Ibusuki, Irankunda lift Reds to ALM win over Glory

Adelaide United have kept their slim hopes of an A-League Men finals berth alive after a stunning 4-2 come-from-behind win over Perth Glory at HBF Park.

Making the trip west knowing they urgently needed to close the nine-point gap between themselves and the playoff places, things started poorly for the Reds on Sunday when Glory talisman Adam Taggart struck in the 21st and 27th minutes.

But with the previous two meetings between these two sides producing 4-4 and 3-3 draws, goals were always likely on the agenda - even considering the scorching conditions.

Carl Veart’s side soon found their stride, cutting the deficit in the 30th minute through Hiroshi Ibusuki. 

Parity was restored in the 41st minute when Nestory Irankunda danced forward, shrugged off an attempted challenge from Riley Warland and squared the ball for Zach Clough to kiss, first time, into the top corner.

“To concede two goals early in the first half, the response from the playing group was excellent,” Adelaide coach Carl Veart told Paramount.

“Earlier in the season, we would have just rolled over. But great character shown by the boys today.”

In his first game since being omitted from the Olyroos squad, Irankunda was a constant problem for Glory in this period, and the teenage dynamo sliced an inch-perfect ball through for Stefan Mauk to finish in the sixth minute of first half stoppage time to make it 3-2. 

Five minutes after the break it was 4-2 when Mauk cushioned a pass driven forward by Isaias into the path of Ibusuki, who rifled a shot into the net from the top of the box. 

Ibusuki's second was the league-worst 50th goal the Glory have shipped this season, a major reason their finals hopes have already been extinguished.

And while they tried to rally nothing would fall, typified by the normally lethal David Williams twice missing clear chances. 

“As soon as we conceded a goal we really dropped off,” Taggart told Paramount.

“Throughout the whole season, I've never questioned anyone's effort but I think that winning mentality is just not there.

“A winning mentality has obviously not been here for a while and we're trying to instil it but it needs to happen a lot quicker; we need to keep pushing because it's just not good enough.”

Possessing a game in hand on their rivals, Adelaide are now six points off a finals berth with four games to play and will host Macarthur next Friday. Glory will travel to Melbourne City on Sunday.

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