‘It wasn’t his best night’ – Veart downplays Goodwin’s match-winning performance

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Adelaide United coach Carl Veart was full of praise for his side’s ‘spirited’ comeback against Sydney FC, but also claimed that his captain’s match-winning performance ‘wasn’t his best’.

Goals in the 89th and 95th minute steered Adelaide home to a famous victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, leaving Sydney FC and their home fans stunned after letting slip a 2-1 lead and falling to their ninth defeat of the season.

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Goodwin, the man at the Reds’ attacking helm, swung in the cross which found the head of substitute George Blackwood for the much-needed equaliser, before capitalising on a miscommunication from Sydney’s Rhyan Grant and Alex Wilkinson, sneaking in behind the duo to bag the winner.

This came after the United captain responded to Sydney’s early opener with a headed goal nine minutes out from half-time, breaking the club’s goalscoring record in the process with the 36th of his Adelaide career.

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Speaking during the post-match presser, however, head coach Veart was quick to put Goodwin’s achievements down to a gritty performance rather than a clinical one.

“We know the quality that Craig has, and tonight he got two goals,” he said.

“It wasn’t his best night tonight, but he stuck at it and he’s popped up and he got the job done for us.

“And that’s what Craig does, we can rely on him in that way.”

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Veart shared similar sentiments about his team’s overall performance.

“Very proud of the boys again [with] the spirit they’ve shown right through tonight’s game, because we weren’t at our best,” he said.

The two head coaches were unanimous in their appraisal of the Reds’ performance, as a visibly dejected Steve Corica lamented his side’s wasted opportunities after coming to grips with the potentially season-ending defeat.

“The boys played really well for 89 minutes and then threw it away at the end,” said the Sky Blues coach.

“We needed to win that game, we deserved to win the game by far, we created way more chances [and] played better football than them. But football’s a strange game and we come away with nothing.”

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The Sky Blues’ season-defining narrative of failing to capitalise on goal would ultimately cost them once again on Tuesday, after netting just two of their 16 attempts on goal.

Before eventually finding the net shortly after the hour-mark, Trent Buhagiar was denied on three occasions in the first half, spurning two of those efforts from close range.

Adam Le Fondre’s clear-cut chance in the 80th minute would have put the Sydneysiders two goals to the good, but the Englishman failed to get enough power on the attempt and it was saved comfortably by Adelaide’s Joe Gauci down the centre of the goal.

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The defeat leave Sydney’s final chances hanging by a thread, with the four teams currently placed between sixth and ninth in the A-League Men having multiple games in hand, as well as the latter side being just six points behind the fifth-placed Sky Blues.

“It would take a miracle [to play finals],” said Corica.

“We’ve only got two games left whereas other teams have three or four.”

Adelaide, on the other hand, will look to keep their spot in the top six with a run of three home games to close out the season, including clashes against two of the league’s bottom three sides.

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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