Adelaide United Youth Team defeated Melbourne Victory Youth Team 4-2 in Round 1 of the Foxtel National Youth League at the Elite Systems Football Centre yesterday afternoon.
A hat-trick from Young Reds playmaker Dylan Smith, as well as an Antoni Trimboli strike, saw the South Australian side sink their cross border rivals in the opening game of the season.
In perfect conditions, the Young Reds started the match full of momentum, using the flanks in particular to create early chances.
In the 14th minute, Smith opened his National Youth League account through a low driven shot that fell through Victory goalkeeper, Wyatt Chant’s, legs, giving the United a priceless lead.
Adelaide’s sheer dominance of the football continued, and, just seven minutes later, Smith registered his second goal of the match after a through ball by Trimboli was impeded on by Smith who side-footed the ball into the back of the net.
Victory scored their first soon after, Joseph Katebian slotting the ball past Sergio Serret from just inside the box.
However, Adelaide hit back moments later, as some great build up play by the Young Reds went rewarded as Smith and Trimboli linked up again, this time Trimboli keeping a shot low that whistled into the net.
On the stroke of halftime, Melbourne Captain, Joseph Katebian, completed his brace, after a curling free kick from outside the box sailed into the net giving the visitors a chance, trailing 3-2 at halftime.
Following the restart, the visitors weren’t able to capitalise on their possession, wasting two clear-cut chances.
This would come back to haunt Victory as the second half provided limited opportunities until the 89th minute when Smith scored his third, in-part thanks to an assist from his Captain, Adam Piscioneri. Piscioneri’s ball invited Smith to try his luck from just outside the box, an invitation he didn’t need twice, capping off a fantastic performance from the forward.
After the match, Head Coach of the Young Reds, Michael Valkanis, stated that he was content with the result and performance of the team taking into account their last competitive match was three months ago in the NPL State League.
“I thought we started the game off really well, in particular the first 35 minutes considering we hadn’t played competitively in such a long time,” said Valkanis.
“Again, we have to get back to working hard, getting our match fitness back and getting used to playing 90 minute games again.
“Overall, I was very happy with the boys, their attitude and their efforts and in the end they got a positive result against a very good side in Melbourne Victory.”