A second-half capitulation has seen Adelaide United slump to its heaviest defeat of the season, going down 4-1 to Macarthur FC at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.
Craig Goodwin opened the scoring with his seventh goal in all competitions this season.
However, from there it was mostly one-way traffic with the Reds unable to contain the Bulls’ onslaught.
Apostolos Giannou equalised before half-time and then three goals in the final 25 minutes of the contest from Craig Noone, Al Hassan Toure and Michael Ruhs settled the match.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG.
What went right: Goodwin becomes second-highest top scorer
Craig Goodwin has been a stalwart for Adelaide United and tonight he became the second highest goal-scorer in the Club’s history. His sixth league goal of the campaign took his overall tally to 40 – surpassing Travis Dodd and now moving one behind all-time leader Bruce Djite. His opener was just the third time Adelaide has scored first this season, but it subsequently went downhill from there.
What went wrong: Reds’ intensity dropped off
A third away match in eight days appeared to take its toll on the team. Boasting a reputation as the comeback kings after recovering 13 points from losing situations and having scored eight goals beyond 84 minutes. But on this occasion, there was no way back and rarely did they venture forward consistently enough to generate any optimism. Mohamed Toure did have a glorious chance to make it 3-2 with five minutes remaining but could not connect with Craig Goodwin’s superb delivery – had that gone in it would have provided a fascinating ending. Ultimately though, United’s pressure and intensity abated following the re-start, particularly after conceding a needless penalty.
What went right: Gauci heroics on display again
The Reds were indebted to Joe Gauci for keeping Adelaide in the game for as long as he could. Sure, the scoreline may read he was breached four times but Gauci made 10 saves overall and also denied Craig Noone’s initial penalty before he was able to convert on the rebound – which Gauci also got a strong touch on. The 21-year-old pulled off six saves in the first-half including a double parry in quick succession to deny Apostolos Giannou and then Ulises Davila. He later thwarted Adrian Mariappa’s header from a corner. However, the pressure proved too relentless and United’s resistance was broken when Davila’s cut-back was expertly finished by Giannou to get the Bulls back on level terms before the interval. It was another solid display from the young goalkeeper, despite the result.
What went wrong: Late capitulation in second-half
The floodgates well and truly opened once Ulises Davila was unnecessarily fouled away from goal. Adelaide did concede an abundance of opportunities in the game. But it was once Craig Noone fortuitously buried his penalty on the rebound, did Adelaide seem to drop its collective heads as they were merely holding on prior to the spot-kick. Fatigue ostensibly set in and then Al Hassan Toure got involved in the action to double the advantage after a cross deflected into his path and he volleyed his effort home.
United subsequently got caught out on a counter-attack in stoppage time after a poor turnover resulted in Michael Ruhs scoring to inflict more misery on Adelaide. The Reds will need to regroup and refocus as it shifts its attention towards next weekend’s home match with Central Coast Mariners.
Saturday, 19 February
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 16
Macarthur FC 4 (Giannou 43′, Noone 67′, A. Toure 73′ Ruhs 90+1′)
Adelaide United 1 (Goodwin 21′)
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium