one-nil win over the Melbourne Victory giving the visitors a precious three points in their National Youth League clash rescheduled from Round 12.

The win - decided by a 51st minute goal from Andrew Ciarla - brings Adelaide to within a point of second-placed Queensland Roar with a game in hand.

Adelaide coach Joe Mullen conceded the hosts held the edge early, but he was delighted with the way his players knuckled down in the second half.

"The game plan wasn't to be as relaxed in the first half, that just gives coaches grey hairs," Mullen said.

"But in the second half we knew we had to force something in the game and I think our pressure on the ball, especially high up the ground was a lot better."

"That's what turned the ascendancy."

Twice in the first half, Adelaide forward Joel Allwright was clean through with only the keeper to beat - and twice he was foiled by Mitch Langerak.

In just the 10th minute the gangly Langerak saved low to his right after Allwright had intercepted a cross-field pass from Stephen Pace.

And on the stroke of half-time the Victory stopper charged quickly off his line to close down Allwright who had capitalised on a dreadful mix-up in the Melbourne defence.

In between, the home side had by far the better chances including two in a minute mid-way through the half set up by Nathan Elasi.

A deft flick from Elasi in the 23rd minute put Aziz Behich clear and his shot from 12 metres was deflected just over the bar.

Then Elasi himself broke through down the left and cut the ball back to an unmarked Matthew Foschini whose blast from the top of the box was inches wide of the right post.

Adelaide's second-half transformation however paid dividends when Joseph Costa dispossessed Leigh Broxham in the Victory's back third and the ball ran into the path of an unmarked Francesco Monterosso deep on the right.

They were lining up in the box for Adelaide as Monterosso's perfectly-weighted cross floated over the head of Langerak - who appeared to be baulked by Costa at the near post - and found the unmarked Ciarla who was able to calmly chest the ball over the line from point blank.

According to Mullen, it was a goal straight from the Adelaide handbook.

"We had numbers getting into the box which is something we worked on all week," he said.

"It was one of our midfielders, actually, who made a good 40-50 metre run to get on the end of that and it's a credit to him and to all the boys who are following instructions."

"It's not always pretty the way we're playing, but they're following instructions and we can't ask for anything more."

Melbourne came to life in the final 10 minutes with substitute Tedros Yabio an important factor in their late revival.

There was a very near thing in the 83rd minute when Behich wriggled free on the left and crossed hard and low for Elasi who stabbed the ball into the net at the far post only to be ruled offside.

Mathew Theodore had two chances in a minute, the first fired inches over the bar and the second forcing a brave block from Adelaide 'keeper Mark Birighitti.

Afterwards, Mullen took time out to savour the prospect of a top-two finish.

"Queensland are a quality side, as are Sydney and Perth," he said.

"We've still got a game in hand over Queensland and we-re a point behind them."

"They've got to play Perth twice … and we've got to play Queensland ourselves in the last game of the season, so it-s going to be the team that can outlast everybody else."