Adelaide United has recorded a professional 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at ANZ Stadium, thanks to an inspired performance from Craig Goodwin.
Goodwin’s seventh league goal of the season – a personal best – proved the winner, while he also provided the assist for Vince Lia’s first-half rocket.
Roly Bonevacia had restored parity when he brilliantly scored a free-kick, but it was inconsequential.
The result sees Adelaide provisionally move 10 points clear of the seventh-placed Newcastle Jets, strengthening their position in the top six.
Marco Kurz made two changes to his starting line-up with Michael Marrone and George Blackwood – who received his first league start this season – replacing Ryan Strain and Ken Ilsø respectively. Blackwood’s inclusion up front forced another tactical change with Ben Halloran shifting into midfield.
It was Halloran who tested Nicholas Suman in goal early when Scott Galloway’s mazy run culminated in the 26-year-old firing a stinging shot on target.
The visitors did not have to wait long for the opener though – breaking the deadlock in the eighth minute.
Michael Marrone’s diagonal ball over the top of the Wanderers defence enabled Craig Goodwin to get in behind. Goodwin’s cut-back picked out Lia and his thumping strike from the edge of the area was hit with such ferocity that Suman could not keep it out despite getting two hands to it.
Jaushua Sotirio had a golden chance to net an immediate reply three minutes later but Paul Izzo stood tall.
The sapping conditions, however, soon became palpable with both sets of players struggling to play at a high intensity.
Adelaide were happy to let WSW enjoy possession after scoring, and despite dictating the play they rarely threatened.
The Wanderers began the second-half with more endeavour and were rewarded when Lia fouled substitute Nick Fitzgerald.
That allowed Bonevacia to step up and expertly bend his free-kick into the top-left corner.
In response, Kurz turned to his bench and brought on Ryan Kitto and Nathan Konstandopoulos.
But it was Nikola Mileusnić who was the architect behind the Reds’ winner. Marrone ventured forward before playing the speedster and his cross found Goodwin.
The 27-year-old controlled the ball, took a touch to set himself, before firing a low strike into the bottom corner on 67 minutes to etch his name on the scoresheet for a third straight game.
Referee, Alex King, waved away appeals for a WSW penalty after a coming together with Mathieu Cordier and Strain.
And as the Wanderers searched for an equaliser it was Adelaide who almost extended their advantage when Galloway hit the far post with a curling effort in stoppage time.
8’ | GOAL! Marrone releases Goodwin who tees up Lia with a pass to the top of the box allowing the onrushing defensive midfielder to rifle his shot beyond the gloves of Suman.
11’ | SAVE! Izzo stands tall to parry Sotirio’s one-on-one effort away to safety.
32′ | SAVE! Izzo denies Sotirio for the second time after an audacious ball over the top by Kamau.
49’ | GOAL: Bonevacia dispatches the free-kick up and over the wall leaving Izzo with no chance.
67’ | GOAL! Goodwin scores his maiden goal against Western Sydney with a sublime finish from Mileusnić’s low cross.
Friday, 18 January 2019
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 14
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Bonevacia 49’)
Adelaide United 2 (Lia 8’ Goodwin 67’)
Venue: ANZ Stadium