Veart’s Reds hunt Jets down, 4-2

A standout performance from Craig Goodwin and strike from teenage sensation Nestory Irankunda has lifted Adelaide United to a 4-2 A-League Men win over Newcastle.

Opening the scoring before then setting up Zach Clough and Luka Jovanovic’s second and third at McDonald Jones Stadium, Goodwin helped the Reds take a 3-2 lead from a frenetic first half that also featured Jason Hoffman and Angus Thurgate on the scoresheet.

But just as the hosts appeared to be improving on a flat first half, Irankunda thundered in his third goal in as many games to kill off their comeback hopes on Saturday evening and consign them to a third-straight defeat.

The 17-year-old now has seven goals this season as a lethal weapon off the bench for Carl Veart’s side, who moved into second place on the ALM table with the win.

The Reds are now nine games unbeaten in league play, their best run since their title-winning campaign of 2015-16.

The Jets, meanwhile, remain in seventh and missed the opportunity to close the gap on the playoff places, with three teams behind them all within three points.

Goodwin got on the ball rolling in the 12th minute when he sent a second attempt on goal inside the far post.

Two minutes later the Socceroo cut the ball back for a point-blank Clough finish, only for Hoffman to peg one back moments later.

Getting out in transition, Goodwin got his second assist of the evening in the 44th when he set up Jovanovic for a maiden ALM goal but the Jets again responded, this time through Thurgate, minutes later.

But then Irankunda, introduced at the halftime break, made his mark when he broke down the right in the 65th and lasered a shot into the Jets’ net.

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