Friday, August 20, 2010

Adelaide United top A-League ladder after win over Melbourne Heart

Adelaide United moved to the top of the A-League ladder with a 3-2 win over Melbourne Heart before 7,370 fans at Hindmarsh Stadium tonight.

Heart are second-last, while Melbourne Victory are at the foot of the ladder.

Adelaide striker Sergio Van Dijk was a last-minute withdrawal after being injured in the warm-up.

His replacement, Iain Ramsay, netted two of Adelaide’s goals in a marvellous performance.

Heart were missing key players Josip Skoko and Alex Terra. The team found the slippery conditions difficult to handle and quite a few of their players slipped at crucial times, resulting in at least one goal and several near misses.

In this battle of the two Dutch coaches - Adelaide’s Rini Coolen and Heart’s John van’t Schip - it was Adelaide that led twice, only to be pulled back on each occasion.

The winning goal came 2 minutes from the end and there was no coming back for a third time by the visitors.

It took just 2 minutes for the home team to hit the front. A poor back-pass by Michael Marrone on the right flank and a slip by Michael Beauchamp enabled Mathew Leckie to race into the box and nut-meg keeper Clint Bolton with a low shot from an angle on the left.

Lucas Pantelis might have had a second in the 24th minute after some delightful skill on the right by Marcos Flores, but the Adelaide United skipper mis-kicked and the chance went begging.

Nick Kalmar had a chance for Heart in the 32nd minute, but he blazed over the bar. Prior to that, one of the club’s two Dutch imports, the tall Gerald Sibon, placed a free-kick from 20 metres over the bar.

Eli Babalj, a member of the Young Socceroos, went close for Adelaide in the 36th minute, his shot from just 6 metres out going wide.

The equaliser came 2 minutes before the break from a header by Dutch import, Rutger Worm.

Ramsay restored Adelaide’s lead in the 52nd minute, but Babalj again drew Heart level when he scored from Matt Thompson’s cut-back in the 74th minute.

With yet another A-League draw looming, Ramsay popped up to hit the winner after a neat one-two with Flores and another shot through the legs of Bolton.

Heart captain Simon Colosimo was composed in defeat and said it was good to see his team score two good goals.

He said it was only the third match for the side and they used the ball well in patches, but it was disappointing to give away two easy goals on the night.

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