Win over Victory heartens Reds

Adelaide United have taken a lot of encouragement from their win over defending champions Melbourne Victory, says Craig Goodwin.

The Reds extended their unbeaten run to four games and now have a seven-point cushion inside the Finals Series places.

Marco Kurz's side scored their goals in a three-minute spell in the first half, Goodwin getting them off the mark and Ken Ilso adding a second as they ended Victory's nine-match undefeated streak.

Goodwin, who now has 10 goals in all competitions this season, was happy with the first-half display in particular against Victory and hopes that form carries over into their clash with last season's minor premiers Sydney FC.

"It was a good performance, very intense with the pressing obviously we were clinical," he said. "I think that's probably the thing we've lacked the most, that clinical finishing.

"The game before against Wellington we had 32 shots and no goals, so it's probably the one thing that's restricted us from picking up more points, but hopefully we can improve on that in the coming games as well."

The 27-year-old scored his goal against Victory after excellent lead-up play from Isaias and Nikola Mileusnic.

He paid tribute to Isaias, saying: "He's our captain and he's such an important player for us. He leads with his performances on the field and last night he was first-class from start to finish."

Kurz will have Vince Lia available again after suspension when the Reds take on Sydney FC on Sunday.

Three of their five wins this season have come on the road and they now face three consecutive away games before finishing January by hosting bottom side Central Coast.

Adelaide are 14/5 to win their next game against Sydney FC, who are 19/20 with the draw 13/5.

Reds end Victory unbeaten run

Adelaide United climbed up to fifth spot in the A-League as they beat Melbourne Victory 2-0 at Coopers Stadium.

The Reds ended Victory's nine-game unbeaten run with a deserved victory, securing a first win in Perth against Kevin Muscat's side in eight attempts.

Victory were poor in the first half, committing defensive blunders and showing a lack of intensity.

The visitors were given an early warning when Leigh Broxham's crossfield pass to Thomas Deng was intercepted by Ben Halloran, who bore down on goal and forced a save from keeper Lawrence Thomas.

Victory created little in the early stages other than an Ola Toivonen free-kick that was easily dealt with by keeper Paul Izzo.

United went ahead with a move started by captain Isais, the midfielder feeding the speedy Nikola Mileusnic, who got in behind the Victory defence and saw Craig Goodwin convert his cross at the far post.

Two minutes later, Ken Ilso caught Deng in possession and went through one-on-one with Thomas before sliding his shot under the keeper to make it 2-0.

Toivonen tested Izzo with another free-kick from just outside the area later in the half, after James Troisi had been fouled by Nathan Konstandopoulos.

Victory almost pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half when Izzo stood tall and beat away New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses' effort.

The Reds pushed for a third goal but Halloran's shot was deflected to safety after a flowing move involving Ryan Strain and Mileusnic.

In the final 20 minutes Victory midfielder Terry Antonis' long range shot hit the woodwork, with the rebound being hacked clear.

Melbourne Victory are 3/1 to win the Grand Final.

Victory are 1/1 to win their next game against Newcastle, who are 5/2 with the draw 11/4.

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Goodwin settles ‘difficult’ match

Adelaide United matchwinner Craig Goodwin doesn't feel the Reds' 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets will linger long in the memory.

The visitors secured a top-four spot when they travelled to McDonald Jones Stadium and beat a Jets side fresh from their F3 derby victory against Central Coast.

They looked likely to have to settle for a draw when Roy O'Donovan headed home 15 minutes from time, to equalise Nikola Milseusnic's opener.

But when Ryan Kitto was fouled in the penalty area with just seconds to go in normal time by Nigel Boogaard, Goodwin was handed the chance to deliver victory from the penalty spot.

The 27-year-old obliged with his first goal in seven matches, with Adelaide picking up their first win at the venue in nearly four years.

It was satisfying personally for Goodwin, who admits he feels disappointed not to have made the Australia squad for the Asian Cup, and he believed United played decent in patches though struggled at times to control the match.

"I'll be honest it was very difficult," said Goodwin. "In terms of the team performance I think it was good in patches and obviously when they scored I think we lost our shape a bit – for a good ten minutes.

"But credit to us to comeback. For myself I'm not happy with my performance but (Ryan) Kitto wins the penalty and I've been practising penalties since I got here."

The winger added: "I think this is a game I'll try and put in the back of my mind and try and improve next week. It's obviously disappointing (to miss the Asian Cup) but the last few weeks I haven't been able to contribute with goals and assists."

The Reds are 4/5 to win their next game against Wellington Phoenix, who are 10/3, with the draw 11/4.

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United move back into top four

Craig Goodwin's injury-time penalty restored Adelaide United to the A-League top four, as they beat Newcastle Jets 2-1.

The Reds arrested their slide down the table over the past few rounds by winning at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Marco Kurz's team went north having only taken one point from their last three games, but picked up the victory when Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard fouled Ryan Kitto in the box.

Goodwin converted from the spot as the visitors made sure they ended 2018 in a healthy position – they are five points behind Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and Perth Glory.

Newcastle believed they had done enough to take a point when Irish striker Roy O'Donovan scored his first goal since serving a 10-week suspension in the 75th minute.

He climbed high to score with a header at the far post from substitute Kaine Sheppard's ball.

Adelaide had drawn first blood, seven minutes before the end of the first half, when Ben Halloran's chipped ball hit the post and struck diving Jets keeper Glen Moss before being tapped home by Nikola Mileusnic.

O'Donovan proved a handful for the visitors, especially in the air, while Newcastle also saw Boogaard head wide midway through the first half and a volleyed strike from Steve Ugarkovic miss the target.

Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo made an excellent save to deny Jair on the half-hour mark, and tipped the Brazilian's header over the bar in the second half.

Izzo went full stretch to deny Dimi Petratos' strike in the 70th minute and did well to keep out Sheppard's header two minutes from the end.

O'Donovan had a goal disallowed for offside when he tapped in Jair's cross midway through the second half.

The Reds are 4/5 to win their next game against Wellington Phoenix, who are 10/3, with the draw 11/4.

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Duo in line to face Lebanon

Australia have named A-League duo Rhyan Grant and Craig Goodwin in their squad for the friendly against Lebanon in Sydney on Tuesday.

Sydney FC defender Grant and Adelaide United winger Goodwin have been handed spots after coach Graham Arnold opted to leave out Tom Rogic and Robbie Kruse.

The Socceroos rescued a draw from their clash with South Korea in Brisbane at the weekend thanks to a 94th-minute Massimo Luongo goal.

Arnold said Rogic and Kruse had both played well at Suncorp Stadium but had minor knee and groin injuries respectively so would not be risked against Lebanon.

Grant and Goodwin were part of a four-man train-on group in Brisbane, with Thomas Deng and Dimitri Petratos, who weren't called up for the Lebanon match.

Arnold said: "With limited matches and training days with the team leading up to next year's AFC Asian Cup, it is important that we provide as many players as possible with the chance to integrate into our style and system, and Tuesday's match against Lebanon gives us a great chance to do that."

The coach will give Tim Cahill his international farewell at ANZ Stadium, where he's expected to bring on the record goalscorer for his 108th appearance in the final few minutes.

Arnold opted to start Jamie Maclaren up front against South Korea, with Kruse and Mathew Leckie on either side of him.

Maclaren has not had a shot on target in any of his seven appearances for the Socceroos, but the coach defended his performance against the Koreans.

Speaking of the Hibernian striker, Arnold said: "He did a fantastic job; he worked extremely hard for the team. You might say he didn't touch the ball much, but if you look what he did – pressing the opposition, putting the opposition under pressure – he was our first line of defence.

"Then it's his clever movement and when you have movement like Jamie does, then it's about the other players knowing when to give him the ball when he needs the ball."

Australia are 2/11 to beat Lebanon, who are 14/1 to come out on top, with the draw 11/2. The Socceroos are 9/2 to win 1-0.

United return pays off for Goodwin

Winger Craig Goodwin is delighted his return to Adelaide United has given him the chance to get back into Socceroos contention.

Goodwin has been rewarded for his excellent form at the start of his second stint with the Reds, being named as a train-on player in the Australia squad.

He will join Graham Arnold's squad ahead of the friendly against South Korea in Brisbane.

The 26-year-old won't be involved in that game but is likely to feature in the clash with Lebanon in Sydney three days later.

Goodwin, who is one of four train-on player selected by Arnold, returned to Coopers Stadium in May on a three-year contract.

He played 55 times for United in his first spell before joining Sparta Rotterdam in Holland in 2016.

Already he's been a big factor for Marco Kurz's side, having scored five goals in his last three games including a brace in the FFA Cup final victory against Sydney FC.

With eight goals in seven games since he re-joined United, Goodwin feels his decision to move back to South Australia is paying off well.

"I think I've been doing well, but I still think there's much more for me to do and improve on," he said. "I felt like the best place for me to go forward and to hit my best form in my prime was at Adelaide."

Goodwin made his senior Australia debut in 2013 in the East Asian Cup, but hasn't featured again in the past five years.

The versatile attacker said of his Socceroos call-up: "Obviously really excited to go into camp and show what I can do in the training sessions.

"I think it's always been my goal and obviously coming back here that was the plan to try and do well and force my way back in there. Being included as a train-on player now I've got the chance to show the new coaches and Graham Arnold what I can do in that environment."

The Reds are 1/1 to win their next game against Perth Glory, who are 13/5, with the draw 13/5.

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Goodwin: We were wasteful

Adelaide United scored three times to chalk up their first A-League win of the season, but red-hot Craig Goodwin wasn't completely happy.

The Reds dominated Central Coast Mariners to win 3-0 in Gosford and maintain their unbeaten start to the A-League campaign, days after they lifted the FFA Cup.

Goodwin took his tally to five goals in three games as he scored in both halves against the Mariners.

Having grabbed a stylish double in the cup final victory over Sydney FC, he repeated the feat to down Mike Mulvey's side.

His first came with a header from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos' cross, and his second was a free-kick that keeper Ben Kennedy should have saved.

Goodwin was happy with the victory, that put United third in the table, but also felt they should have had more goals.

"Our overall play was pretty good, but in the final third we were I think very wasteful," he said after making it eight goals in seven games since he returned to the club in the close season.

"Obviously the other night on Tuesday was fantastic to come away with the cup, but I think the really important thing is that we came here and we put in a reasonable display."

The winger feels the Reds must now improve when they face second-placed Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

"We've got to do well in the league now to prove to the rest of the league it's (the FFA Cup) not just a fluke. We want to do more, we want to be in the finals at the end of the season and then go one step further than we did last year."

Adelaide United are 11/10 to win their next game against Perth Glory, who are 9/4, with the draw 13/5.

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Unbeaten United up to third

Two early goals set Adelaide United up for an impressive 3-0 win away to Central Coast Mariners, keeping the Reds unbeaten in the A-League.

Coming off the back of their FFA Cup final victory over Sydney FC in midweek, United took little time to hit their straps as Craig Goodwin and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos scored in the opening 16 minutes.

Goodwin, who had scored both goals in the cup victory, again grabbed a brace in Gosford.

He and 19-year-old Stamatelopoulos combined for the first two goals, with Goodwin first on the scoresheet when he headed the youngster's cross home via a deflection.

Seven minutes later Goodwin turned provider, and Stamatelopoulos – brought into the side as one of three changes from the cup final – doubled the advantage from close range.

After Goodwin chased down Scott Galloway's ball he squared to the striker, who dispatched a first-time effort into an empty net.

Central Coast forced the visitors on to the back foot late in the first half but failed to seriously trouble keeper Paul Izzo.

And the visitors had the three points secured 11 minutes after the break, with a goal that left Mariners keeper Ben Kennedy embarrassed.

Goodwin curled his free-kick in on goal but it should have been a regulation save for Kennedy, who instead saw the ball fly between his hands.

Kennedy prevented Ryan Kitto scoring a fourth when the midfielder was played in on goal, and at the other end Izzo made an excellent save to deny Tommy Oar's shot from distance.

The Mariners are 11/2 to win their next game against Melbourne Victory, who are 4/9, with the draw 7/2.

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Missed target haunts Sky Blues

Head coach Steve Corica admitted his regret in failing to sign Craig Goodwin, after Sydney FC's FFA Cup final defeat to Adelaide United.

The Sky Blues tried to sign the three-cap Socceroo in the off-season, but Goodwin chose to move to the Reds for a second spell.

He scored both goals as United beat Corica's side 2-1 at Coopers Stadium to become the first team to win the FFA Cup twice.

It was Corica's first defeat since he took over the Sky Blues job from Graham Arnold, who is now the Australia national team coach.

He felt his team were better than the Reds and says he won't be changing any of his tactics as it was a positive performance.

Speaking of Goodwin, who netted with a stunning free-kick and a half-volley, Corica said: "We tried to sign him and that's why. To come up tonight and score two goals, congratulations to him.

"He wanted to come home, back to Adelaide. For him he probably thinks he made the right choice."

Goodwin's goals came either side of an Adam Le Fondre penalty for the visitors.

Corica's team go on to face Melbourne City in the A-League on Friday at AAMI Park in what will be their third game in six days.

He doesn't feel they will need to be picked up after the defeat, though, as both the defensive performance and the team's willingness to go forward left him pleased.

"It is a bit tough to take because I believe we were the best team on the night," said the coach. "We looked more like scoring than what they did; yes, it was tight, but we dominated most things."

Corica has revealed he will be without Siem de Jong for up to six weeks after the marquee recruit hurt his hamstring in last weekend's Sydney derby.

The Sky Blues are 17/10 to win their game against Melbourne City, who are 8/5, with the draw 12/5.

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Goodwin grabs final spotlight

Craig Goodwin fired hometown club Adelaide United to FFA Cup success with both goals as they beat Sydney FC 2-1 in the final at Coopers Stadium.

Goodwin, who won the 2016 A-League Grand Final with the Reds in his first spell at the club, grabbed his chance to audition for a Socceroos return.

With new Australia coach Graham Arnold watching on, he scored his goals with a superb free-kick in the first half and a half-volley in the second.

United gained revenge after losing last year's final to the Sky Blues, as they became the first team win the trophy twice, the first time coming in 2014 when three-cap Socceroo Goodwin was cup-tied.

Goodwin, who chose to return to Adelaide in the off-season rather than join Sydney FC, displayed his ability with the dead ball to give his side the lead midway through the first half.

Having been brought down off the ball by Rhyan Grant to earn United a free-kick, he expertly curled a left-foot shot up and over the wall to leave keeper Andrew Redmayne with no hope.

The advantage was short-lived as Sydney FC won a penalty following a poor backpass from Jordan Elsey to keeper Paul Izzo.

Alex Brosque nipped in and Izzo brought him down to concede the spot-kick, with the English recruit converting it to continue his perfect record of scoring in every match he's played for Sydney so far.

United's winner came 16 minutes from time. When Scott Galloway picked out Ben Halloran, his deft touch enabled Goodwin to rifle his right-footed half-volley into the top corner.

The Reds are 1/1 to win their next A-League game against Central Coast, who are 9/4, with the draw 14/5.

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