Adelaide United FC Head Coach Josep Gombau’s first Hyundai A-League game in charge has produced a drama filled 3-1 win over Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium.
In a match that featured four goals, numerous chances, two red cards and countless yellows, the Reds started their 2013/14 season off under Gombau in victorious style as a first half brace from Jeronimo and a 64th minute Fabio Ferreira strike proved enough in the end to see off the Glory challenge.
“I am so happy today, not for the way that we played because I don’t think we played a very good game in terms of the style we want to play…it is normal for the first game, but I am satisfied for the attitude they showed – they brought 120 per cent,” Gamobau said.
“We played the last 10-15 minutes with nine players and this is difficult, and they fought and ran and for me this is the best because the other things you can improve in training but the attitude is something you either have or don’t have – and they have it.”
The only sour note for the Reds was the send offs of midfielder Isaias and defender Nigel Boogaard for second bookable offences, which left United with nine men for the final 115 minutes but more significantly without the duo for Friday night’s blockbuster against Melbourne Victory.
With both coaches promising to play attractive, possession based football, it suggested there would be plenty of goal mouth action and in practically the teams’ first two forays forward, there were goals at either end.
Clever work from Daniel Bowles down the right resulted in him driving the ball into the penalty area and after taking enough of a flick on from Ferreira, it came to Jeronimo who slid it past the outstretched Danny Vukovic to open his goal scoring account for Season 9.
But within 90 seconds Perth were level as their South American Sidnei Sciola Moraes found Ryo Nagai unmarked, Eugene Galekovic and Nigel Boogaard unable to keep his well aimed header from sneaking into the back of the net.
Sidnei went close again with a couple of venomous efforts but as the Reds soaked up the pressure, Ferreira and Jeronimo combined again to restore the Reds’ advantage, the Argentine pouncing after Vukovic failed to deal with Ferreira’s initial header from a Sergio Cirio cross.
The only way the Glory seemed to be able to curb Jeronimo’s influence was when a wayward boot from Steve Pantelidis struck the pint sized forward in the forehead which required some medical attention.
Perth had the first chance of the second half when Jamie Maclaren beat the offside trap but sent his shot wide with just Galekovic to beat, and Ferreira would make him pay as he cleverly flicked in a tantalising Michael Zullo cross with the outside of his boot to make it 3-1.
But the Reds’ two goal buffer was anything but safe when Isaias, and then Boogaard, were given their marching orders with enough time remaining for Perth to make a comeback.
However, the Reds defended astutely to see them top of the table at the conclusion of Round 1.
Adelaide United FC 3 (Jeronimo 9’/25’, Ferreira 64’)
Perth Glory 1 (Nagai 11’)
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 10,320 @ Coopers Stadium
Adelaide United starting line-up: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 3. Nigel BOOGAARD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 7. JERONIMO (24. Brent McGRATH 76’), 8. ISAIAS, 9. Sergio CIRIO, 10. Marcelo CARRUSCA, 13. Steven LUSTICA (5. Osama MALIK 61’), 16. Daniel BOWLES, 18. Michael ZULLO, 22. Fabio FERREIRA (21. Tarek ELRICH 69’)
Substitutes not used: 17. Awer MABIL, 20. Paul IZZO (GK)
Yellow Cards: Ferreira 33’, McKain 72’, Bowles 74’, Jeronimo 75’
Red Cards: Isaias 65’, Boogaard 79’
Perth Glory starting line-up: 1. Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 3. Brandon O’NEILL, 4. Ryan EDWARDS, 5. Steve PANTELIDIS, 7. Jacob BURNS, 8. Ryo NAGAI, 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 14. Steven MCGARRY (20. Daniel DE SILVA 71’), 16. Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES (11. Adrian ZAHRA 73’),19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Scott JAMIESON
Substitutes not used: 2. Jack CLISBY, 6. Cameron EDWARDS, 30. Devon SPENCE (GK)
Yellow Cards: Risdon 26’, Burns 28’, Edwards 70’, De Silva 90’
Red Cards: Nil