Halloran’s brace underlines Adelaide’s goal-scoring options
For much of the early part of the campaign, the big question mark around Adelaide United’s title credentials has centred on their inability to find a permanent striker.
The centre-forward they can rely on to score regular goals to turn them from Championship pretenders to contenders.
Injuries to the likes of Baba Diawara and George Blackwood have made life difficult for coach Marco Kurz to play the central striker it’s perceived that Adelaide requires.
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But if the opening few rounds are any indication, the Reds supposed search for a traditional number nine may not be needed at all.
Craig Goodwin – with three goals and three assists in Adelaide’s last eight goals – is arguably in career-best form, while Ken Ilso bagged a brace in the win over Wellington last weekend.
And in Friday night’s entertaining 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar, it was a double from six-cap Caltex Socceroo Ben Halloran that ensured all three points at Coopers Stadium.
The 26-year-old flyer has shown glimpses of his ability in the early weeks of the season but was lacking the end product.
But – playing in a more central position against Roar – finally broke his goal-scoring duck with two poacher’s finishes either side of the break.
And if not for a couple of stunning saves from gloveman Jamie Young, Halloran would have had his first hat-trick since youth football.
“He’s doing really well at the moment,” said Reds skipper Isaias of Halloran on Fox Sports post-match.
“Even when he wasn’t scoring he was working really hard and doing really good things for us.
“We are really happy with him.”
With the likes of Ryan Kitto, who was also superb against Brisbane, Nikola Mileusnic and Apostolos Stamatelopoulos also in reserve, Adelaide suddenly has plenty of options in the front third.
And if Halloran can keep improving as he has over the last month, any lingering doubts over Adelaide’s ability to find the net will soon disappear.