Adelaide City recorded a perfect start to their 2018 National Premier League campaign with a resounding 10-0 victory over newly promoted South Adelaide Panthers.
By Michael Barbaro (michaelbarbz22)
In fantastic conditions and a great day of festivity, the club celebrated their Junior Season Launch, and also hosted the official opening of their new synthetic pitch earlier in the afternoon’s proceedings.
City got off to a fantastic start in the eighth minute with the returning Josh Mori opening the scoring to give them an early lead.
Fellow returnee, Shannon Day whipped in a dangerous cross which wasn’t dealt with by the Panthers defence and Mori nodded in from close range.
Three minutes later, reigning NPL SA Golden Boot winner Anthony Costa doubled the advantage and put City 2-0 ahead after some great team buildup play.
Adelaide City continued their rampant start to the game, continuously pressing their opponents and in the 14th minute Panthers defender Christopher Reed put in a poor challenge on Mori in the penalty area and the referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Midfielder Nic Bucco stepped up coolly and sent goalkeeper Con Zacharopoulos the wrong way with a low drive into the bottom right hand corner.
The hosts kept pressing and five minutes before half-time Anthony Costa received the ball from Valentino Yuel, before displaying sublime skill to defeat the defender and send a neat finish past the Panthers custodian.
However, City were not done in the half, and things seemed to go from bad to worse for the Panthers.
Reed handled the ball in the box, receiving a second yellow card and subsequently was given his marching orders as City had another penalty.
Bucco again stepped up to the plate, again sending Zacharopoulos the wrong way and City led 5-0.
Anthony Costa completed his hat-trick just one minute later with another good finish and his side led 6-0 at the break.
Six minutes after the restart, Shannon Day got his slice of the action, adding to his earlier assist with his first goal for the club in 2018.
Minutes later, Mori added his second of the game.
The attacking midfielder got on the end of a defence-splitting pass and beat Zacharopoulos to the ball, unleashing an exquisite lob which found the net.
City grabbed another goal in the 87th minute through substitute Mamadi Kamara, and two minutes later Josh Mori sealed his hat-trick with another header.
It was a fantastic win for City, who seemed hungrier than ever to get their 2018 campaign off to a perfect start.
Adelaide City travel to the Steve Woodcock Sports Centre next Saturday as they take on Campbelltown in Round 2 National Premier League.