Adelaide strike late to end Sky Blue hoodoo

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Craig Goodwin’s composure from the penalty spot lifted Adelaide United to its first win over Sydney FC since 2016 in a 1-0 match.

Despite Adelaide facing the reigning champions, they began the contest with a higher tempo.

Goodwin came close to getting the Reds off to a hot start but could not put Ben Halloran’s driven cross on target. 

A quiet opening half in front of goals nearly ended with Sydney taking the lead when Kosta Barbarouses launched a quick counter attack Bobo could not capitalise on. 

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With the game deadlocked 0-0 following the first half, both sides traded shots but were unable to find the back of the net.

Goodwin had another great chance to open the scoring but was denied by Andrew Redmayne from close range. 

After the near-miss, Adelaide maintained their attacking pressure and earned a penalty when Luke Brattan collected Kusini Yengi in the 18-yard box. 

Eager to hit the scoreboard following some near misses, Goodwin stepped up to the spot and gave the Reds a 1-0 lead heading into the final stages of the game. 

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Milos Ninkovic had a dangerous chance with less than five minutes to go but Jordan Elsey bravely put his body in the way to deflect the Sydney midfielder’s shot wide. 

Moments later, Patrick Wood nearly equalised for the Sky Blues but Joe Gauci was there to make a last minute reaction save and tip the ball over the bar. 

Suddenly, Sydney’s momentum began to grow and they unleashed a barrage against the United defence in the final stages of the match. 

Despite the mounting pressure, the defiant Reds kept the Sky blues scoreless and secured their sixth consecutive win. 

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Adelaide head coach Carl Veart discussed the similarities between his side and the 2005/06 premiership side he played for after the match. 

“I said to the boys three or four weeks ago, I can see the same spirit we had back then [in 2005/06],” Veart said.

“The desperation at times in their defending tonight was excellent.”

Along with praising United’s spirit, Veart also revealed the Reds went into Sunday’s clash determined to convince everyone they were genuine contenders.

“Sydney FC are one of the best team’s in the league and have been for a long time. It was important tonight that we went out and showed everyone [our quality],” he said. 

“Not many people have said anything about Adelaide United. Six wins in a row we’ve had but some people have said we haven’t really played against anyone. 

“In those six weeks, we’ve played against two of the top teams. I think the boys deserve a little more credit than what they are getting at the moment.”

Following the victory, Adelaide rises to second on the A-League standings while Sydney remains in sixth. 

Feature image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Amir Daou
Bachelor of Sport, Health and Physical Activity and Bachelor of Media and Communications student at Flinders University. Writing intern covering the latest in Adelaide United news and matches. Sport is my passion and I'm excited to learn more about the industry during my time with The Football Sack.

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