Goodwin guides Adelaide to dramatic last-gasp victory

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A 95th-minute winner and brace from Craig Goodwin has steered Adelaide United to a dramatic victory on Tuesday to all but crush Sydney FC’s chances for finals football.

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Two late goals from United have essentially ended Sydney’s season on the eve of the AFC Champions League group stage, with the South Australians overturning a 2-1 deficit to prevail 3-2 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to keep their A-League Men’s finals hopes alive.

The Sky Blues got off to the best possible start, taking just seven minutes to open the scoring. Anthony Caceres got on the end a short pass from Milos Ninkovic on the left-hand side of the box, before curling in an incisive cross over the head of Adelaide’s centre-back pairing and through to Rhyan Grant, who unleashed a canon from close range off the crossbar and in to make it 1-0.

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The Sydneysiders were nearly at the double in the 11th minute, with Callum Talbot feeding through to Trent Buhagiar down the left wing who pulled it just wide with a piercing shot on the run.

Buhagiar was denied once again just five minutes later, with Adelaide keeper Joe Gauci forced to get low and quickly dig out the shot from the former Mariner.

The Reds came close to an equaliser near the half-hour mark after Craig Goodwin’s superb long-range cross found the head of Hiroshi Ibusuki, who fired just over the crossbar much to the relief of Andrew Redmayne.

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The Reds defence gifted Sydney ample space inside the final third led to an attacking build-up play which once again found the feet of Buhagiar, whose shot found the strong right glove of Gauci.

However, it was United who eventually stunned the home crowd at Jubilee on the cusp of half-time, following Javi Lopez’s lobbed through ball over the top of the Sydney defence to a calm and collected Goodwin, who buried the opportunity from close range to break Adelaide’s all-time goalscoring record.

It remianed 1-1 at the end of the first 45 minutes, with the home side having the greater share of the chances but ultimately failing to capitalise on a flurry of golden opportunities early on.

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A largely uneventful opening 15 minutes of the second half saw just two shots from either side, including Patrick Yazbek’s audacious long-range attempt which sailed well over the crossbar.

But the spirited Sky Blues finally got their reward for creating the better of the chances, as Paulo Retre’s centimetre-perfect through ball paved the way for Buhagiar to finally put one away for Sydney to make it 2-1, beating Gauci at the near post from a very tight angle.

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The ebb-and-flow of the following 10 minutes saw Sydney trying to cushion their lead but with Adelaide also knocking on the door for a potential equaliser, as another Goodwin header from close range came close to threatening Redmayne’s goal.

Just three days after his hat-trick on the Central Coast, Adam Le Fondre looked certain to add another to his tally in the 80th minute but failed to muster enough power on the shot to guide it past Gauci, who saved comfortably down the centre of the goal.

But a resurgent Adelaide found an equaliser seemingly out of nowhere at the death, after substitute George Blackwood got on the end of a Goodwin set-piece with a header to make it 2-2.

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With essentially the last kick of the game, Goodwin stood up as the hero after he capitalised on some lacklustre Sydney defending, breezing past defenders who were at a standstill to smash it past Redmayne and take the lead.

The dramatic 3-2 win for Adelaide elevated them above the Sky Blues to fourth on the ALM ladder, keeping their finals hopes alive whilst Sydney’s chances for finals football were all but crushed on the night.

Sydney FC: 2 (Grant 6′, Buhagiar 62′)

Adelaide United: 3 (Goodwin 36′ 90+5′, Blackwood 89′)

Stadium: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium (Sydney)

Referee: Alex King

Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields, Matthew Cream

Fourth Official: Sam Kelly

Sydney FC: Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), Benjamin WARLAND, Alexander WILKINSON (C), Paulo RETRE, Milos NINKOVIC (Max BURGESS 70′), Trent BUHAGIAR (Luciano NARSINGH 83′), Adam LE FONDRE, Anthony CACERES, Rhyan GRANT, Callum TALBOT, Patrick YAZBEK (BOBO 89′)

Unused Subs: Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (GK), Connor O’TOOLE, Mustafa AMINI, Liam McGING

Adelaide United: Joe GAUCI (GK), ISAÍAS, Craig GOODWIN (C), Hiroshi IBUSUKI (George BLACKWOOD 78′), Zach CLOUGH (Ryan KITTO 70′), Javi LOPEZ, Lachlan BARR, Josh CAVALLO, JUANDE (Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS 70′), Alex POPOVIC, Lachlan BROOK (Bernardo OLIVIERA 45′)

Unused Subs: Steven HALL (GK), George TIMOTHEOU, Louis D’ARRIGO

Feature Image Credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Jimmy Alexander
Jimmy Alexander
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/22 A-League season. Studying a Bachelor of Sports Media (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University.

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