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Goodwin, Carrusca star in Adelaide victory

Adelaide United have seen off a plucky Central Coast Mariners 3-1 on Saturday night, on a patchy surface at Coopers Stadium.

Goals to Craig Goodwin and Pablo Sanchez in the second half bookended a goal to Central Coast’s Fabio Ferreira, who — along with Marcelo Carrusca — missed a first half penalty for his side.

Mate Dugandzic then added a third in injury time to seal victory for the Reds.

Adelaide came into the game riding high on a six game unbeaten streak that culminated in a 3-1 win over the Glory in Perth last week.

Guillermo Amor had a few headaches to deal with, however, as Jordan Elsey (suspended), Sergio Cirio (hamstring) and Eugene Galekovic (groin) would all miss this week. Pablo Sanchez, Iacopo La Rocca and debutant goalkeeper Daniel Margush were all brought into the starting XI in their place.

The late withdrawal of Galekovic would’ve been particularly unwelcome, given Adelaide’s record without the veteran ‘keeper this season (0 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses).

For the Mariners, a disappointing 3-3 draw against the Victory in Geelong last week (after being ahead 3-0) would not have been the tonic that Tony Walmsley was seeking to cure them of their ills. In fact, the Mariners came into the Adelaide clash with just one win from their last thirteen matches.

That was made slightly more difficult with Jacob Poscoliero missing a game due to an accumulation of bookings, meaning young Tomi Uskok started in defence for the Mariners.

Elsewhere, Walmsley opted for new signing Alastair Bray in goals ahead of teenager Thomas Heward-Belle, who had played in the Central Coast’s last three matches.

Match Details Full match details »

Central Coast

Yellow Card17′ J.RoseYellow Card57′ J.McGingGoal67′ F.FerreiraYellow Card76′ L.RoseYellow Card82′ M.Neill

The Mariners were slow to get out of the blocks in the first half, with Adelaide controlling the majority of possession as well as the tempo of the match.

Jimmy Jeggo went close in just the 10th minute, but his shot across Bray’s goal drifted wide of the far post, with Bruce Djite the better option for the cut-back. Djite’s frustration was evident, with the striker now goal-less in almost 11 months and seemingly desperate to break his duck.

Craig Goodwin, too, had a chance to setup a teammate for a strike on goal in the 15th minute, but he too decided to shoot — this time from long range, and giving Bray an easy claim low and to his left.

Then, on the half-hour mark, the Reds were awarded a spot kick. With Adelaide containing the ball in their penalty area, Michael Marrone fed Goodwin who back-heeled the ball up and into the hand of Mariners’ captain Nick Montgomery.

Referee Matthew Conger didn’t hesitate to point to the spot, but from the ensuing penalty, Marcelo Carrusca put his effort off the crossbar for a goal kick.

That would be the first of two penalties Conger would award in the first half, with the other coming on the stroke of half time at the other end of Coopers Stadium.

After a corner off the boot of Mitch Austin was cleared back to the Mariner, a second effort found Harry Ascroft at the back post. Ascroft, as he attempted to head the ball goalward, was impeded from behind by Michael Marrone, with a penalty the logical call.

Marrone earned himself a booking for the challenge, but that would be the extent of the punishment for the Reds, as Fabio Ferreira skied the spot kick into the stands.

Adelaide continue to control the match after the break, with Goodwin looking the most likely to break the deadlock.

Just before the hour mark, the winger had two chances in a minute to score, but the first effort was blocked and the second skewed off the boot for a goal kick.

There would be no mistake with his next opportunity, though, as Goodwin put the Reds up 1-0 on the hour mark.

A fantastic cross from the right wing found Goodwin on the left side of the box. A wonderful first touch to cushion the ball down allowed Goodwin to lash the ball past Bray with his right boot, giving Adelaide a deserved lead with half an hour to play.

The Mariners almost answered back four minutes later, with substitute Francesco Stella firing in a stinging effort from outside the penalty area. Margush, though, was up to the task, leaping to his left to fingertip the ball wide of the post.

After missing his first half penalty, Ferreira made amends in the 67th minute by scoring the equaliser for the Central Coast. A fast break by the Mariners allowed Ferreira to advance into the box, wrong foot Elrich and fire across Margush and into the net off the inside of the far post.

Adelaide were determined to restore their lead, bringing on Eli Babalj for Bruce Djite in the 71st minute to try and add a new element to their forward structure. Bray, though, was up to the challenge, denying the Reds with repeated displays of ‘attacking’ goalkeeping.

Eventually, the pressure would prove too much, and Adelaide would take a 2-1 lead, from a corner.

In the 81st minute, a near post, in-swinging corner from Jeggo was met by the head of Pablo Sanchez, who guided it inside the far post to put the Reds back in front.

The Mariners — behind for the second time in the match — started to push hard for the equaliser. Michael Neill was substituted in favour of Trent Buhagiar, in an attacking move by Tony Walmsley in the 85th minute.

Alas, it was the home team who would add a third deep into injury time, with Goodwin escaping into space down the left wing, and putting the ball across the box to Mate Dugandzic, who poked the ball home underneath Bray to make it 3-1.

Central Coast now travel home to host the Wanderers next Saturday, while the Reds fly to Brisbane to face the Roar on Friday.


Ultimate A-League ‘Player of the Season’ Votes
3 Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United)
2 Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United)
1 Michael Neill (Central Coast)

About the author

avatarJustin is a passionate football fan, and the Editor-in-chief of Ultimate A-League.

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