City Exorcise Devils

City defender Paul Blefari looks to take the ball forward Photo Adam Butler

City Exorcise Devils

In an emphatic response to the 2016 grand final loss, an attacking Adelaide City has led them to a comprehensive 3-1 win against Campbelltown City on Thursday night in the 2017 PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia season opener.

By Michael Barbaro (@michaelbarbz22)

The Zebras were looking to get their 2017 campaign off to a flying start, with debutants Scott Nagel, Dylan Smith and Evan Kostopoulos all starting their first official game for City following their off-season moves.

City’s first real chance came in the 17th minute when Anthony Costa’s effort was saved by Campbelltown goalkeeper Nick Harpas, with Kostpopoulos’ follow up blocked off the line by veteran defender Iain Fyfe.

Less than seven minutes later, however, Adelaide City found their breakthrough and it came from Dylan Smith.

Mamadi Kamara skipped past a Fyfe challenge, before finding Smith with a through ball, who calmly looped the ball over the Red Devils’ keeper.

This was a special moment for Smith; it was his first ever senior match for City, a club where he spent many of his junior years.

City went into the half-time break leading the Campbelltown 1-0.

It took just six minutes for the visitors to consolidate their lead after the second half got underway with a well worked move.

Kamara went on a scintillating run after winning the ball from Campbelltown’s Space Dilevski, before touching the ball to Smith.

Smith then found Nic Bucco who curled the ball into the top corner, giving City some breathing space in this opening encounter.

In the 56th minute, Campbelltown’s Jake Halliday hit back for the hosts with curling effort which beat City keeper Luke Ostbye, and suddenly the visitors were on the back foot.

The hosts continued to press, and a cross found Luigi Ditroia, who’s header went straight to the goalkeeper.

In a matter of seconds in the 65th minute, City restored their two-goal advantage, thanks to last season’s leading goalscorer Anthony Costa.

Costa collected the ball in the midfield and ran at the Campbelltown defence, before unleashing a thunderous drive from 18 yards which beat the Devil’s goalkeeper at the near post.

There was a feel-good moment for the City faithful in the 74th minute; coach Damian Mori replaced goalscorer Dylan Smith with the returning Joseph Costa – a popular name at Adelaide City Park.

The win ensured that Adelaide City got off to a perfect start; Mori’s team will look to consolidate their opening round victory when they host Para Hills Knights next Saturday, in their first home game of the season.

By Michael Barbaro (@michaelbarbz22)