Victory downed by Adelaide

Adelaide United has strengthened its position near the top of the National Youth League ladder with a comfortable 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.

Adelaide United has strengthened its position near the top of the National Youth League ladder with a comfortable 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday.

The Reds didn't have it all their own way though, the home side having to work hard and rally from a 1-0 deficit following Damir Lokvancic's goal in the 20th minute, the Victory drawing first blood.

Melbourne looked set to take the lead into the half-time interval, but boom Adelaide striker Francesco Monterosso had other ideas, with a superb solo effort to level it one-apiece deep into extra time.

Joe Costa made it 2-1 in favour of the hosts in the 56th minute with a superb reflex diving goal, then Monterosso replicated his first half efforts when - right on the cusp of the full-time whistle - he scored his second goal of the afternoon and fifth for the season.

Adelaide had much of the play early in the opening stanza, before Lokvancic's clean mid-air hit in the 20th minute, which concluded a clean sequence of neat passes, gave Melbourne the lead against the trend.

In the 28th minute, Aziz Behrich almost made it 2-0 for the visitors when he turned two Adelaide opponents inside-out with some deft footwork, swivelled but missed the right-hand post by inches.

The Reds had their chances late in the half, Osama Malik's fierce strike in the 39th minute just high.

Two minutes later, Malik crossed beautifully to Shane Tobias who sprayed his close shot wildly and wastefully with Melbourne custodian Mitchell Langerak wrong-footed and nowhere near the play.

Matthew Mullen sprayed another attempt for Adelaide in the 43rd minute, but Monterosso spared United blushes when he used his body well and converted to even the contest at 1-1 seconds out from the half-time whistle.

Fully stretched, Costa goaled in the 56th minute to give Adelaide a 2-1 lead, which was always going to be tough to reel in.

The Victory attacked hard and created some mini-chances but never quite looked like levelling, United-s defence resolute once again.

Ninety minutes in, Andrew Ciarla's attempt was repelled by a diving Langerak, then moments later, Monterosso, deep into extra-time and on the break, goaled with a superbly connected kick, to add icing on the cake for Adelaide.

Adelaide United 2 (Monterosso 45', 90', Costa 56') Melbourne Victory 1 (Lokvancic 20') @ Hindmarsh Stadium, 1/11/08