Adelaide United have snapped a five-game winless streak after Isaías’ sensational volley secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Gosford.
The Reds moved into fifth spot thanks to the Spaniard’s first-half strike, leapfrogging Melbourne City, while moving eight points clear from seventh-place Newcastle Jets.
Marco Kurz made two changes to the starting line-up with Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and George Blackwood returning at the expense of Jordy Thomassen and Nathan Konstandopoulos respectively. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran started proceedings from the bench after recovering from a six-game injury lay-off.
Central Coast had the best chance inside 11 minutes when Jordan Murray squandered a free header from Matthew Millar’s cross.
Ryan Strain was withdrawn a quarter of an hour into the game after picking up what appeared to be a hamstring injury in the process of trying to track Murray. That subsequently forced a reshuffle with Scott Galloway shifting to right-back, while Ryan Kitto dropped into left-back enabling substitute Halloran to feature on the wing.
Adelaide lacked fluidity to their play at times and retained a lot of possession in their own half.
Central Coast’s high-pressing game and energy on the break caused United occasional problems and it was the latter that forced the Reds into a turnover.
Murray won the ball and squared a pass to Aiden O’Neill, whose effort hit the frame of the target.
Adelaide duly made the hosts pay, drawing first blood in emphatic fashion courtesy of a spectacular Isaías volley on 35 minutes.
The Spaniard met Jonathan Aspro’s half headed clearance with a thumping drive from outside the box to rifle his effort through traffic and past Ben Kennedy.
Adelaide started the second-half with a lot more urgency and should have doubled their advantage.
Halloran spotted Goodwin open and with just the goalkeeper between himself and the goal, the winger’s shot was repelled.
The Mariners were reduced to 10 players in the 72nd minute after Jem Karacan was dismissed for a second bookable offence, sliding in late on Michael Jakobsen.
It was a far from fluid performance from the Reds but certainly disciplined at times as the Reds secured a vital three points in their quest to secure a Finals berth.
23’ | CHANCE: Murray tees up O’Neill and his first-time strike clips the crossbar from just inside the box.
35’ | GOAL! Isaías nets his third career goal against the Mariners via a stunning volley which nestled into the bottom after Aspro failed to clear his lines.
54’ | CHANCE! Goodwin with time and space is unable to convert is one-on-one chance as his shot is denied by Kennedy.
Sunday, 31 March 2019
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 23
Central Coast Mariners 0
Adelaide United 1 (Isaías 35’)
Venue: Central Coast Stadium