Goodwin nets on A-League return as Reds beat Wanderers in five-goal thriller
Adelaide United staved off repeat comeback attempts from Western Sydney Wanderers to win 3-2 at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors twice raced out to a two-goal lead but second-half goals to Bruce Kamau and Mitch Duke kept the Wanderers in the contest until the final whistle blew, as the Wanderers' seven-game unbeaten run came to an end.
Adelaide bookended the first half with goals to Craig Goodwin and Stefan Mauk to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Goodwin scored just one minute into his A-League return before the Wanderers upped the ante. Reds 'keeper James Delianov produced a magnificent goal-line save to keep Ziggy Gordon off the scoresheet before the hosts wasted a plethora of opportunities sparked by dangerous crosses from either flank.
Adelaide withstood the Red and Black barrage before going two goals up on the eve of half-time. Mauk snuck the ball past the near post of Daniel Margush after Ben Halloran's sharp run through a sea of Wanderers defenders set up the chance for Mauk to double his side's lead.
Louis D'Arrigo hit the post in the early knockings of the second half as Adelaide's confidence grew, before the Wanderers set up a nervous finish when substitute Kamau emerged off the bench to put an invading Daniel Wilmering cross into the back of the net.
Kamau's fellow Wanderers substitute Duke saw his two chances to equalise repelled by the Reds before Mohamed Toure blasted Adelaide 3-1 ahead. Toure was engulfed by teammates in celebration with the points all-but wrapped up, but a second Wanderers goal tucked away by Duke in the 90th-minute heaped the pressure back on the visitors.
Delianov was made to brush a vicious Duke strike off the post and away as the hosts gunned for an equaliser, but time ticked away from the Red and Black as the full-time whistle blew in Wanderland with Adelaide's 3-2 lead intact.
Reds boss Carl Veart deployed the returning Goodwin from the start in his A-League return and the wide-man made an instant impact, putting his side ahead with just 63 seconds on the clock.
Goodwin's first touch of the game was a free-kick delivery to the back post. Adelaide forward Kusini Yengi kept the ball alive, heading back into the danger zone and calling Wanderers 'keeper Margush into a punched clearance. Keanu Baccus attempted to head away from danger but Goodwin was on hand to receive the ball and lash a first-time strike with his left foot through Gordon's legs and into the back of the net.
After conceding the lead the hosts immediately set about drawing level, creating a raft of chances not taken through the opening 20 minutes of play.
The Red and Black threatened on numerous occasions through corners delivered by Nicolai Müller; Dylan McGowan headed three attempts wide after Gordon's strong attempt called Delianov into a superb stop, diving back over his line to wrench the ball away from goal and divert it around the post.
Gordon continued to threaten as an attacking outlet but lacked the finish to convert a dangerous ball fizzed in from the right flank to the back post by Tate Russell. The Wanderers were queuing up to tuck the ball home but Gordon got there first ahead of Müller, collecting the ball with his shin and sending it into row Z.
Goodwin worked as Adelaide's main attacking outlet through the opening half-hour of play, finding the ball on the right flank to spark the majority of his side's attacking ventures.
One of Goodwin's progressive involvements produced a double save from Margush and a goal-line headed clearance from Gordon as Goodwin, Mauk and Halloran dispatched attempts on goal before a belated offside flag on Mauk wiped out the triple-chance.
The Wanderers squandered a further two headed attempts throughout the first half, with Mark Natta firing wide from a corner before Müller arrived unmarked at the back post to send a Russell header directly into Delianov's gloves.
Adelaide went on to make the hosts pay. Goodwin's early blow was compounded by a Mauk finish in first-half added time, after Halloran burst between Graham Dorrans and Wilmering in the box and cut the ball back to Mauk who took one touch, feinted to shoot and buried the ball into the bottom left corner.
Intent on securing their first away victory of the season, Adelaide emerged from the break with an attacking impetus which generated a strike off the post from D'Arrigo. The Reds midfielder found the ball in the box after Halloran and Goodwin played their way down the right flank, with the former crossing into a dangerous position to find Yengi unmarked.
Yengi's touch diverted the ball to D'Arrigo who elected to shoot toward the near post instead of attempting to find the opposite corner; His shot was well hit but lacked accuracy as it shaved the outside of the post and went out for a goal kick.
2-0 down and chasing the game, Wanderers boss Carl Robinson dipped into his bench to make a triple substitution which altered the face of the contest.
Kamau replaced Müller just before the hour mark and his impact was instant; Wilmering played a searching ball to the back post which Kamau attacked with vigour, getting in between George Timotheou and Noah Smith to volley the ball past Delianov, cutting Adelaide's lead in half to set up a barnstorming finish.
After scoring his side's first goal of the contest Kamau set about bringing the Wanderers level, with two key passes played to fellow substitute Duke.
Neither chance was converted by the returning Wanderers talisman. The first opportunity was sparked from Kamau's desperate foot in amongst two Reds which sent Duke in on goal; Duke attempted to send the ball through Delianov's legs but Adelaide's stopper got a vital right leg to the shot.
The second chance was thwarted by a desperate intervention from Javi Lopez in the goal mouth. The right-back got ahead of Duke at the back post after Kamau's dangerous ball across goal to get a foot on the ball, depriving Duke a simple tap in as he slid in to touch the ball home.
The pressure was mounting on the Reds, who had conceded the most second-half goals of any side (11) leading into the clash with the Wanderers. A third Reds goal scored through substitute Toure helped settle the nerves, before Duke struck back on the verge of added time to make Adelaide sweat once more.
Duke converted from close range after a smart cut-back from Bernie Ibini in the 90th-minute of play.
The Wanderers were given a further five minutes to find an equaliser and Duke was almost at it again when he cannoned a strike off the post thanks to a divine fingertip from Delianov, as the Reds held on by the skin of their teeth to avoid a second-half collapse and take all three points away from Bankwest Stadium.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
Tuesday, March 2 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Friday, March 5 2021
Kick-off: 7.35pm AEDT
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