Adelaide United have warned their rivals of their finals intentions with a resounding 5-2 win over Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.
A first-half double from Daniel Adlung sent the Reds on their way against an undermanned Jets, who finished the clash with 10 men when Jason Hoffman was sent off in the final quarter hour.
Despite missing a host of key players, Newcastle fired the first shot with Ronald Vargas rattling the Reds crossbar with a well-taken free kick on six minutes from just outside the area.
On the quarter hour, United broke the deadlock when skipper Isaias won possession in the middle of the park and evaded a tackle before splitting the Jets defence with a through ball for Johan Absalonsen.
The Dane supplied the perfect cut back which was expertly left by striker Dzengis Cavusevic, allowing Adlung to run on a smash the ball home from 15m.
On the stroke of half-time, Adlung whipped in a free kick from distance which flew through the crowded penalty area and into the back of the net.
The Jets fought and pulled a goal back on 62 minutes thanks to a goal mouth scramble from a Riley McGree corner.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley rose highest and headed the ball down through a sea of legs before it took a touch off Ben Kantarovski and eventually crossed the line.
Newcastle looked to be working their way back into the contest and pressured the Reds going forward but it didn’t last long as the home side added a third on 68 minutes.
Substitute Ryan Kitto latched onto neat knock down from Cavusevic before sprinting past Topor-Stanely.
The speedster raced through on goal before calmly slotting through the legs of Duncan.
Three minutes later and Absalonsen made it 4-1 with the pick of the bunch.
With Adelaide deep in attack, the winger drifted to the back post and thundered home a Michael Marrone cross with a delightful first time volley.
Reds’ fan favourite Tarek Elrich was brought on for the final quarter hour for his first minutes since April last year and slotted into left back.
Soon after the Jets evening went from bad to worse when Hoffman was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
The nightmare continued for Newcastle with Adelaide scoring a fifth a minute later.
Cavusevic was rewarded for his solid performance with his first United goal, finishing truly from 10m after Kitto teed up the big forward.
Kantarovski grabbed his second a minute from full time, again capitalising on poor Reds defending at a corner.
With possession in dispute, the midfielder bundled the ball into the net with his back to goal.
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