Goodwin dispatches last-ditch penalty as Adelaide punish Jets
Craig Goodwin’s last-ditch penalty kick earned Adelaide United a 2-1 smash and grab victory over Newcastle Jets in Sunday night’s thrilling Hyundai A-League encounter.
Goodwin kept his calm from the spot to hand the visitors all three points after Nigel Boogaard had felled Reds attacker Ryan Kitto in the final minute of regulation time.
The Jets appeared to have forged a merited point when Roy O’Donovan buried a back-post header in the 75th minute to cancel out Nikola Mileusnic’s first half strike.
But Adelaide, who absorbed a mountain of pressure throughout the contest, stunned the Novocastrians when Goodwin coolly stroked home his fourth goal of the season.
That result moves Marco Kurz’s men into fourth position, above Wellington Phoenix on goal difference, and opens up a four-point gap over the seventh-placed Jets.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s fifth defeat of the season means they remain the only side in Hyundai A-League history to have never won a game between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day each season.
And, in what is becoming an increasingly concerning trend for the Novocastrians, the Jets will once again rue a lack of conviction in the final third which has cost them dearly across the opening 10 rounds of the campaign.
Newcastle asserted their authority from the early stages. Jair drew a sharp stop from Paul Izzo at the near post and tripped over when attempting to fire in the rebound, while Steven Ugarkovic cracked a half volley narrowly shy of the post.
However, the visitors and Mileusnic silenced McDonald Jones Stadium with a freakish opener shortly before the half time interval.
Ben Halloran bolted into the clear, hooked a cross into the area which ricocheted off the post and Jets custodian Glen Moss and left the on-hand Adelaide man to tuck away his third goal in a matter of days.
Newcastle continued to test Izzo after Mileusnic’s opener. Ronny Vargas ballooned a header over the bar from point blank range, and Izzo brilliantly tipped Jair’s header to safety early in the second stanza.
At the other end, Goodwin missed a gilt-edged chance to double Adelaide’s lead, slashing a first-time effort straight at Lewis Italiano, who had replaced the injured Moss at half time.
But it was opposite number Izzo who was kept busiest as the Jets mounted an all-out assault on the Reds’ penalty area as the second half progressed.
O’Donovan was denied by the offside flag minutes before heading Kaine Sheppard’s cross past Izzo to pull the scores level.
And Newcastle should’ve have hit the lead through Dimi Petratos, who burst into the clear but was halted by a remarkable smothering save from Izzo.
That missed opportunity falls into a catalogue of spurned Newcastle chances on the night, and one that was duly punished when Goodwin slotted in the match-winning penalty as the clock hit ninety minutes.
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