Ersan Gulum of Adelaide United and Andrew Keogh of Perth Glory contest the ball in the A-League.Adelaide United have outclassed Perth Glory 2-1 to rise to fourth on the A-League ladder.
United’s Nikola Mileusnic netted the decider on Saturday night at Coopers Stadium as the Reds took fourth on the ladder from Melbourne Victory.
Perth’s Andy Keogh opened the scoring in the fourth minute but his teammate Dino Djulbic’s own goal eight minutes later gifted Adelaide momentum.
The Reds then turned the screws, controlling possession and territory against the Glory who remain in eighth spot.
But Adelaide’s win came at a cost – centre-backs Jordan Elsey (concussion) and Ersan Gulum (ankle) were both forced from the field.
The Glory took an early lead when Keogh scored his ninth goal of the season – the Irishman was pinpointed by a Scott Neville cross five metres out and calmly slotted a header.
Perth defender Djulbic also scored with a header – but for Adelaide, in the 12th minute.
Djulbic, sensing Reds spearhead George Blackwood approaching from behind, launched at a cross into the box from Adelaide’s Ryan Strain and inexplicably headed into his own net.
Adelaide pounced after the mishap and were rewarded for a period of sustained dominance when Mileusnic scored in the 38th minute.
The goal was crafted by Reds captain Isaias, who expertly arrowed a 30m pass downfield and into the speedy winger’s path.
With only goalkeeper Liam Reddy to beat, Mileusnic took aim from 10 metres and converted a low right-footer.
Adelaide continued its command in a second half until a late attacking flurry from Perth.
The visitor’s best chances of equalising came In injury time: a close-range Jacob Italiano header was narrowly wide and a Diego Castro shot in the last minute went straight to ‘keeper Paul Izzo.
“We pushed to get something out of it,” Perth coach Kenny Lowe said.
“But maybe a little of bit of (lack of) finishing our opportunities, that is the way it is going for us at present.”
Adelaide’s only downers were the injuries to Elsey and Gulum.
Elsey was substituted with concussion with about 35 minutes remaining after falling heavily when leaping in an attempt to volley.
And his central defensive partner Gulum hobbled off with 10 minutes to go with an apparent left ankle injury.
Reds coach Marco Kurz said Elsey appeared to have avoided serious injury.
“He is okay (but) the doctor asked him … and he didn’t know the result,” Kurz said.
“I’m not sure with Gulum’s ankle, but we will see.”