Kusini Yengi is not a name Adelaide nor Melbourne Victory fans are going to forget any time soon.
Within five minutes of replacing Al Hassan Toure, the 22-year-old earned cult-like status as he gave his side the lead and became the night’s pantomime villain in the process.
Tapping in a Craig Goodwin cross in the 61st minute, Yengi – having jumped the sponsor board – proceeded to strut Connor McGreggor-style towards the visibly frustrated Victory fans; making a statement in just his tenth professional appearance.
His tormenting of the Victory did not stop there.
Weaving his way into the box, Yengi set up his captain Stefan Mauk for the game’s sealer which – for now – catapults the Reds into second-place.
The fixture’s off-field spectacle may have been a far-cry from previous iterations but there was no questioning the ferocity of the contest on the park.
Fresh off a humiliating six goal defeat, it was unsurprising to see the Victory set the tone early.
Robbie Kruse was electric in one of his best performances of the season so far. The Socceroo weaved and surged forward at every opportunity, with a goal being the only thing missing from his game.
The 32-year-old set the tone early as he – on several occasions – waltzed past a slow-to-react Adelaide backline, which did not appear to have any answers for Victory’s blistering start.
It would only be poor finishing on Victory’s behalf which would keep the Reds in the contest early. Though the home side would be rewarded for its persistence when Brimmer struck gold as he channeled his inner Carlos Hernandez with a long-ranged set-piece.
The 22-year-old caught goalkeeper Joe Gauci off his line, with his attempt bouncing down off the crossbar and in to give the Victory the lead in the 28th minute.
Though this would be short-lived as Mauk fired his side back into the contest seven minutes later with a bullet into the bottom corner.
But in a fixture which has featured some of the league’s best it was an unknown 22-year-old who stole the headlines. Yengi’s effort, followed by his McGregor inspired celebration, will be remembered as one of the league’s best debut goals.
Featured Image: Adelaide United
MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Brimmer 28′)
ADELAIDE UNITED 3 (Mauk 35′ & 77′, Yengi 61′)
Matt Acton, Storm Roux, Aaron Anderson (Zaydan Bello 75′), Leigh Broxham, Jacob Butterfield, Jake Brimmer, Robbie Kruse, Ben Folami (Brandon Lauton 62′), Callum McManaman, Rudy Gestede (Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio 58’)
Max Crocombe, Birkan Kirdar, Jay Barnett, Dalibor Markovic,
Joe Gauci, Ryan Strain, Jordan Elsey, Michael Jakobsen, Javi Lopez, Josh Cavallo, Louis D’Arrigo, Stefan Mauk (Joe Caletti 89′), Ben Halloran (Pacifique Niyongabire 89′), Al Hassan Toure (Kusini Yengi 56’), Craig Goodwin
George Timotheou, Dakota Ochsenham