Adelaide United has pulled off another late comeback to edge Sydney FC 3-2 in a thriller at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday night.
Craig Goodwin made history, becoming the Club’s leading goal-scorer with his first finish, before scoring a 95th minute winner to complete a remarkable brace.
Substitute George Blackwood equalised for the visitors in the 89th minute, but just as the match seemed destined for a draw, Goodwin struck the lethal blow.
Adelaide has made a habit of dramatic comebacks and tonight’s result was the ninth match this campaign they have salvaged points in the final stages of games.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG.
What went right: Goodwin makes history on unforgettable night
It was a history-breaking night for Craig Goodwin who became the Club’s all-time top goal-scorer with his 42nd as a Red, surpassing Bruce Djite’s haul of 41 in all competitions. He took the goal in expert fashion too, clinically steering his header off Javi López’s incredible cross past Andrew Redmayne. But he was not done there, assisting George Blackwood with a great crossing free-kick, and then proceeded to score the winner and his 43rd goal for Adelaide with the last kick of the game. The winger latched onto a diagonal set-piece from Isaías and following a defensive mix-up, the ball sat up kindly for Goodwin to volley home and seal a vital three points.
What went wrong: Conceded early soft goal
For the 14th game this season, the Reds conceded the opening goal. It was the worst possible start for a side desperate to pick up maximum points in its quest to make finals. Adelaide’s net was breached all too easily in the sixth minute when Rhyan Grant was left unmarked and volleyed in his effort at the back post from Anthony Caceres’ in-swinging delivery.
What went right: Boost to finals aspirations
After being winless in four, Carl Veart’s troops have responded with back-to-back wins. United’s standing in the top-six was looking precarious a few weeks’ ago. Now, not as much. Indeed, the permutations are constantly changing with teams catching up games. But Adelaide can rest a little easier with points on the board rather than games in the bank.
The crucial win provisionally lifts the Reds into fourth spot, leapfrogging the Sky Blues by three points while playing one less match. With United’s next game not until Sunday, 24 April, they can now use the Easter break to recharge before finishing the regular season with three home fixtures.
What went right: Sydney drought finally over
Adelaide had not beaten the Sky Blues in the Harbour City since April 2016. And having trailed twice in the contest, it appeared that barren run in Sydney would endure. Fortunately, and quite miraculously, the Reds found a way as they have so often done this season late in matches. It was not pretty at times, however their desire and never say die attitude came to the fore yet again.
What went right: United’s resilience and character again on display
As alluded to, The Reds have made a habit of scoring late goals to rescue points this season. In fact, United has now scored 12 goals after the 84th minute this season which translates to five wins and four draws or 19 points. It is quite simply staggering the number of games where United looked on the brink of a loss, before conjuring up an extraordinary fightback. Put bluntly this team never gives up until the absolute final whistle and that is a testament to the players’ temperament and reflective of the coaching staff and the belief they have instilled in this group.
Tuesday, 12 April
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 23
Sydney FC 2 (Grant 6’, Buhagiar 62’)
Adelaide United 3 (Goodwin 36’, 90+5’, Blackwood 89’)
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium