Reds down 2-1 after Semi Final first leg

Adelaide United has fallen 2-1 against Central Coast Mariners in the first leg of the its Semi Final.

The Reds took a fourth-minute lead via a Craig Goodwin penalty, after the Mariners were rightfully pinned for handball.

However, the visitors crafted a one-goal buffer ahead of the second leg in Gosford next Saturday night.

The winner on goals aggregate will meet either Melbourne City or Sydney FC in the June 3 grand final in Sydney.

City and Sydney drew 1-1 on Friday night ahead of next week’s deciding second leg in Melbourne.

Adelaide’s first attacking sortie, inside two minutes, resulted in a penalty when Goodwin’s cross struck the extended right forearm of Mariner Brian Kaltak.

Goodwin converted from the spot with a low shot into the right corner – goalkeeper Danny Vukovic guessed correctly but was beaten.

The Reds’ best chance of equalising, after going 2-1 down, before a parochial 15,771-strong crowd came in the 71st minute when a forceful header from substitute Nestory Irankunda was instinctively saved by Vukovic.

Adelaide’s George Blackwood had two late half-chances – he headed over the bar in the 87th minute and, deep into injury time, angled another header straight at Vukovic.

The Reds’ defeat snaps their five-game unbeaten stretch at home in finals which dated back to the 2013 playoffs.