Adelaide United took over top spot in the A-League as a big second half coupled with some controversial refereeing decisions allowed the Reds to come from behind to defeat Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.
Adelaide started well, with crisp passing tearing apart Wellington as they dominated possession but struggled to create any real chances for all that work.
Adelaide coach John Kosmina had instructed his team to play with more intensity and that message was certainly heeded but when coupled with the frustration of not creating chances lead to Cassio, Sergio van Dijk and Antony Golec all earning early yellow cards for poor challenges.
In the 19th minute Jeronimo showed his skill with a back-heel finding Iain Ramsay only for Ramsay’s effort to be easily gathered by Mark Paston.
Just one minute later Jeronimo was at it again as he made a good run down the right before he cut inside and fired from close range only to be denied by Paston’s chest getting in the way.
Wellington started to find their feet after 25 minutes and were able to create several chances, with Ben Sigmund having the best chance with his half-volley being well saved by Eugene Galekovic.
With four minutes left in the first half Adelaide fans thought their team had earned a penalty after Leo Bertos challenged Cassio physically in the box, only for Jarred Gillett to be unmoved.
One minute later Wellington had the lead as Paul Ifill got the ball on the wing and then chipped the ball over Adelaide’s defense and finding Stein Huysegems who easily sent the ball past Galekovic for a 1-0 half time lead.
Adelaide came out from half time determined to change things and just ten minutes in they found the equalizer as Jeronimo pounced on a poor clearance to get in at close range and calmly score.
Three minutes later Wellington thought they’d hit the lead when Tony Lochhead’s cross found Jeremy Brockie allowing him to head home only to be denied by a tight offside call.
Controversy struck in the 67th minute as Adelaide United hit the lead through Cassio, who received a return pass after putting Jeronimo through, Wellington were furious at the goal as it appeared Jeronimo was offside on Cassio’s initial pass.
In the 77th minute Wellington were further incensed when Sigmund received his second yellow after some very slight contact on Jeronimo that saw him tumble to the floor dramatically essentially handing the match to Adelaide United.
In the 84th minute Adelaide United finally put it to bed as Dario Vidosic put Jeronimo through allowing him to move in to space and score in the upper left corner of the net.
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