Reds cruise to victory

Adelaide United roared to victory at Coopers Stadium in Round 6.

World Cup-bound Craig Goodwin inspired Adelaide United to an impressive 3-0 win over bitter rivals Melbourne Victory at Coopers Stadium on Friday night.

A stunning header from Hiroshi Ibusuki sent United into the break with a 1-0 lead before the Reds skipper converted a second-half spot-kick and provided an assist in the final 10 minutes.

Reds coach Carl Veart heaped praise on his side following their impressive performance.

“I’m so proud of the playing group,” he said.

“They executed everything I asked them to do and even more.”

Some 13,504 fans packed into Hindmarsh and enjoyed a bright opening quarter hour, despite no clear-cut chances for either side.

The pace slowed after a short delay with Juande receiving treatment for a gash to the head after a stray boot from Kadete after the United midfielder had laid a tackle.

Just after the half hour, United almost found a fortuitous opener following a cross from Ben Halloran that was partially cleared by Roderick Miranda, with the ball then ricocheting off Kadete and almost wrong-footing Paul Izzo.

But on 37 minutes, the Reds did find a breakthrough courtesy of a towering header from Ibusuki.

Ryan Kitto received the ball on the left from Juande before whipping in a cross for the Japanese striker who rose highest and powered his header past Izzo into the top corner from 12 yards.

Just before halftime, Nani stung the palms of Gauci, cutting inside and firing a low shot with his left which the United ‘keeper had to bat away.

Five minutes into the second half and United were on the attack with Halloran robbing Miranda of possession before feeding Ibusuki who teed up Goodwin, but the shot was an easy save for Izzo.

On the hour it was Victory’s turn with Nani chasing down a long ball before cutting inside and crossing from the left, only for Bruno Fornaroli to put his glancing header wide.

Minutes later Alagich, Javi Lopez and Halloran all combined, setting up Halloran for a shot from just inside the area which he fired over.

Goodwin went close soon after, dragging his half-volley wide, while Chris Ikonomidis had two chances for Victory, shooting straight into the arms of Gauci before heading over from six yards.

On 84 minutes United substitute George Blackwood was brought down inside the area, skipping in just ahead of Leigh Broxham who clattered into the attacker.

Goodwin stepped up and powerfully converted the spot kick, blasting past Izzo who picked the right way.

Ben Warland capped the win in stoppage time, turning in a perfectly delivered free kick from the left by Goodwin.

The defender raced ahead of the pack and made no mistake from inside the six-yard box.

Victory coach Tony Popovic conceded it was a disappointing night for his troops.

“They were a bit quicker to the ball,” he said.

“I thought for this type of game they (Adelaide) were a bit sharper to the ball; a bit more aggressive.”

Only at Coopers – Adelaide United memberships on-sale now.