Adelaide match-winner Ilso hands Kurz welcome selection headache

Marco Kurz will have taken a vast amount of encouragement from Saturday’s trip to face Wellington Phoenix.

In addition to three well-deserved points, Adelaide United head home with newfound competition for their problematic centre-forward spot.

Ken Ilso, albeit not playing entirely as a true number nine, emerged as a genuine option to permanently join Craig Goodwin and Ben Halloran in an attack that has been starved of goal-scoring support.

REPORT: Ilso inspires Adelaide to comeback win in Wellington
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The Danish forward notched his first two Hyundai A-League goals to justify his selection ahead of young striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

His second – provided by Ryan Kitto’s low pass inside – could well have been attributed to Phoenix defender Tom Doyle, but the joy written across Ilso’s face was that of a man whose career in Australia is now up and running.

Regardless of who got the final touch for the sealer, the 31-year-old’s first of the afternoon was evidence enough of a player with the skill set needed to turn promise into points.

The years spent honing his craft in Denmark and Germany were put to use from a terrific Michael Marrone cross just after half-time as Ilso, who intelligently positioned himself between two markers, produced a well-judged downward header to match.

“That's what we need: good crosses, box position,” Kurz told Sky Sport NZ after the match.

“Firm and sharp crosses are always hard to defend and we have a lot of speed. That was one of our aims today.”

In Ilso, the Reds appear to have an attacker capable of flourishing within Kurz’s plan.