Adelaide too good for Mariners at Coopers

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Craig Goodwin’s most fortuitous of second-half goals gave Adelaide United an important 2-1 victory over the Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium on Thursday night in front of a meager 7767 fans.

In cool conditions the possession-obsessed Reds returned to a semblance of it’s early-season form with a dominant performance and were comfortable victors, not allowing the Mariners any chance to control after the half-time break.

Both teams met the sheds at half time with a goal on the board, with the Mariners taking the lead in the 23rd minute. Dylan McGowan erred on the ball just outside the box and had his pocket picked by Anthony Caceres, who fired a spectacular drive past Eugene Galekovic.

But just a minute later Marcelo Carrusca brought parity to the affair with an equally measured effort, having tip-toed around two visiting defenders to slice his shot past Liam Reddy.

In the second half the Reds came out firing, pushing the Mariners deep in defence and controlling play in the middle and attacking thirds.

But the goal to give them the lead was nothing but luck for winger Goodwin as his strike from the corner of the box took the most prominent of deflections off Zachary Anderson and floated towards the target. As the ball came down from the heavens – possibly with snow on it – Reddy could do nothing but watch as it landed over his line and rolled into the back of the net.

The win has put the Reds back in third on the ladder, but with Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory both trailing them by less than the three points rewarded for a win, and with one and two games in hand respectively, that position could be easily lost by the end of the weekend.

With Adelaide facing off against the Victory next week, the Reds’ return to winning ways was met with regulated happiness by Josep Gombau, who claimed his side improved as the match went on.

“I think we are the same as last week, last week we didn’t get the result and now we get it,” he said.

“We lost last week because we play away, and it’s not easy, and now we need to win these two [against Mariners and Victory].

“I thought the first half was not so good, the second half was better. After you’ve lost two games you don’t have the confidence in yourself.

“For me the key moment was the moment when they scored and then we scored, because this means that the team has trust in itself,” he said.

Meanwhile the Mariner’s caretaker boss Tony Walmsley lamented his first lost in command, but said he was pleased that his vision is taking shape early in his reign.

“Everything that we thought that we could achieve we started to achieve, in terms of a higher press,” he said.

“We thought they had a vulnerability when we won the ball back and went at the quickly and we got a goal, and we probably deserved to lead at that stage.

“Against a good side… [the second half] highlighted the gap that we need to work in order to be able to do that and sustain it for longer periods,” he said.

Adelaide will host fierce rivals Melbourne Victory next Saturday evening, while the Mariners host Perth Glory the following Sunday.

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene Galekovic (GK) (C), 2. Michael Marrone, 3. Nigel Boogaard, 4. Dylan McGowan, 8. Isaias, 9. Sergio Cirio, 10. Marcelo Carrusca (90+1’ Osama Malik), 11. Bruce Djite (90+3 Miguel Palanca), 16. Craig Goodwin, 18. Jimmy Jeggo, 21. Tarek Elrich

Unused substitutes: 20. Paul Izzo (GK), 24. Bruce Kamau

Central Coast Mariners: 3. Josh Rose, 4. Jacob Poscoliero (56’ Storm Roux), 5. Zachary Anderson, 7. John Hutchinson (C), 8. Nick Montgomery ( 79’ Glen Trifiro), 10. Anthony Caceres, 11. Nick Fitzgerald (66’ Travis Major), 12. Liam Reddy (GK), 23 Isaka Cernak, 25. Eddy Bosnar, 26. Fabio Ferreira

Unused substitutes: 1. Matthew Nash (GK), 15. Matthew Sim

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