Adelaide United FC made it a night to remember as it put to bed a nine game losing streak against the Central Coast Mariners with a 4-0 win at Coopers Stadium.
The Reds finally reaped the rewards that appeared to have been coming after a number of highly encouraging displays in previous weeks, goals from Bruce Djite, Fabio Ferreira, Sergio Cirio and Jeronimo giving the club its biggest ever win over the Mariners and their first triumph against the reigning champions since January 2009.
In a season where luck has often not been on the Reds’ side, everything went the home side’s way as they celebrated their second win, and first clean sheet of the season.
Delighted Coach Josep Gombau said the result was credit for the belief and hard work his players have put in as well as for the Reds faithful that have stuck by the team during a lean spell of results since the opening round.
“I’m very happy to win, very happy for the players and the fans more than anybody,” Gombau said.
“They (the fans) trusted in me, they supported the team, the players have been working very hard.”
“Today is a good day because we got the result and I am satisfied, but tomorrow this is finished and we need to start thinking about the next game against Perth because we are not in a good position on the table and we need to work game by game.”
While Gombau and the Reds will briefly enjoy the fruits of their labour, early on it could have been a different story had the Mariners not capitalised on two golden opportunities to open the scoring, Trent Sainsbury and then striker Daniel McBreen the guilty party.
The Reds made the most of the let off as Djite tucked away a cross from Cirio down the left in the 22nd minute, the goal the striker’s first since Round 19 of last season.
Five minutes before the break Cirio was the provider again, this time for Ferreira who made up for an earlier miss from a similar position, this time hammering it past Mariners keeper Liam Reddy.
The question at the break was now whether the Reds could hold onto their lead after they had coughed up advantages in a number of previous encounters in this campaign.
The answer came 10 minutes after the restart when a long ball from Eugene Galekovic caught Reddy out of position, and despite leading Cirio in the race to the ball as it neared the byline, the Spaniard snuck in to keep the ball in and leave Reddy red faced as he waltzed into an open net.
McBreen missed an opportunity to peg one back when he sprung the offside trap and had just Galekovic to beat, but again the marksman’s finishing was left wanting.
With the points safe, Jeronimo capped off the rout when he was put through and coolly slotted his clinical effort past Reddy.
Adelaide United FC 4 (Djite 22’, Ferreira 40’, Cirio 55’, Jeronimo 90’)
Central Coast Mariners 0
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 7,785 @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 4.Jon McKAIN, 5.Osama MALIK, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (19.Jake BARKER-DAISH 82’), 11.Bruce DJITE (25.Ryan KITTO 76’), 13.Steven LUSTICA, 18.Michael ZULLO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA (7.JERONIMO 46’)
Substitutes not used: 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 30.John HALL (GK)
Yellow Cards: Isaias 17’, Zullo 35’
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners line-up: 12.Liam REDDY (GK), 2.Daniel MCBREEN, 3.Joshua ROSE, 4.Marcel SEIP, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (17.Anthony CACERES 80’), 9.Mitchell DUKE (21.Mile STERJOVSKI), 10.Marcos FLORES (19.Matt SIMON), 14.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15.Storm ROUX, 16.Trent SAINSBURY
Substitutes not used: 1.Justin PASFIELD (GK), 6.Brent GRIFFITHS
Yellow Cards: Flores 14’, Montgomery 25’, Hutchinson 27’, McBreen 28’, Reddy 55’, Rose 90+3’
Red Cards: Nil