Adelaide United has defeated Melbourne Victory for the third time in a single season for just the second occurrence in its history after prevailing 1-0 at AAMI Park on Sunday night.
Adelaide achieved that feat way back in the inaugural 2005/06 campaign when Carl Veart was leading the line.
Playing in his 100th A-League game for Adelaide, Craig Goodwin marked the occasion with the decisive goal following an incisive move just before half-time.
The result lifts the Reds into third place in the standings as United snapped its five-game winless streak on the road.
United had also never secured back-to-back victories over their bitter foes in Victoria until tonight’s clash.
Adelaide began the contest brightly and struck the crossbar via Jordan Elsey’s header.
Pacifique Niyongabire was lively and tested Matthew Acton, who was called into the action with a smart save.
Victory too had its spells of possession without really worrying James Delianov.
The visitors broke the deadlock on 39 minutes in a move that was started by Goodwin and finished by Goodwin.
The winger spotted Josh Cavallo, who turned and returned a perfectly weighted pass for him to run on to, before scoring his seventh goal of the campaign in clinical fashion.
It was a sensational assist from Cavallo, who was excellent in the midfield.
A sliding Ben Halloran almost made it 2-0 prior to the interval when he got on the end of Ryan Strain’s low cross but could not divert it home.
The Reds controlled much of the second-half, but could not generate clear-cut opportunities to kill off the game – something which has frustratingly become a common theme of late and one that will need to be rectified.
And as the match wore on, the momentum shifted with the hosts applying a wave of pressure.
United’s back-line held firm though, with Michael Jakobsen and Elsey repelling a lot of the danger.
Delianov rarely needed to be called upon and he notched his fifth and the Reds’ eighth clean sheet of the year.
It was not the prettiest of performances and occasionally nerve-wracking, however it was a resilient effort as Carl Veart’s men held on to seal a first win over Victory at AAMI Park since February 2016.
Adelaide close out the regular season with two home matches against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers and hope to build momentum from those games and guarantee its finals spot.
Captain Stefan Mauk and Michael Jakobsen both returned to the starting line-up. As did winger Pacifique Niyongabire who was a late inclusion, receiving his maiden Reds start on his 20th appearance for the Club after Kusini Yengi sustained a hamstring injury in the warm-up. The reshuffle forced Ben Halloran to play up front. Yaya Dukuly also featured in the matchday squad for the first time since Matchweek 9.
7’ | CHANCE! Goodwin’s corner is headed onto the crossbar by Elsey with Acton left stranded.
30’ | CHANCE! Halloran’s cutback from the byline finds Niyongabire but he is unable to keep his first-time effort down.
39’ | GOAL! Goodwin plays a one-two with Cavallo and the winger continues his run before keeping his composure to slot his effort beyond Acton.
Sunday, 23 May 2021
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 22
Melbourne Victory 0
Adelaide United 1 (Goodwin 39’)
Venue: AAMI Park