The Newcastle Jets have gone down to a clinical Adelaide Reds outfit at Coopers Stadium, with the hosts running out 5 – 2 winners in a high-scoring affair.
The Jets, missing first team regulars Dimi Petratos, Roy O’Donovan and Nigel Boogaard, were found wanting in the face of a Reds outfit fighting to solidify a spot in the finals.
It was an uncharacteristic showing from Ernie Merrick’s side, with the Jets lacking cohesion in attack as Adelaide piled on pressure in defence in what was an energetic performance.
It was a promising start for the visitors, with Ronald Vargas – in his first start since returning from injury – finding himself in the thick of the action early, hitting the woodwork with an attacking free kick just outside the penalty area.
Adelaide got off the mark in the opening quarter, with Absalonson making a telling run deep into the Jets’ defence before a string of passes opened space for Adlung –who shot from close quarters to beat a diving Duncan.
The Reds were dominate in the opening half and an attacking free kick from Adlung would evade all comers and sneak beyond the reach of Jack Duncan as it snuck into the bottom corner.
The Jets would claw back a goal in the second half, after a Topor-Stanley header into traffic allowed Ben Kantarovski to help the ball over the line with a cheeky backheel.
The glimmer of a comeback was short-lived, as Ryan Kitto broke free to get one-on-one with Jack Duncan just minutes later to return the deficit to two goals.
A spectacular first-time volley from Absalonson saw the hosts add another, while Cavusevic scored his maiden goal in the Hyundai A-League – taking the Reds tally to five.
It was ten minutes of mayhem for the visitors, which culminated in a second yellow for Jason Hoffman, who was given his marching orders in his milestone game.
Ben Kantarovski added another from close range at the death, to end the night with a rare brace.
The Jets will now focus their attention on a clash with City at home on Easter Sunday.
1’ | 0 – 0 | And we’re underway! Hoffy celebrates his 100th cap and we welcome back Ronny Vargas to the starting XI – let’s go Jets! #ADLvNEW
6’ | 0 – 0 | CROSSBAR! Vargas hits the woodwork from the free-kick – oh so close! #ADLvNEW
15’ | 0 – 1 | Adelaide are off the mark through Adlung #ADLvNEW
45’+1’ | 0 – 2 | Adlung has a brace as Adelaide double their lead #ADLvNEW
62’ | 1 – 2 | GOAL! We snare one back off the corner! #ADLvNEW
62’ | 1 – 2 | McGree floats the corner kick deep, with Topor-Stanley driving a headed effort toward goal, it catches some legs on the way through and just sneaks over the goal line! #ADLvNEW
68’ | 1 – 3 | Adelaide make it three as Ryan Kitto finds the back of the net #ADLvNEW
72’ | 1 – 4 | Absalonson adds another for the Reds #ADLvNEW
78’ | 1 – 4 | It’s a second yellow for Hoffman, who is given his marching orders – we’re down to ten #ADLvNEW
79’ | 1 – 5 | Cavusevic makes it five for United #ADLvNEW
90’ | 2 – 5 | GOAL! Kantarovski with a brace! #ADLvNEW
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 8.Ronald VARGAS, 11.Pato RODRIGUEZ 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 27.Riley McGREE 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 10.Wayne BROWN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 32.Angus THURGATE
Subs Not Used: 13.Ivan VUJICA, 20. Glen MOSS (gk)
Yellow Cards: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (16’), 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (34’)
Red Cards: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (78’)
Goals: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (62’, 89’)
Adelaide United: 2.Michael MARRONE, 5.Taylor REGAN, 8.ISAÍAS (C), 11.Johan ABSALONSEN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Ersan GÜLÜM, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 37.Daniel ADLUNG, 77.Džengis ČAVUŠEVIĆ
Subs: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 21.Tarek ELRICH
Subs Not Used: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 14.George BLACKWOOD
Goals: 7.Ryan KITTO (68’), 11.Johan ABSALONSEN (71’), 37.Daniel ADLUNG (15’, 45’+1’), 77.Džengis ČAVUŠEVIĆ (79’)