Adelaide United have consolidated their place in the top six, accounting for bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Coopers Stadium on Good Friday.
With this result the Reds made their way into the top four, as Marco Kurz’s marquee signings led the way. Michael Marrone was the player who supplied the pinpoint cross and Johan Absalonsen made no mistake with his clever finish for 1-0. His run meant he found acres of space to ensure his header could not miss.
Ben Garuccio scored his first A-League goal for Adelaide in the 61st minute, beating Scott Galloway and smashing a shot into the top corner. A goal in each half and the Nix were on the ropes.
It got better for the home fans just a minute later, as Garuccio delivered a tricky ball that the Nix defence could not clear and Nathan Konstandopolous turned the ball home.
United got the right result for their big crowd as a Phoenix away trip ended in a nightmare yet again in a wretched and forgettable season for the Kiwi side, with nothing but pride to play for.
A late Logan Rogerson penalty that he won and netted was little consolation
The stats do not lie
Cliche yes, but in this case, so true. The Reds were superior to the Nix in every department.
They had the possession, shots, pass completion and territory to back up their overall lead. All across the park they won their battles, defending, midfield battling and finishing better.
Paul Izzo played sweeper keeper well, done while Oliver Sail was called into action on multiple occasions at the other end. The young goalkeeper could only deny the Reds for so long. Eventually, the floodgates opened.
Reds fans out in force
It is a credit to the football that Marco Kurz has got his players playing this season that so many fans turned up to this one.
The club had done a lot to drum up support for the game, and the Reds fans obliged, providing an excellent atmosphere.
The fans were up on their feet for the majority of the contest and they were dancing after the goals started raining in early in the second half.
Roy Krishna hit the post, Nathan Burns missed a great header, Adelaide shot on sight and hit the net three times. It was clear who was the side that had the confidence in this one.
Adelaide were assured, made the right decisions and when they worked the ball into the correct position, they looked dangerous every time.
The Phoenix were largely toothless in attack and seemed scared to take a pop. And when they did, their efforts were often high and well wide.