The Adelaide United Youth Team's dream run has continued after beating the Brisbane Roar Youth Team in a thrilling 4-3 decider on Sunday afternoon.
In Adelaide’s third consecutive home match, the Brisbane Roar were up to the challenge minimalizing space created by the Young Reds, as well as breaking down attacks and pressuring each ball carrier at all times.
As Brisbane’s dominance was key throughout the opening minutes, there determination and hunger went rewarded after Nicholas D’Agostino found space inside the box and calmly put away the ball giving the Roar a one goal advantage 16 minutes in.
Brisbane seemed to gain confidence after that goal, moving the ball around the pitch with ease forcing the Adelaide players to work harder for possession on their home deck.
Adelaide started to gain rhythm in the 26th minute as winger Bruce Kamau retrieved a ball played by Thomas Love who cleverly dribbled past his defender and squared the ball at the edge of the area for which Nathan Konstandopoulos blazed over the bar.
As Adelaide began to gather momentum around the pitch Brisbane Roar became clinical in attacking, as a searching ball found winger Shannon Brady who put himself one on one with Young Reds keeper Daniel Margush and calmly stroked the ball home to silence the reds fans on the eve of half time. At half time the score read Adelaide United 0 Brisbane Roar 2.
As the second half began a big effort was needed for the Young Reds to salvage a result and in the 46th minute the half time team talk worked as Bruce Kamau made a darting run to get in behind the Roar defence in which he was composed enough to smash the ball in from point blank range to give the reds hope for the rest of the half.
The Reds Youth Team took control from then on sparking attacks made by playmaker Dylan Smith as well as incorporating the wingers Bruce Kamau and Antoni Trimboli in various attacks.
As the windy conditions grew immensely Adelaide became more accustom out of the two sides and in the 55th minute an in swinging corner taken by Oliver Zafridis curled past each player in the box which saw the ball fly into the net allowing the Young Reds to equalize within 10 minutes of the second half.
The Adelaide United supporters became much louder which saw the Young Reds ball movement and hunger grow enormously.
Brisbane Roar however were not to be denied as a lovely piece of passage from The Roar nearly went rewarded but was expertly saved by Reds keeper Daniel Margush.
The game from then on became free flowing in all areas of the pitch, as some fantastic interchanging work from both Adam Piscioneri and Nathan Konstandopoulos found Dylan Smith on an acute angle of the 16 yard box who was poised enough to take on his opponent and smash in a third for the reds in the 75th minute.
The Young Reds after that goal held out in defence but the Brisbane Roar Youth were still not satisfied with the result and from an in swinging corner scrambled the ball home in the 89th minute putting a sour taste in the mouths of the Young Reds players and supporters.
As four minutes injury time was shown the Young Reds never stopped believing and worked harder than ever to pinch a winner. As the Young Reds mounted one last attack, some clever work by Adam Piscioneri to take on two players on the side of the goals and deliver and inch perfect cross onto the head of marksman Anthony Costa whose header cannoned off the cross bar and into the back of the net.
The goal sent the Adelaide United faithful into raptures and more importantly allowed the Young Reds to take all three points winning 4-3.
“ We said at half time that if we fix our pressing triggers and score a quick goal the game will come our way and that after we just need to dominate and control the game and I think we did that today,” said coach Michael Valkanis after the match.
“I can just say that I am so happy with their character and their attitude as really it’s something we have spoken about in the last 6 weeks about their commitment to what we’re trying to achieve and they wouldn’t have done that unless their mates on and off the pitch. We have seen them grow from a group of 20 boys to a family and that’s why they can keep fighting to end and get wins.”
“So in the end they showed another quality that we would love to see in Adelaide United players in the future and that is that passion and desire to want to win and never give up and that mentality showed today.”