Reds too strong for Victory

Adelaide United has strengthened its position near the top of the National Youth League ladder with a comfortable 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.

Adelaide United has strengthened its position near the top of the National Youth League ladder with a comfortable 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds didn't have it all their own way though, the home side having to work hard and rally from a 1-0 deficit following Damir Lokvancic's goal in the 20th minute, the Victory drawing first blood.

Melbourne looked set to take the lead into the half-time interval, but boom Adelaide striker Francesco Monterosso had other ideas, with a superb solo effort to level it one-apiece deep into extra time.

Joe Costa made it 2-1 in favour of the hosts in the 56th minute with a superb reflex diving goal, then Monterosso replicated his first half efforts when - right on the cusp of the full-time whistle - he scored his second goal of the afternoon and fifth for the season.

Adelaide had much of the play early in the opening stanza, before Lokvancic's clean mid-air hit in the 20th minute, which concluded a clean sequence of neat passes, gave Melbourne the lead against the trend.

In the 28th minute, Aziz Behrich almost made it 2-0 for the visitors when he turned two Adelaide opponents inside-out with some deft footwork, swivelled but missed the right-hand post by inches.

The Reds had their chances late in the half, Osama Malik's fierce strike in the 39th minute just high.

Two minutes later, Malik crossed beautifully to Shane Tobias who sprayed his close shot wildly and wastefully with Melbourne custodian Mitchell Langerak wrong-footed and nowhere near the play.

Matthew Mullen sprayed another attempt for Adelaide in the 43rd minute, but Monterosso spared United blushes when he used his body well and converted to even the contest at 1-1 seconds out from the half-time whistle.

Fully stretched, Costa goaled in the 56th minute to give Adelaide a 2-1 lead, which was always going to be tough to reel in.

The Victory attacked hard and created some mini-chances but never quite looked like levelling, United-s defence resolute once again.

Ninety minutes in, Andrew Ciarla's attempt was repelled by a diving Langerak, then moments later, Monterosso, deep into extra-time and on the break, goaled with a superbly connected kick, to add icing on the cake for Adelaide.

Match Details

Adelaide United 3 (Franceso Monterosso 47+-/93+-, Joseph Costa 56-) Melbourne Victory 1 (Damir Lokvancic 20-)

Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Saturday 1 November 2008 Referee: Stephen Toth

Adelaide United line-up: 30.Lucas ANDREUCCI (gk) (40.Luke OSTBYE (gk) 60-), 2.Michael DOYLE, 3.Scott WEIDENBACH, 4.Michael MARRONE, 5.Shane TOBIAS, 7.Joel ALLWRIGHT (16.Michael DE BONO 46-), 8.Matthew MULLEN (9.Andrew CIARLA 83-), 9.Andrew CIARLA (11.Joseph COSTA 54-), 10.Osama MALIK, 14.Travis ANDERSON (21.Angelo ARAMBATSIS 58-), 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO

Yellow cards: Matthew Mullen 26-, Shane Tobias 71-, Angelo Arambatsis 89-. Red Cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory line-up: 1.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk), 2.Robbie WYNNE (12.Boniel OBRADOVIC, 46-), 3.Steven PACE (OA), 4.Matthew FOSCHINI (8.Stephen HATZIKOSTAS,60-), 5.Fabio DI LIZIA, 6.Cameron DRAKE, 7.Aziz BEHICH, 9.Matthew THEODORE, 10.Steve PANTELIDIS (OA), 11.Dimitri HATZIMOURATIS (13.Tedros YABIO 60-), 14.Damir LOKVANCIC

Substitutes not used: 20.Mijo MARINOVIC (gk)

Yellow cards: Robert Wynne, Tedros Yabio 67-, Stephen Hatzikostas 67- Red Cards: Nil