Adelaide United moved to within four points of the A-League leaders with a comfortable 2-0 victory over North Queensland Fury tonight. The Reds notched up their seventh win in a row at Hindmarsh Stadium thanks to early goals from usual suspects Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk and then never really let an uninspiring Fury outfit back into it to record maximum points for the 11th time this season.
Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Crowd: 8,786 Referee: Mathew Gillette Yellow cards:AU - nil NQF - Panny Nikas 86'
Adelaide were searching for their seventh win in a row at home and it started perfectly when Marcos Flores netted in just the fifth minute. GOAL Brazilian left-back Cassio, who shook off an ankle injury to get up for the match, sent an aerial ball in from the left flank which was met by Robert Cornthwaite whose header fell just behind the six yard box. Paul Reid was able to get on the end of it and cut back a first-time pass from the byline into the path of an unmarked Flores who needed no invitation to fire home for his 5th of the season.
The Fury, who were without coach Franz Straka on the sidelines because of illness, were showing a lack of intensity and it was only to their detriment when the Reds grabbed their second through Sergio van Dijk in the 17th minute.
GOAL Cassio was again the architect, taking on and beating Jack Hingert on the left ,before whipping in a pinpoint cross for the big Dutchman who powered home a header from the front post to notch up his eight of the campaign and cause the heads of the Fury players to drop even further.
The Reds had more chances in the opening half and were unlucky not to go 3-0 up just after the half-hour mark when van Dijk found space after a Fury defensive error but Justin Pasfield came up with a crucial save for the home side and keep things alive for his lacklustre teammates.
The Fury, led by Dyron Daal, started to show signs of life as the half went on but they were unable to make the most of their possession and tallying corners prior to the half-time whistle.
Adelaide started the second term slowly and it seemed they were about to let the Fury in until just before the hour-mark when they stepped the foot on the gas again with a couple of chances, both orchestrated by Travis Dodd, who was running rings around the Fury defence.
The match started to fizzle out, apart from a few moments of Dodd magic, as Fury's chances to get back into the contest became less and less and in the end they could not bridge the two-goal gap as Adelaide reduced their deficit behind league leaders Brisbane Roar to four points as North Queensland remained rooted to the foot of the table.
AUEugene Galekovic (gk), Robert Cornthwaite (Mullen 78'), Iain Fyfe, Cassio, Lucas Pantelis (Ramsay 63'), Adam Hughes, Sergio van Dijk, Marcos Flores (Keenan 83') Paul Reid, Travis Dodd, Fabian Barbiero
NQFJustin Pasfield (gk), Jack Hinger (McDonald 46'), Mark Hughes, Gareth Edds (Studman 59'), Dyron Daal, David Williams, Panny Nikas, Andre Kilian, Simon Storey, Osama Malik, Ramazan Tavsancioglu (Spagnuolo 46')