United resurgence continues

Adelaide United's drastic transformation under new coach John Kosmina continued in spectacular style on Wednesday at AAMI Park when they brought the high-flying Melbourne Heart back to earth with a 3-1 thumping.

Adelaide United's drastic transformation under new coach John Kosmina continued in spectacular style on Wednesday at AAMI Park when they brought the high-flying Melbourne Heart back to earth with a 3-1 thumping.

A brace from star Sergio van Dijk and another goal from Dario Vidosic ended the Heart's five-match winning streak and catapulted the Reds into the top six.

Van Dijk opened the scoring for the visitors with a spot-kick in 38th minute after Simon Colosimo brought Bruce Djite down on the edge of the area.

Three minutes after half-time Adelaide's advantage was doubled after a beautiful one-two between van Dijk and Zenon Caravella released Vidosic into the area and the 24-year-old slipped the ball past the advancing Clint Bolton to score a clever goal.

And van Dijk sealed the victory in the 79th minute when he displayed considerable strength to outmuscle Brendan Hamill, accept a ball from Francisco Usucar and rocket it across Bolton for his second and Adelaide's third.

The penalty that Colosimo conceded proved to be a double blow as the veteran appeared to suffer a serious left knee injury and although he tried to play on, he had to be subbed off in the 41st minute.

Eli Babalj got a consolation for Heart when he turned Nigel Boogard inside-out in stoppage time to score a superb goal but it was too little too late.

Heart dominated the opening stages of the match and had an early cry for a penalty themselves turned down in the fifth minute when Mate Dugandzic was brought down in the area by Usucar.

Usucar didn't make any contact with the ball and denied Dugandzic a gilt-edged goal-scoring opportunity but referee Kris Griffiths-Jones waved play on.

Heart displayed superior ball control and skill early with Rutger Worm starting brightly down the left and Dugandzic causing headaches for Adelaide's defence.

It was a relatively slow start to the match with both midfields working hard but lacking quality up front to finish off some decent balls forward.

But after surviving an early onslaught, Adelaide began to find their groove midway through the first half with the industrious van Dijk and Djite in the thick of many of Adelaide's threatening build-up work.

And the Reds were rewarded for their lift in intensity in the 38th minute when van Dijk made no mistake from the spot with a powerful strike to the bottom right-hand corner of the net which gave Bolton no chance of saving even though he dived to the right way.

The Heart could very well have equalised with the last play of the first half after Aziz Behich skilfully wrong-footed Caravella and Boogard to be one-on-one with goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

But Behich's shot on goal lacked power and was easily collected by the Adelaide skipper.

And it wouldn't take long for Behich to rue that missed opportunity as Vidosic scored Adelaide's second just three minutes after half-time.

Caravella proved to be a welcome return to the Adelaide side and was at the heart of a lot of the visitor's attacking plays from midfield.

The Heart lifted their intensity but couldn't find reward and only had themselves to blame in many ways with a host of promising scoring chances going begging.

Curtis Good, Alex Terra and Babalj were the main culprits with Babalj squandering the best opportunity.

From a corner, Babalj managed to somehow strike a loose ball from six yards out over the crossbar.

To Adelaide's credit their defence held on grimly and successfully dealt with the many menacing Heart opportunities.

And van Dijk made the hosts pay in the 79th minute with his second goal to continue Adelaide's resurgence.

Melbourne Heart 1 (Babalj 91) Adelaide United 3 (van Dijk 38, 79, Vidosic 48) Crowd: 8272 at AAMI Park