R21 Wrap: Adelaide City vs. South Adelaide
Goals from Alex Sunasky and Anthony Costa either side of half-time gave the hosts an unassailable four point lead at the top of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia table with one round to spare ensuring the club taste success in its 70th year anniversary.
Coach Damian Mori made two changes for the clash with Shane Tobias returning to the starting line-up at the expense of Brad Corbo, while Lewis Farquhar made way for Mamadi Kamara.
The Black and Whites knew heading into the game a victory would culminate in winning the league with one game remaining and the pressure of fulfilling such a task unfazed the squad.
City largely controlled the early stages of proceedings without creating any genuine opportunities.
However, moments later Joel Allwright tried his luck from range, producing a thumping hit which was saved by the South Adelaide shot-stopper. The chances began to ensue, as Kamara dribbled his way into the area before dragging his effort wide of the target.
The Panthers posed a threat on the counter-attack, but were wasteful when attempting to test gloveman Ryan Veitch.
But it was the hosts who struck first through an unlikely source, when Sunasky arrowed a sensational curling effort into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Veitch was soon called into action, executing a phenomenal reflex save to his left, tipping the ball around the post after the South Adelaide striker volleyed his shot into the ground.
Jordan Pudler continued to impress during the first-half, expertly dictating the tempo courtesy of his excellent distribution in the middle of the park.
And with the Oakden side appearing to be in complete control, Mori’s men carried a slender 1-0 lead into the dressing room looking to extend its advantage.
The first chance of the second-half fell to former Black and White Alex Rideout, however his strike went high over the crossbar after taking a deflection.
Although City dominated the majority of possession they were unable to double their lead as Sunasky saw two headed opportunities sail over the bar.
Nikola Mileusnic played in a wonderfully weighted pass for Allwright, though the latter was denied by a smart save.
However, the result was put beyond doubt when Costa clinically finished his strike inside the far post at the 83’ mark to make it 2-0 and ensure the Black and Whites would be minor premiers.
Following the match City striker Anthony Costa could not hide his excitement in claiming the league title, but admitted the focus must now turn to the play-offs and winning the Championship.
“It’s very exciting, we put in a lot of hard work through the season so to get this reward is a very exciting feeling for us,” Costa said.
“But we know that we still have got a lot of work, this was the first little achievement that we wanted to get.
“And now we’ve obviously got the play-off series which we want to win so now we’re going to put all our attention into that.”
Written by Gianluca Filosi
Photo: sko Media