Adelaide United claim first win with a textbook performance

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Adelaide United have finally put themselves into the winner’s column in the A-League Men with a dominant 4-0 victory against Wellington Phoenix. 

The Reds could do no wrong on a hot summer’s night at Coopers Stadium where fresh faces in Bernardo Oliveira, Steven Hall and a returned George Blackwood were stellar. 

The Phoenix had COVID issues of their own with star striker Gary Hooper being sidelined due to the South Australia government’s strict quarantining rules – but nothing would have changed the pressure that their teenage goalkeeper Alex Paulsen sustained from start to finish.

Within a matter of minutes the Reds had found themselves in front thanks to a Craig Goodwin volley on goal, which deflected off George Blackwood and found itself in the back of the net. 

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Meanwhile, down the other end of the ground, a heavy collision between James Delianov and striker Ben Waine saw Delianov substituted off for another teenage goalkeeper, this time for 16-year-old Steven Hall.  

Thankfully for Hall, Wellington were unable to put him under any pressure in the first half, but the same could not be said for Paulsen as United took eight shots on goal in the first half.  

The second half picked up exactly where the first half left off as Blackwood was rewarded with a penalty after a VAR check, which Goodwin calmly finished.  

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Meanwhile, Reds youngster Bernardo Oliveira was electrifying as he danced his way up and down the right side of the pitch, proving to be a problem for Phoenix’s full-backs. 

And a problem he continued to be, as just before the 70th minute he was dragged down inside the box sending Goodwin to the penalty spot for the second time. 

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Goodwin again made no mistake where he sent young Paulsen the wrong way for the second time.  

To add insult to injury, the Red’s put a fourth goal into the back of the net as Javi Lopez struck his first goal for the club from point-blank range in the 80th minute.

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A tough night at the office for Phoenix and their young brigade, but a step in the right direction and finally a three-point performance for United in a textbook 4-0 win.

Adelaide United 4 (Blackwood 7’, Goodwin 54’, Goodwin 69’, Lopez 80’)
Wellington Phoenix 0 

Coopers Stadium 

Referee: Daniel Elder
Assistant Referees: Matthew Cream, Henry Day
Fourth official: Daniel Cook 

Wellington Phoenix: Alexander PAULSEN (GK), James McGarry (Louis FENTON 69’), Timothy PAYNE, Benjamin OLD, David BALL, Jaushua SOTIRIO (Oskar VAN HATTUM 46’), Alex RUFER (Finn SURMAN 46’), Callan ELLIOT (C) (Nicholas PENNINGTON 46’), Benjamin WAINE, Joshua LAWS, Clayton LEWIS 

Unused Subs: Luka PRSO, Sam SUTTON, Henry GRAY (GK)  

Adelaide United: James DELIANOV (GK) (Steven HALL 31’), Ryan KITTO, Stefan MAUK (C), Isaias SANCHEZ, Craig GOODWIN, George BLACKWOOD, Javier LOPEZ, Michael JAKOBSEN, Jacob TRATT, Juande Prados LOPEZ (Yaya DUKULY 73’), Bernardo OLIVEIRA (Louis D’Arrigo 73’) 

Unused subs: George Timotheou, Joe CALETTI, Lachlan BARR, Alexandar POPOVIC 

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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