Three images leave Adelaide with ‘real concerns’ after Sydney survive late rally

Catch the highlights as Sydney FC hosted Adelaide United in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Sydney FC inflicted more pain on Adelaide United with a 2-1 victory in the Isuzu UTE A-League as the Reds not only tasted defeat but were left with a mounting injury list.

In-form Sydney extended their unbeaten streak to five games thanks to goals in either half from Robert Mak and Fabio Gomes in humid conditions at Allianz Stadium, where the Sky Blues leapfrogged cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers into fifth place.

Javi Lopez did give Adelaide a glimmer of hope in the 94th minute, but it was a mere consolation.

The result only heaped further misery on Adelaide, who have won just one of their past eight matches. The struggling Reds also lost Josh Cavallo and Ben Warland to injury, while Japanese star Hiroshi Ibusuki hobbled off clutching his hamstring.

MATCH CALLED OFF: Canberra-Sydney Liberty A-League clash abandoned due to lightning

Adelaide were already without Nestory Irankunda due to illness.

“Real concerns for Carl Veart with his ever-growing injury list,” said Paramount+ co-commentator Grace Gill.

When Carl Veart was asked about Irankunda and whether the teenage sensation would be available next week, the Adelaide head coach told Paramount+: “Hopefully.

“It’s always difficult because every time I speak, everyone wants to know about Nestory which puts a lot of pressure on him. Sometimes I just wish we could leave him alone and let him do his thing.”

On Adelaide’s slump, Veart added: “It’s always difficult when you’re in these positions. That little bit of confidence and belief can be difficult.

“We just have to keep working and having that belief in ourselves. I saw that tonight. Disappointed we didn’t get something from the game but happy with the endeavour we showed.

“We’re learning the hard way when we make mistakes that we get punished. Football can be cruel like that.”

As for Sydney star Anthony Caceres, who saw Ufuk Talay arrive in November to replace Steve Corica, he told Paramount+: “Our style of play has brought a new identity, a clear identity.

“One that we want to be the protagonist every game. Take charge early with our press and energy and put on a good show for our fans.”

Adelaide almost broke the deadlock early on when Ibusuki noticed Andrew Redmayne off his line in the fourth minute and his audacious attempt left the veteran Sydney goalkeeper scrambling to tip it over the crossbar.

Sydney had plenty of possession without making it count on the scoreboard, though they did break the deadlock in the 27th minute.

Adelaide, who were forced into an early change following an injury to Cavallo, carelessly gave the ball away and it ended in Mak expertly putting the ball in the back of the net.

Fabio Gomes was left to rue a great chances five minutes prior to half-time, having rounded the goalkeeper but he ran out of options as the opportunity went begging.

Moments later, the post and a goal-line clearance from Ben Warland denied Sky Blues defender Jake Girdwood-Reich.

Stefan Mauk had a pair of chances in the midst of Sydney’s dominance, though he could not make them count while Fabio Gomes went close again in first-half additional time after seeing his deflected chase down bounce just wide of the post.

Ibusuki fired a warning shot 10 minutes into the second half when his half-volley struck the side netting as a collective gasp could be heard around Allianz Stadium.

At the other end, James Delianov had to make two quick saves to keep Adelaide in the contest.

Corey Hollman was the first to be denied by the Adelaide goalkeeper before Joe Lolley was kept out in brilliant fashion.

Fabio Gomes had the ball in the back of the net on the hour. However, it was ruled out for a foul, much to the dismay of the Brazilian.

He did get his goal six minutes from the end. Isaias was penalised for a foul inside the penalty area and Fabio Gomes converted the spot-kick.

Former Espanyol star Javi Lopez popped up at the back post with a header in the fourth minute of stoppage time to set up a nervy finish, but Sydney held on for maximum points.