Blackwood nets last-gasp winner to overcome Central Coast
A stoppage-time winner from George Blackwood has given Adelaide United a comeback 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium.
Isaías’ leveller after the break extinguished Andrew Hoole’s cracking goal as Adelaide’s improved second-half performance culminated in Blackwood’s header sealing all three points.
Marco Kurz made just the solitary alteration to his starting line-up following the Reds’ midweek draw against Perth Glory. Michael Jakobsen returned from suspension and replaced Michael Marrone at centre-back.
It was a disjointed start from the Reds as they struggled to retain possession and increase the tempo due to a number of misplaced passes.
Central Coast came the closest to scoring when Matt Simon’s header was cleared off the line by Scott Galloway.
Adelaide would suffer the same fate in the 26th minute as Craig Goodwin was denied a certain goal.
The winger cut inside and beat his marker before his right-foot strike was volleyed cleared by a desperate Kye Rowles on the line.
And that miss proved costly with the Mariners drawing first blood in emphatic fashion through Hoole.
The midfielder created space for himself before sneaking his effort from 20 yards out inside the post, leaving Paul Izzo with no chance.
Ben Halloran then squandered a glorious opportunity, heading wide from close range off Goodwin’s inviting cross.
As half-time approached Ryan Strain made a promising run down the right wing which culminated in his cross hitting Aiden O’Neill’s arm.
But the referee waved away the protests with VAR also satisfied not to take any further action.
Ken Ilsø was brought on at half-time as Kurz played with two strikers in a bid to get back into the game.
As Adelaide threatened through the likes of Nikola Mileusnić, Goodwin, and Blackwood it was an unlikely source that restored parity.
Isaías capitalised on a corner swung in by Goodwin and was quickest to react to the loose to poke his opportunisitic finish home.
Adelaide’s relentless pressure paid off as they lifted their intensity in search of a winner.
Ilsø saw his header parried by Ben Kennedy from a corner, but with time ticking away Adelaide scored.
Galloway brilliantly squeezed through Matthew Millar and Tom Hiariej and swung in a beautiful cross for Blackwood to nod past Kennedy for the winner.
The result sees the Reds return to fifth spot on the table on goal difference ahead of Wellington Phoenix.
11’ | Galloway heads clear Simon’s header from the corner off the line.
26’ | Goodwin cuts inside onto his right foot and his venomous effort is saved off the line spectacularly courtesy of a flying clearance from Rowles.
37’ | GOAL: Hoole receives the ball outside the box and sets himself on his right and then dispatches a curling strike which beats Izzo at full-stretch.
45’+1’ | Ryan Strain marauds down the right flank and his driven cross strikes the arm of O’Neill but VAR stays with the on-field decision of no penalty.
66’ | GOAL! Isaías reads the loose ball from the corner and toe pokes his finish past Kennedy.
90’+2’ | GOAL! Blackwood at the near post heads past Kennedy following sensational work from Galloway on the left.
Sunday, 27 January 2018
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 – Round 116
Adelaide United 2 (Isaías 66’ Blackwood 90’+2’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Hoole 37’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium