Five-star Adelaide demolish Wellington in the ALM
Adelaide United have turned in a five-star performance to thrash Wellington Phoenix in the A-League Men at Coopers Stadium.
The thumping 5-1 victory puts the Reds clear in second spot, six points above Central Coast Mariners, Western Sydney Wanderers and the Phoenix who are all locked on 31 points.
The result extends Adelaide's unbeaten run to 10 matches and marks the fourth time in five games they have scored four goals or more.
Coach Carl Veart was thrilled the Reds were able to make the most of their opportunities and rack up a convincing win.
"It was a bit of a crazy game wasn't it," he said.
"It was very open, both teams had plenty of opportunities and we were fortunate enough that we took our chances."
United broke the deadlock on the quarter hour, courtesy of an own goal from Phoenix defender Scott Wootton, who deflected a cross to catch goalkeeper Oli Sail off guard.
On 23 minutes, young striker Luka Jovanovic made it 2-0, scoring in consecutive matches after back-to-back starts.
Just after the half-hour it was Wellington's turn to apply some pressure, Lucas Mauragis squaring for Yan Sasse whose powerful half-volley forced Joe Gauci into a stunning reflex save.
Gauci almost went from hero to villain just before the break when he dawdled in possession and was robbed by Kosta Barbarouses inside the area, but the Phoenix attacker could only hit the upright with an open goal beckoning.
Adelaide added their third in the 50th minute through Lachie Barr.
Craig Goodwin whipped in a delightful in-swinging corner from the right and the Reds defender rose highest to power a header past Sail.
Three minutes later, the Phoenix pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Yan Sasse was felled inside the area, with captain Alex Rufer stepping up to coolly convert the spot kick.
It was not to be the start of a comeback, though, and United made it 4-1 just after the hour with a stunning team move.
Substitute Hiroshi Ibusuki controlled possession in the middle of the park for Ryan Kitto whose first-time long ball found Goodwin in acres of space on the left.
The Reds winger threaded a pass into the area for Louis D'Arrigo who cut the ball back for Ibusuki to calmly tuck it away in the bottom corner.
Goodwin completed the scoring, making it five for United in the 71st minute.
Midfielder Isaias released his skipper with another long ball over the top which Goodwin raced onto before taking a touch, cutting inside the defender and slotting his right-foot shot past Sail.
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay felt the score did not reflect his team's performance.
"Overall, I thought we played well," he said. "We played straight through them at times, we created opportunities.
"Did we have opportunities to score? Definitely we did.
"Were we as clinical as they were? We weren't tonight and that's why the result is the way it is."